Course ObjectiveTo obtain a broad overview of the latest research in ecology and
- To learn to critically evaluate scientific research articles
- To practice skills of scientific argumentation and discussion
- Learning to discuss these topics with leading scientists in the field
Course ContentBeing able to participate in discussion is an important skill for
scientists. It requires the ability to combine theoretical and empirical
knowledge as well as a critical view on the arguments put forward by
others. The best way to improve these skills is to practice them under
supervision of senior scientists. In this course students are trained to
discuss the important topics in Ecology and Evolution with top
scientists in the world, in the form of a masterclass (described below).
In doing so, students will attend seminars from these internationally
renowned scientists in the Nature of Life meetings organized by the
Institute of Ecological Sciences (VU) and in the series of IBED lectures
organized by the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
(UvA). Both series are organized on a monthly basis throughout the year
(except the summer period). The topics for the seminars cover the whole
spectrum of ecology and evolution. An overview of upcoming and previous
seminars can be found at https://www.amsterdamecology.nl/seminars/ and
https://ibed.uva.nl/news-events/ibed-seminars. Students must attend six
masterclasses during the 2-year
programme. Obviously, students are encouraged to attend more of these
lectures on a facultative
Teaching MethodsIn preparation for each masterclass, several recent papers by the guest
speaker will be studied and extensively discussed during a tutorial
meeting with staff members of the Institute of Ecological Sciences or of
the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics. Students then
participate in a discussion meeting with the speaker (the actual
masterclass), and finally they attend the seminar as part of the course.
Students are required to participate actively in the discussion during
the tutorials, masterclass and the seminar. The total number of contact
hours (including lectures and discussions) is 30, the remaining time is
spent on preparation.
Method of AssessmentFactors which count for the final grade:
For each masterclass: active participation, theoretical insight, and
argumentation of the students in the tutorial meeting, masterclass and
Students pass after 6 satisfactorily participated masterclasses.
Entry RequirementsBSc Biology from a Dutch University. Students with a BSc in Earth
Sciences, Social Geography, Beta/Gamma, and international BA's with
Nuffic accreditation can be admitted, but extra elements can be
LiteraturePrimary literature and recent articles by the guest speakers, to be
announced at least one week before each masterclass.
Target AudienceMaster students in Biology and Ecology (from both the Ecology and
Evolution as well as the Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
specializations) at the VU and master students from the Biological
Sciences specialization Ecology and Evolution at the UvA.
Additional InformationLocation: VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085 Amsterdam
and University of Amsterdam, Science Park 904 Amsterdam
Custom Course RegistrationYou need to registration for this module at the UvA.
|Period||Ac. Year (sept)|
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||prof. dr. M.P. Berg|
|Examiner||prof. dr. J. Ellers|
prof. dr. J. Ellers
You cannot register for this course yourself; your faculty's education office carries out registration
|Teaching Methods||Seminar, Lecture|
This course is also available as: