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

Activity no.: 5096-19-01-31 
Enrollment deadline: 31/07/2019
Date and time19.08.2019, at: 00:00 - 24.08.2019, at: 00:00
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
Exam formContinuous assessment
Exam detailsThe course will be assessed continuously on a Pass/Fail basis.A t the end of the course every student is expected to have individually collected, mounted and identified several Danish ant species.
Grading scalePassed / Not passed
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Preparation / Self-Study54.00
Course hours50.00


The course is designed to give an introduction to the diversity of the European Ant fauna, and to give hands-on experience of methods for collecting, preserving, mounting and identifying ant specimens. During the course, we will have a series of short lectures on diversity and ecology from two guest lecturers, one an expert on the Southern European ant fauna, and the other an expert on Northern European ants. These will be supplemented by lectures by experts from Copenhagen on general topics of European ant ecology, including invasive species and social parasites. The main body of the course will then provide a practical introduction to the taxonomy and morphology-based identification of ant specimens, using specimens from the Natural History Museum of Denmark. A mid-week field excursion to several sites with different habitats will then allow students to collect their own ants, which they will subsequently mount and identify. We will finish the course with discussions on tips and tricks to use in the identification of "difficult" groups, and alternatives to morphology-based taxonomy and identification.

The course will take place 09:00-18:00 Monday to Saturday in colloquium room 1, Building 3, Universitetsparken 15. Each student will be provided with access to a stereo microscope and materials required for collecting and mounting ant specimens.

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.

Prior to the course, each student will be given access to selected literature and taxonomic keys that will be used during the course, the reading and digestion of which will constitute the self-study part of the course.

Guest lecturer 1:
Associate Professor Riitta Savoilainen
University of Helsinki, Finland

Guest lecturer 2:
Dr. Associate Professor, Curator Christos Georgiadis
University of Athens, Greece

Teacher 1 from UCPH-SCIENCE:
Associate Professor David Richard Nash, DRNash@bio.ku.dk

Teacher 2 from UCPH-SCIENCE:
Associate Professor Jes Søe Pedersen, JSPedersen@bio.ku.dk

Teacher 3 from UCPH-SCIENCE:
Associate Professor, Curator Lars Vilhelmsen, lbvilhelmsen@snm.ku.dk

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