|Semester & Location:||
Summer 2022, Session 2 - DIS Copenhagen
Biology, Environmental Science, Sustainability
Katja Vinding Petersen (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)
Neringa Vendelbo - email@example.com
|Time & Date||
Starts Tuesday 14th of June and ends on Friday 1st of July. (Monday-Friday)
Study Tour: 20th of June -24th of June (back in Cph late Friday evening)
Description of Course
European biodiversity is characterized by great variation in habitats that is dynamic and constantly evolving in response to changes. Such changes happen gradually on a long time scale but with the impact of humans, changes can occur much more rapidly. Today, Europe has a highly fragmented biodiversity with a high rate of species loss.
In this course, you learn how different habitats are affected by climate change and human exploitation and how to evaluate the effects on biodiversity. Through examples, you gain experience in collecting biodiversity data and conducting simple data analysis, and apply your findings to address present conservation and biodiversity issues. We zoom in on different topics such as invasive species, the complexity of re-wilding, why Europe has a highly fragmented biodiversity with a high rate of species loss, and how Europe is establishing national parks and protected areas.
During your Study Tour to Sweden, we will investigate terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. Highlights include visits to a forest project, a marine protected area, and collecting samples in one of the many lakes of Sweden. We will also focus on invasive species and spend time at Kolmården, where we can get close to the large mammals.
By the end of this course you will have a general knowledge of the most common European habitat types and of fundamental concepts within biological conservation of biodiversity.
You will learn how the different habitats are affected by climate change and human exploitation and you will have experience with evaluating the negative effects on biodiversity.
You will understand the complexities of environmental conservation and you will be familiar with political frameworks applied within environmental policy and conservation work.
Through field work in Denmark and Sweden, you will have experience in collecting biodiversity data and conducting simple data analysis, and applying your findings to address present conservation and biodiversity issues.
The course is roughly divided into the below modules:
- Broad introduction to European ecosystems, its biodiversity and importance
- Threats to biodiversity: Mass extinctions, global climate change, ecosystem degradation and overexploitation, invasive species.
- Protecting and managing ecosystems and biodiversity
- Ecological restoration and species reintroduction
- The human Influence and urban biodiversity
- Conservation and politics - Setting priorities for action
Katja Vinding Petersen: Ph.D. (Distribution, habitat use, behavior, and sound communication), Zoology Dept., Whale Unit, University of Pretoria, 2016. M.S. (Biology and Didactics), University of Copenhagen, 2007. Research associate at Statens Serum Institute, Denmark (2012-2016). TV presenter at “Physics at sea”, Galathea 3 Expedition (2008). Has worked with marine mammals in the field in, Iceland, Northern Norway, Greenland, and South Africa. Local stranding responsible In the Overstrand Region, South Africa (2010-2012). Founder of the Danish Maine Mammal Society (2003). With DIS since 2019.
The primary readings will be from:
Fundamentals of Conservation Biology. Hunter M.L. and Gibbs J.P. Third Edition. Blackwell Publishing 2007, which is provided by DIS. Please pick this book up during the Arrivals Workshop.
Relevant hand outs and scientific papers
Papers (some examples):
- Giakoumi S. et al (2018). Conserving European biodiversity across realms. Conservation Letters. 2018;e12586.
- Myers et al, 2000. Biodiversity Hotspots for Conservation Priorities. Nature, 403, 853-858.
- Caspersen, O. H., Konijnendijk, C. C., & Olafsson, A. S. (2006). Green space planning and land use: An assessment of urban regional and green structure planning in Greater Copenhagen. Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, 106(2), 7-20.
Botanical gardens, Copenhagen
Zoological museum, Copenhagen
Bybi, Copenhagen. https://bybi.dk/
During our Study Tour to Sweden, we will investigate terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments. Highlights include visits to a forest project, a marine protected area, and collecting samples in one of the many lakes of Sweden. We will also focus on invasive species and spend time at Kolmården, where we can get close to the large mammals.
Professor Peter Andrew Hosner
Peter Andrew Hosner - Staff at the Natural History Museum (ku.dk)
My research program centers on the geography of avian diversification. I study the relative roles of different types of geographic barriers to understand how barrier permeability and periodicity affect the mode and tempo of diversification, and how landscape features and connectivity shape colonization patterns. To study the impact of these geographic features on avian populations, I infer their evolutionary relationships with genomic data collected from high- quality specimens. I work at multiple scales, from higher-level phylogenetics down to fine-scale phylogeography of species complexes. I combine phylogenetics and phylogeography with complementary data streams such as ancestral range/character reconstructions, distributional modeling, and assessments of plumage and vocalizations in a comparative framework. I owe these broad interests to a life-long reverence for natural history.
PhD (Botanist) Sam Bruun-Lund
PhD defense: Sam Bruun-Lund – Københavns Universitet (ku.dk)
Sam Bruun-Lund currently works at the Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen. Sam does research in botany, systematics and genomics. Additionally, Sam is also a science communicator and does out-reach at the Natural History Museum and in the Botanical Garden with a strong emphasis on how plants are used in current research.
Silvia Dragomir (DIS)
Architect and advocate of Cities for People, with an MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning from Aalborg University and MSc in Architecture from Bucharest and Bordeaux. Her professional profile includes a collaboration with KANT architects, owner of an architecture studio with focus on sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation. Her passion is sharing knowledge and creating better living environments. With DIS since 2015.
Approach to Teaching
Most class sessions will be a mix of lecture/discussion and time in the field. Lecture will serve primarily to present background information to provide for more in-depth analysis of primary and secondary literature. In addition to learning the central tenets of the field, critical thinking and quantitative reasoning will be stressed through writing, discussion, and presentations.
Expectations of the Students
You are expected to:
- Attend the classes, field studies, and study tour.
- Be prepared and have read the assigned readings before class with the help of handouts and questions for the given lecture. In the class room we will not cover all the material in the assigned text, but will focus on key concepts, processes and subjects within the biodiversity of Europe.
- Be mentally and physically ready for class.
- Participate during discussions, group work and common ‘sum ups’ during lectures.
- Be respectful of the ideas and opinions of your classmates.
- Hand in assignments on time.
- Put your mobile phone away during class.
Evaluation is a combination of tests, attendance and performance in assignments
To be eligible for a passing grade in this class you must complete all of the assigned work.
Class participation and readings: Close reading of a range of materials is a key skill to develop and enhance. We will spend much of our time when we are in a classroom discussing by bringing together our own experiences and observations with core concepts.
- Completion of reading assignments
- Level of preparation and ability to answer questions asked in class
- Involvement in class and group discussions
- Active participation in field studies and study tour
- Level of individual research and contribution to discussions
- Being on time to all class meetings and handing in papers and assignments on time
- Asking questions when you don’t understand or want further explanation of a subject
One tests: 30 minutes tests.
Study tour assignment: A selection of questions and assignments to be carried out during and adjecent to the study tour. The study tour assignment is designed to contextualize the course material and the student projects in particular with the experiences and knowledge obtained during the study tour.
Research project: One goal of the class is to build your experience and knowledge on European biodiversity by designing, conducting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting research proposals. You will work in groups to develop a testable hypothesis on european biodiversity and then work to gather data. The projects will culminate in presentations and a concise written manuscript.
|Final test : European biodiversity||
Study tour assignment
Final research project proposal and presentation
Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:
DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia - www.DISabroad.org
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