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Biological Consequences of Selection

  • Photo: 
    Janne Karin Brodin, NMBU

NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organised by Senior Scientist Elise Norberg, Aarhus University: Science and Technology.
Course dates and location: 21-25 Aug. 2017 in Hafjell, Norway.

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)
  • 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-Campus Assignments
In parallel with the pre-reading the student will prepare a draft of the presentation of the paper he/she is asked to present.

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
  • Understand mechanisms related to feed efficiency
  • Describe the effect of selection on behavioral traits

Evaluation Elements
Examination form will be a presentation of a key paper (provided to the student in due time before the course).

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

Estimated Workload

  • 50 hours preperatory reading
  • 35 hours lectures/group work during course
  • 5 hours preparing the presentation at the course

Prerequisite Knowledge
Pre-requirements are a M.Sc. in Quantitative genetics, population genetics 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

Practical information

Published 9. December 2016 - 13:30 - Updated 12. May 2017 - 13:15

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