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Arctic Entomology under Climate Change

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    Illustrasjon: Shutterstock, sciencepics

NOVA PhD course of 3 ECTS, organised by Ass. Prof. Guðmundur Halldórsson, Agricultural University of Iceland.
Course dates and location: 20-24 Aug. 2018 in Gunnarsholt, the headquarters of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, Hella, Iceland.

The course is the second course in the NOVA PhD course series "Climate Change Entomology in the North" which is scheduled for 2017-2019:

Course Description
The series "Climate Change Entomology in the North" focuses on the fundamental and drastic demands in agricultural entomology in the Nordic countries, caused primarily by climate change. At an accelerating rate new serious, invasive pests threaten our primary production systems in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and wilderness areas. Furthermore, our pollination and biocontrol ecosystems services - vital to our crop production as well as wild flowers and berries - are at risk due to invading pests, competitors, and diseases; changing phenology of flowering; multiple generations of pests; decline and even forecast extinctions of certain pollinator species, etc. We need to train a new generation of experts in this area to be able to cope with the growing challenges. Foremost immediate threats include the spotted wing Drosophila -fly, recently introduced from Asia to Europe, and which is making its way northwards (recorded at many locations in Sweden already).

Course running in 2018
The effects of climate change are occurring at a faster and stronger rate in the Arctic than elsewhere in the globe. We are already observing changes in phenology, species distributions and ecological interactions in natural and agricultural systems in the North. Given the short growing seasons, agricultural production at high latitudes may benefit from a warmer Arctic, but so will insect pests from lower latitudes that will be able to expand northwards. In this course, we will explore the consequences of ongoing and predicted environmental changes on Arctic entomofauna, from individual to community responses, and the implications to agriculture and forestry.

In this course, we will train the students to understand the consequences of environmental changes on Arctic insects, and the implications of these changes to agriculture and forestry in Nordic regions. The course will combine lectures and hands-on training in the field on methods to monitor insect populations and evaluate population changes.

Programme Outline

  • Pre-campus assignments: reading materials
  • Lectures and interactive seminars on drivers and consequences of climate change to Arctic entomofauna, from individuals, to populations, species and communities, and the implications to Nordic agriculture and forestry.
  • Lab-work, demonstrations, and field assessments concerning e.g., methods for monitoring insect communities and ecological interactions, such as herbivory or pollination.
  • Field trip related to methods to monitor insect populations and their changes


Pre-/Post-Campus Assignments
In-depth background literature assignments, eventual case study preparation.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Up-to date knowledge of the mechanisms through which ongoing environmental changes affect Arctic insects, agriculture and forestry
  2. Appreciation of the complexity of the ecological mechanisms involved in the responses of Arctic insects to climate change
  3. Insights into possible avoidance, mitigation, and remedy measures that can be applied, including the need for international collaboration and coordinated actions
  4. Inspiration, techniques and tools for students to conduct research in the topic areas covered by the course series

Evaluation Elements

  • Quality of pre-course assignment feedback
  • Level of engagement and participation during the course-week
  • Evaluation of individually acquired knowledge during our final interactive session

Pedagogical Approach

  • Problem-oriented learning
  • Positive feedback and learning within study groups
  • Hands-on training of key concepts in the lab and in the field

Estimated Workload

  • 15 hours of seminars
  • 15 hours of lab and field work
  • 15 hours of lectures
  • 45 hours of independent work

Prerequisite Knowledge
Basic and advanced courses in applied entomology, environmental sciences, and ecology.

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

Accommodation and Board



Single, with bathroom


Double, with bathroom


Single, common bathroom


Full board


* 50 EUR for full board is the total price per day. Please note that for maximum 25 NOVA and BOVA students, NOVA will cover 150 EUR of the total full board price per person.

Published 15. January 2018 - 13:43 - Updated 30. May 2018 - 11:22