Your browser has javascript turned off or blocked. This will lead to some parts of our website to not work properly or at all. Turn on javascript for best performance.

The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Modelling Biological Systems BIOS13

7,5 credits

The course is offered during the second period of the autumn semester, and the language of instruction is English.

This course is well suited for masters students at the department of Biology interested in biological modelling, how models work and what they are good for. Nature is complex and often several factors interact also in seemingly simple processes. Models are useful tools to disentangle complicated relationships, to build a comprehensive description of a process, or simply to present your own thoughts in an unambiguous way. Models are also necessary to make predictions about the future, test different scenarios, etc. In a good model one can manipulate one factor at a time, which is often impossible in nature. The course is suited for all biology students - we try to include examples from as many fields of biology as possible.

This course can be taken in parallel with BIOS14 Processing and Analysis of Biological Data, as both are given part time.


A person showing up a small frog. Photo.

The students shall after completion of the course be able to:

  • in general terms describe the usage, interpretation and limitations of models
  • solve mathematical tasks in basic algebra and analysis
  • do basic programming in R
  • describe the use of genetic algorithms and artificial neural networks in modelling
  • design a model of a biological system, given a specific task or question
  • fit a model to data
  • use mathematical and numerical methods to analyse simple dynamic, statistic or probabilistic models, such as stability analysis, optimization or risk analysis.


During the course there are a number of compulsory exercises and a written exam

You find information about application, prerequisites and the syllabus for the course Modelling Biological Systems at Lund University's central web pages.


Lotta Persmark
Study advisor Biology and Bioinformatics

Telephone: +46 222 37 28
Email:Lotta [dot] Persmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course coordinator

mikae [dot] pontarp [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se (Mikael Pontarp)