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If the colour codes change during the academic year to orange or red, modifications are possible, for example to the teaching and evaluation methods.

Behavioral ecology

Course Code :2001WETBEC
Study domain:Biology
Academic year:2020-2021
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):140
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Marcel Eens
Erik Matthysen

3. Course contents *

This course addresses the analysis of behavioural variation in an evolutionary framework.  Students are familiarised with the main concepts and approaches in Behavioural Ecology by means of formal lectures and directed self-study. The following topics are addressed:


  • Introduction to behavioural ecology with an overview of the most important research methods and fundamental concepts
  • Sexual selection, sperm competition, pairing strategies and parental care
  • Sex allocation
  • Communication and signal evolution
  • Phylogentical methods and behavioural ecology
  • Optimal foraging strategies and habitat choice
  • Introduction to game theory with application to conflict models
  • Social interaction of individuals: living in groups, colonies, cooperation and altruism