Door 17 – The teaching portfolio of the FEZ group

Academic teaching is a central task and a key element of the self-conception of universities. Yes, teaching is time consuming and needs commitment of the academic teacher. But it is also highly rewarding. All FEZ members are highly dedicated to providing excellent training to the next generation biologists.

FEZ members coordinate three master level courses to the curriculum of biology students at the University of Oslo.

BIOS5114 – Molecular Evolution coordinated by Lutz Bachmann and Glenn-Peter Sætre from the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) targets the principles for evolution of DNA and gene products as well as the use of genetic data in evolutionary studies of organisms. It includes a theoretical introduction to important evolutionary processes in the eukaryotic genome and genome components. The course is complemented by practical exercises providing skills in molecular techniques, bioinfomatics and evolutionary bio-statistics. The course is offered to both Master and PhD students.

BIOS4215 – Evolution and Systematics of Organismal Groups: The Animal Kingdom is coordinated by Torsten Struck, and many staff members of the Natural History Museum including FEZ scientists also contribute. The animal kingdom provides by far the largest proportion to Earth’s biodiversity and they have occupied all habitats on Earth including other organisms. The course provides state-of-the-art knowledge on the diversity, evolution and adaptive solutions to ecological challenges across different animal groups. This includes the understanding of the animal phylogeny and taxonomy. The subject will also comprise classes about career opportunities as collection management or exhibition development.

BIOS5214 – Biogeography and Biodiversity is coordinated by Vladimir Gusarov. This course concerns the geographical distributions of taxa and populations on global and regional scales and the processes that have given rise to these. It targets basic biogeographical patterns of distribution and their history, and the geophysical, evolutionary and ecological processes behind them. Methods used for explaining past and current distributions of organisms are also addressed.

Good teaching needs training and experience. The FEZ group PhD fellows and PostDocs actively contribute to the teaching of the courses, and train their teaching skills.

In addition to regular courses at the University of Oslo, FEZ members also contribute to specialized and advanced courses for graduate schools such as ForBio, a research school in biosystematics. Torsten Struck and Michael Matschiner from the SERG group at the Natural History Museum offer a course in Phylogenomics. Torsten Struck also contributes to ForBio and MEDUSA courses Systematics, Morphology and Evolution of Marine Annelids: https://www.forbio.uio.no/events/courses/2021/Annelida_virtual_2021 and Evolution and Diversity of Meiobenthos: https://www.forbio.uio.no/events/courses/2021/Meiofauna_WSBS_2021.

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