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Biological Consequences of Selection

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NOVA master's course of 5 ECTS, organised by Scientist Geir Steinheim, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Course dates and location: 19-23 Aug 2019, in Hafjell, Norway.

Course Description

The course will be organised as a joint NOVA PhD and Master's course. Course information for the PhD course is available here.

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
The student will work on an assignments the week after the one-week seminar. The assignment will be graded according to the NMBU rules.

Learning Outcomes
After the course the master's 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

(The learning outcomes are the same on the Master's and PhD course. However, the students on the Master's course are expected to meet the learning outcomes to a lesser degree.)

Evaluation Elements
The student will work on an assignments the week after the one-week seminar. The assignment will be graded according to the NMBU rules.

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

Estimated Workload 

  • 50 hours preperatory reading
  • 40 hours lectures/group work during course
  • 50 hours on assignment after the course week

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

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


Costs and Practical Information
Please see this information on costs and other practical information.

Published 11. January 2019 - 10:09 - Updated 4. June 2019 - 10:27