Evolutionary ecology

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Study form
Application period
Application code
Full education cost: 32 000 SEK
First payment: 32 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed, late application opens 15 July 2024.


Evolution permeates all aspects of life and modern views of biology, from molecular interactions, genetic and non-genetic inheritance, development and its extensions, to inter-individual and population level processes, resulting in speciation and phylogenetic divergence. Using expert researchers, we pick the cherries from these disciplines and create an integrative course with a bottom-up approach (molecular-to-evolutionary process thinking), linked to a top-down perspective (explaining phylogenetics and biodiversity).

In the middle, sandwiched between these frameworks, is Evolutionary Ecology. Here we make theoretical use of molecular methods for tracing paternity and identifying poor (or superior) genetic combinations during selection in free-ranging animals, to understanding constraints to evolution (why it doesn’t happen when it should), how and why mate choice results in poor (or ‘perfect’) offspring, shorter or longer lifespan, why evolutionary rates can be extraordinarily rapid when you least expect, and why radiation of taxa sometimes happens while we watch in real time, and sometimes never at all (stasis).

These questions are rooted in evolutionary theory and statistical (quantitative) genetics, and developed into approaches for statistical control of phylogenetic dependence of important phenotypic traits. These methods are also critical for understanding paradigms and criteria for extinction avoidance in modern conservation biology. The course is held in English, which gives the broad range of advanced students with diverse interests from across Europe a chance to engage and forge friendships and networks for future interaction and collaboration in a ‘think-tank’ friendly environment.

Prerequisites and selection

Entry requirements

Admission to the course requires one of the following options:

1) Approved basic courses BIO900, Cell Biology 15 credits, BIO905, Molecular Genetics, 15 credits, BIO910, Biological Form and Function, 15 credits, BIO915, Ecology and Evolution, 15 credits, and BIO920 Biodiversity and Systematics or corresponding basic course in biology.

2) Approved ES1201, Environmental Sciences: Natural Science, 15 credits, ES1300, Natural Resources Management, 15 credits, ES1305, Pollutants effects and dispersal on Biological Systems, 15 credits, BIO915, Ecology and Evolution 15 credits, and have read and approved at least one of the following four courses: BIO900, Cell Biology, 15 credits, BIO905, Molecular Genetics, 15 credits, BIO910, Biological Form and Function, 15 credits and BIO920, Biodiversity and Systematics, 15 credits or corresponding courses.

3) Approved courses within the first and second year of the Bachelor program in Marine science, University of Gothenburg. At least 90 of the 120 credits must be passed.

For all three alternatives at least one in depth course of 15 credits in biology is also required.

Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.


Teaching is conducted in the Natrium building, on Medicinareberget in Gothenburg (Medicinaregatan 7B).

Recommended study route

Teaching takes place through lectures, seminars (research presentations), various digital media, exercises and group discussions.