Course code NOVA-302

NOVA-302 Biological Consequences of Selection

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Biosciences
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:


On-site course from 21-25 August 2017 in Hafjell.

Course frequency: August-block 2017
First time: Study year 2016-2017
Last time: 2018V
Course contents:

This course will be organised as a joint PhD/MSc course. The students will to a large degree follow the same lectures, but material for preparation and assessment of the course will differ between the PhD and the MSc course. Also no of ECTS differ as the MSc students will spend more time preparing for the course, and also more time after the course week. The objective of this course is to provide a platform for understanding the biological changes occurring when applying (artificial) selection. The student should be able to reflect on the consequences from a scientific point of view and understand the physiological changes taking place. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Ethical aspects of animal breeding
  • Growth and development - genetic scaling (Taylor)
  • Maternal effects, social effects and group selection
  • Genetic variation of behavioral traits
  • Genotyp x Environment interactions
  • Robustness, trade-offs and adaptive capacity
  • Modelling and the genetics of feed efficiency
Learning outcome:

After the course the MSc students should be able to:

  • Reflect on the ethical aspects of animal breeding
  • Summarize the consequences of artificial selection
  • Predict direct, maternal and correlated effects of selection
  • Describe the concept of social effects and group selection
  • Apply the methods of genetic size scaling
  • Understand mechanisms related to feed efficiency
  • Describe the effect of selection on behavioral traits
Learning activities:
The course week will consist of lectures, group work and seminars given by the PhD students. The student will need to read a series of papers and notes before the course, corresponding to 2 weeks workload. One week after the on-site course, the student must submit a report.
The students will receive the reading list in due time before the course.
Recommended prerequisites:
B.Sc in Animal Science or a similar background.
Mandatory activity:
Participation on the on-site course.
The student will hand in a report one week after the course which will be graded using the ECTS scale (A-F).
Nominal workload:
  • 75 hours preparatory reading
  • 35 hours lectures/group work during course
  • 40 hours working on the report
Entrance requirements:
B.Sc in Animal Science or a similar background.  
Reduction of credits:
There is complete overlap with HFA303, i.e. a 100% reduction in ECTS credits.
Type of course:

35 hours lectures/group work during course

The course week will consist of lectures, group work and seminars given by the PhD students. Course days will start with lectures until lunch and group work and presentations by students after lunch. The course will start Monday morning and end Friday afternoon.


This course is a joint Nordic NOVA Master's course organised by Roel Veerkamp, NMBU. Teachers from NMBU, Aarhus University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and AgroParisTech will teach on the course.

Please sse the course description on NOVA's website for more information on the course:

Examination details: :