Article banner region

Biological Consequences of Selection

  • Photo: 
    Janne Karin Brodin, NMBU

NOVA Master's course of 5 ECTS, organised by Prof. Roel Veerkamp, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Course dates and location: 21-25 Aug. 2017 in Hafjell, Norway.

Course Description
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

Programme Outline
The course week will consist of lectures, group work and seminars given by the PhD students. Teaching and tutoring will be distributed equally among the four main teachers. 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.

Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
See below for post-campus assignment. The student will need to read a series of papers and notes before the course, corresponding to 2 weeks workload.

Learning Outcomes
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

Evaluation Elements
The student will hand in a report one week after the course which will be graded using the ECTS scale.

Pedagogical Approach
The course will include a mixture of lectures, group work and presentations.

Estimated Workload

  • 75 hours preparatory reading
  • 35 hours lectures/group work during course
  • 40 hours working on the report

Prerequisite Knowledge
Pre-requirements are a B.Sc in Animal Science or a similar background.

Admission for NOVA courses is handled by the course organiser/ the NOVA member institution organising the course. Please see the links in the margin for more information.

Apply here

NB! To apply for the Master's course, you must apply to NMBU (use the link above) AND fill in this form concerning accommodation etc.

NB! Please note that StudentWeb will open for applications from NMBU students in the end of February.

Practical information

Published 16. February 2017 - 9:17 - Updated 12. May 2017 - 13:16

NOVA University Network


Postal address:
Ingrid Aksnes Hjetland
NOVA Secretariat
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
PO BOX 5003
NO-1432 Aas