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Scales of Biodiversity


Admission requirements

The course is open for all (biology and non-biology) students that are enrolled in the Minor Biodiversity and have followed the first two courses. A minimum background on general concepts in biodiversity and overall evolutionary patterns are preferred.

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dr. Lars van den Hoek-Ostende Email:


This six-week course Scales in Biodiversity integrates the four dimensions of biodiversity in various scales of space and time. “How can biodiversity be mapped?” is a central question. Using examples from zoology, botany and palaeontology we follow the path from sample to pattern. The module provides the theoretical background on the processes behind these patterns, including environmental factors, sampling biases and taphonomical background, mostly based on Dutch examples, preparing participants in academic discussions on biodiversity issues. Subsequently, patterns of biodiversity will be placed in the context of the development of biodiversity in the course of evolution. Particularly geographical, geological and evolutionary aspects are discussed.

Learning goals

At the end of the course students:

  • Are able to integrate taxonomic, morphological, spatial and temporal information to map and analyze biodiversity patterns in a particular habitat in space and time

  • Have knowledge and understand the ecological and evolutionary developments of biodiversity at geological and historical scale

  • Can explain (the processes that underlie) the biodiversity patterns at various scales in space and time


From 16 November – 24 December 2021. A detailed schedule will be provided on Blackboard before the start of the course.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practicals, demonstrations, fieldwork

Assessment method

The overall assessment comprises the assessments (written assigment and exam) of the three subparts of the module: Angiosperms 40%, Bryology 30%, Paleobiology 30%. Each assignment should be finished with at least a 6.0.


Brightspace will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list



Via uSis

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.