Evolutionary Ecology

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 2

Typically offered in

Spring semester

Course description

1. Evolutionary ecology as a discipline: An overview

2. Adaptation, optimisation and natural selection

3. Optimal life-history traits and life-history traits as adaptations to changes in the environment. Fitness measures based on population dynamics and population ecology

4. Inheritance of traits determining ecological tolerance. Overview and examples.

5. Evidence for strong selection in nature

6. Life-history trade-offs. 1. Modelling

7. Life-history trade-offs 2. Empirical evidence

8. Density-dependent life-history adaptations

9. Coexistence and frequency-dependent selection

10. Modelling frequency dependent selection and speciation: adaptive dynamics

11. Competition, character displacement and genetic change

12. Evolution of virulence.

13. Definitions of coevolution. Cospeciation.

14. Evidence for coevolution. Case studies.

15. New research lines and publications in evolutionary ecology.

  • Stearns, S. 1992: The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press.

  • Fox,C.W., Roff, D.A., Fairbairn, D.J. 2001: Evolutionary ecology. Concepts and case studies. Oxford University Press.