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Biological Consequences of Selection

NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organised by Elise Norberg, AU-ST.
Dates and location: 17-21 August 2015 in Fjerritslev, Denmark.

Håkon Sparre
Course description
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)
  • Inside the black box (path ways)
  • Genetic and phenotypic aspects of trade-offs
  • Adaption
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Maternal effects
  • Social effects and group selection
  • Genetic variation of behavioral traits

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 three 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.

In addition to the scientific program there will be an excursion to a large dairy farm.

Learning outcomes
After the course the PhD 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
  • Describe mechanisms regulating path-ways
  • Describe the effect of selection on behavioral traits

Examination form will be a presentation given by the students on the final day.

Estimated workload

  • 40 hours preperatory reading
  • 40 hours lectures/group work during course
  • 5-10 hours preparing final presentation at the course

Prerequisite knowledge 
M.Sc. in Quantitative genetics, population genetics or a similar background.

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

Published 18. November 2014 - 14:54 - Updated 18. May 2015 - 9:47