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28.01.2022 22:40:06
bio655 - Ornithology
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Module label Ornithology
Module code bio655
Credit points 12.0 KP
Workload 360 h
Institute directory Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences
Applicability of the module
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
  • Master's Programme Biology (Master) > Background Modules
Responsible persons
Liedvogel, Miriam (Module responsibility)
Klump, Georg Martin (Module counselling)
Bouwhuis, Sandra (Module counselling)
Köppl, Christine (Module counselling)
Langemann, Ulrike (Module counselling)
Mouritsen, Henrik (Module counselling)
Schmaljohann, Heiko (Module counselling)
Feenders, Gesa (Module counselling)
Liedvogel, Miriam (Authorized examiners)
Klump, Georg Martin (Authorized examiners)
Bouwhuis, Sandra (Authorized examiners)
Köppl, Christine (Authorized examiners)
Langemann, Ulrike (Authorized examiners)
Mouritsen, Henrik (Authorized examiners)
Schmaljohann, Heiko (Authorized examiners)
Feenders, Gesa (Authorized examiners)
Skills to be acquired in this module
The module imparts advanced knowledge on different aspects of ornithology. The students acquire:
  • An extended knowledge of morphological 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

++ deepened biological expertise
+ deepened knowledge of biological working methods
+ 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 and Physiology of Birds”, a seminar accompanying the lecture “Current Questions of Ornithology”, a seminar “Behavioural Ecology of Birds", and a seminar "Methods in Field Ornithology".

Lecture “Ecology and Physiology of Birds”:
This lecture consolidates special aspects of systematics, morphology, physiology, migration, orientation, population biology, communication and behavioural ecology in 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 treated in the lecture. Every student reads a paper on one scientific article and 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.
Reader's advisory
Bairlein F (1996) Ökologie der Vögel. G. Fischer, Stuttgart.
Bennett PM, Owens IPF (2002) Evolutionary Ecology of birds: Life histories, mating systems, and extinction. Oxford
Berthold P (1996) Control of bird migration. Chapman & Hall, London.
Berthold P, Gwinner E, Sonnenschein E (2003) Avian migration. Springer, Berlin.
Brooke M, Birkhead T (1991) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ornithology. Cambridge UP, Cambridge.
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
Farner DS, King JR (eds., 1971-1993) Avian Biology. Vol. I-IX. Academic Press, New York.
Furness RW, Monaghan P (1987) Seabird Ecology. Blackie, Glasgow.
Gill FB (1990) Ornithology. Freeman, New York.
Gwinner E (1990) Bird migration. Springer, Berlin.
Perrins CM, Birkhead TR (1983) Avian Ecology. Blackie, Glasgow.
Phillips JG, Butler PJ, Sharp PJ (1985) Physiological Strategies in Avian Biology. Blackie, Glasgow.
Podulka S, Rohrbaugh RW, Bonney R (2004) Handbook of Bird Biology. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca.
Scanes CG (2015) Sturkie's Avian Physiology, 6th edition. Academic Press
Scott G (2010) Essential Ornithology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Partiticipating Institution: Institut für Vogelforschung
Languages of instruction German, English
Duration (semesters) 1 Semester
Module frequency
Module capacity 30
Reference text
associated with bio900
Modullevel / module level MM (Mastermodul / Master module)
Modulart / typ of module Wahlpflicht / Elective
Lehr-/Lernform / Teaching/Learning method
Vorkenntnisse / Previous knowledge
Course type Comment SWS Frequency Workload of compulsory attendance
4 WiSe 56
4 WiSe 56
Total time of attendance for the module 112 h
Examination Time of examination Type of examination
Final exam of module
Klausur in der letzten Vorlesungswoche
Presentations 40% (the main seminar is mandatory, one of the two options one need to be taken)
Written examination 60%
Regular active participation is required for the module to be passed successfully.