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Conservation Biology, 15 cr 


Course description

Conservation Biology is an advanced course in Ecology and in Environmental Science and focuses on the scientific foundations of conservation. An important part of the course is to provide deep knowledge about theory that is important for conservation biology, such as population dynamics in small populations and heterogeneous landscapes and conservation genetics. The course also touches upon ethical considerations related to conservation. Lectures consider global patterns and ecosystem functions of biodiversity, conservation genetics, genetic methods in conservations, population dynamics, demography, meta-population ecology, reserve system planning, disturbance ecology, behavioural tools for conservation etc. In addition there is an emphasis on developing a deep understanding for and critically evaluate these areas, and to develop skills that can be of use in practical conservation work and in research. Because of this, the course has many literature seminars, discussions and exercises. The exercises concern e.g. population dynamics and systematic conservation planning.


The course has two excursions. One to Scania’s zoo, where we discuss captive breeding programs in general and the conservation biology work done at the zoo in particular. The other excursion is to a nemoral forest area near Lund, where practical conservation and restoration measures are discussed.

Literature project

Towards the end of the course there is a literature project. This is often in the form of a species action plan for a threatened organism that does not yet have such a plan, or in the form of an evaluation of an existing plan. Alternatively it can be about some other topic in conservation biology, and even in the form of a modelling exercise.


Examination is through a written exam, in combination with evaluation of the project report. The exam focuses on processes and relation that are important for research or practical action in conservation biology.

And then …

After the course it is possible to do a master thesis in conservation biology. The course is an important part of the “Conservation track”, but may also usefully be combined with advanced courses in animal or plant ecology.

Page Manager:

Study coordinator

Lotta Persmark
Study advisor
Education office, Ecology building

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

Course coordinator

Ola Olsson
Associate Professor, Senior lecturer

Telephone: +46 46-222 37 74
E-mail: Ola [dot] Olsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course literature

You find all literature at our course literature page

Course period

The course is offered the first part of the spring term. The medium of instruction is English.


Preliminary schedule (pdf)

Resit exam occasions

Resit exams