bio655 - Ornithology in theoretical Concepts (Complete module description)

bio655 - Ornithology in theoretical Concepts (Complete module description)

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Module label Ornithology in theoretical Concepts
Modulkürzel bio655
Credit points 12.0 KP
Workload 360 h
Institute directory Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences
Verwendbarkeit des Moduls
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
Zuständige Personen
  • Liedvogel, Miriam (module responsibility)
  • Bouwhuis, Sandra (Module counselling)
  • Köppl, Christine (Module counselling)
  • Langemann, Ulrike (Module counselling)
  • Mouritsen, Henrik (Module counselling)
  • Schmaljohann, Heiko (Module counselling)
  • Liedvogel, Miriam (Prüfungsberechtigt)
  • Bouwhuis, Sandra (Prüfungsberechtigt)
  • Köppl, Christine (Prüfungsberechtigt)
  • Langemann, Ulrike (Prüfungsberechtigt)
  • Mouritsen, Henrik (Prüfungsberechtigt)
  • Schmaljohann, Heiko (Prüfungsberechtigt)
Skills to be acquired in this module

The aim of the module is to consolidate various aspects of ornithology. The module imparts advanced knowledge on different aspects of ornithology.

The students acquire:

An extended knowledge of behavioural, sensory, morphological and physiological characteristics in birds and relevant fundamental concept in conservation, ecology and evolution smorphological and physiological fundamentals and the resulting ecological and behaviour-biological consequences in birds

Knowledge, presentation and discussion of relevant English literature from various fields of ornithology

++ broad and deepened biological expertise

+ deepened in depths knowledge of biological working methods

+ interdisciplinary thinking

+ critical and analytical thinking

+ independent searching and knowledge of scientific literature

++ data presentation and discussion in German and English (written and spoken)

Module contents

The module is composed of the lecture “Ecology, evolution and sensory biology in birds”, a seminar accompanying the lecture “Current Questions in Ornithology”, a seminar “Behavioural Ecology of Birds", and a seminar "Methods in Field Ornithology".

Lecture “Ecology, evolution and sensory biology in birds”:

This lecture covers in-depth and specific aspects of phylogeny, speciation and hybridisation, bird migration, orientation, behavioural ecology, population biology, life history and sensory systems of birds. Seminar “Current Questions of Ornithology”:

In this seminar, original English publications are presented and discussed which deal with current research results from various fields covered in the lectures. Every student reads a paper on one scientific article, presents the studyand discusses the results of that article with the other participants.

Seminar “Behavioural Ecology of Birds” (option 1):

In the seminar, current literature relating to the life history of birds will be reported. During the term, each participant is presenting an original paper in a short talk and the group of students will be guided to critically discuss the paper.

Seminar "Methods in Field Ornithology" (option 2):

The core methods of field ornithology, such as stable isotopes, bird census, ringing, radar, radio tracking, etc., will be introduced with the help of English scientific papers by the students. In the presentations the corresponding methods will be explained in detail with an emphasis on the pros and cons of the method. The aim of this seminar is to learn how to deal with scientific methods in a critical way.

Bairlein F (2022) Das große Buch vom Vogelzug: Eine umfassende Gesamtdarstellung. AULA-Verlag

Bennett PM, Owens IPF (2002) Evolutionary Ecology of birds: Life histories, mating systems, and extinction. Oxford

Berthold P, Gwinner E, Sonnenschein E (2003) Avian migration. Springer, Berlin.

Carey C (1996) Avian energetics and nutritional ecology. Chapman & Hall, New York.

Catchpole CK, Slater PJB (1995) Bird song. Cambridge UP, Cambridge.

Danchin E, Giraldeau L-A, Cezilly F (2008) Behavioural Ecology. Oxford

Gill FB (2007). Ornithology, 3rd edition (London: W.H. Freeman & Company)

Lovette IJ, Fitzpatrick JW (2017) Handbook of Bird Biology – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2017). 3rd edition

Scanes CG (2015) Sturkie's Avian Physiology, 6th edition. Academic Press

Scott G (2010) Essential Ornithology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.


Partiticipating Institution: Institute of Avian Research für Vogelforschung

Language of instruction English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency winter term
Module capacity 30
Reference text
associated with bio663
Type of module Wahlpflicht / Elective
Module level MM (Mastermodul / Master module)
Teaching/Learning method Vorlesung, Seminar
Form of instruction Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
Lecture 4 WiSe 56
Seminar 4 WiSe 56
Präsenzzeit Modul insgesamt 112 h
Examination Prüfungszeiten Type of examination
Final exam of module
exam during final lecture week
3 exams:
- 2 presentations (20% each; the main seminar is mandatory, one of the two options need to be taken in addition)
- 1 written exam or 1 oral exam (60%)
Regular active participation is required for the module to be passed successfully.