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Taxonomy, Identification and Ecology of European Ants
Provider: Faculty of Science

Activity no.: 5090-17-01-31 
Enrollment deadline: 28/08/2017
PlaceDepartment of Biology
Date and time28.08.2017, at: 09:00 - 02.09.2017, at: 16:00
Regular seats20
ECTS credits4.00
Contact personDavid Richard Nash    E-mail address: drnash@bio.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserDavid Richard Nash    E-mail address: drnash@bio.ku.dk
Written languageEnglish
Teaching languageEnglish
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Preparation / Self-Study50.00


Provisional timetable:

Day 1: Introduction to the European ant fauna (taxonomy, distribution).
Ecology of European ants.
Invasive ants in Europe.

Day 2: Introduction to the identification of European ants.
Visit to the hymenoptera collections of the SNM.
Practical on identification of European ants (using specimens from SNM).
Ant photography

Day 3: Field excursion to collect ants in Sjælland.

Day 4: Practical on preparing ants for identification.

Identification of ants collected during field excursion.
Tips and tricks for ant identification.

Day 5: Identification of ants collected during field excursion (continued).
Overview of the Danish ant fauna and what we found in Sjælland.
Discussion of problematic groups.
Social event (dinner).

Day 6: Molecular techniques to examine ant ecology, phylogenetics and phylogeography.
Discussion of the biogeography and evolution of European ants

Learning outcome
At the end of the course, students should have an appreciation of the evolutionary history and general
ecology of the European ant fauna, and have a toolkit of skills and resources enabling them to identify any
European ant species.


Dr. David Richard Nash, Department of Biology
Dr. Jes Søe Pedersen, Department of Biology

The following international researchers have provisionally agreed to act as guest lecturers for the course in

Dr. Riitta Savolainen, Helsinki, Finland
Dr. Riitta Savolainen received her Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki, in 1989, and has been employed as
a lecturer there since 2013, having completed her Docentship in 1996. She has published more than 30
articles in international peer-reviewed journals, and more than ten popular articles, most dealing with
northern European ants. She has worked on the ecology of most of the major groups of European ants, and
has extensive experience with ants from southern Spain to northern Finland, as well as Russia, Canada, the
USA and Australia. She has run courses on Finnish ants at the Tvärminne Zoological Station near Helsinki
since 1984, in collaboration with Kari Vepsäläinen (now retired). Riitta is an ideal guest lecturer for this
course, combining as she does a deep working knowledge of and enthusiasm for the northern European ant
fauna with extensive experience of introducing this to students.
For more details see:

Dr. Christos Georgiadis, Athens, Greece (guest lecturer in 2014)
Dr. Chris Georgiadis is an expert on the taxonomy of Southern European ants, and is both an assistant
professor at the Department of Biology, University of Athens, and assistant curator of entomology at the
Museum of Zoology, Athens. Although he only received his Ph.D. in 2013, he is already recognized as one of
the foremost experts on the ants of Greece, and has set up and run student courses dealing with the ant
fauna of the region. He has also initiated many taxonomic projects that are highly relevant to the course,
and has been invited to teach on several additional ant courses since he taught in Copenhagen in 2014. He
proved a very popular teacher in 2014, representing, as he does, a new dynamic generation of taxonomists
who apply cutting edge techniques to established taxonomic problems.
For more details, see: https://chroniclevitae.com/people/218602-christosgeorgiadis/

104 hours

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