FSE-31806 Agroecology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical3
Group work3
Excursion (one day)16
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. FJJA Bianchi
Lecturer(s)CJ Timler
dr. ir. TJ Stomph
MAJ Hofmeijer
I Wheeler
dr. ir. WAH Rossing
prof. dr. NPR Anten
dr. ir. FJJA Bianchi
JP Steinfeld
Examiner(s)dr. ir. FJJA Bianchi

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Basic agronomy and crop ecology


Agroecology is the scientific discipline that supports the design of sustainable agroecosystems and encompasses both ecological and social dimensions. The ultimate goal of this course is to train a new generation of agricultural ecologists that are able to integrate disciplines to inform the design and implementation of agroecological innovations at the scales of field to landscape, and as part of sustainable food systems. The course will offer the scientific knowledge bases to achieve that through six complementary modules: (1) the context of agroecology, (2) flows and cycles in agroecosystems, (3) functional biodiversity and ecosystem services, (4) agroecological practices, (5) transformation towards agroecological systems, and (6) integration, capacity building & communication. The course is built following systems thinking and theory, so that the role of human agency is seen as operating through the design of structures (abiotic, biotic, social diversity and their organisation) to achieve desirable functions (resource capture, productivity, recycling, ecological regulation, nutrition, governance).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
• explain the diversity of agroecological systems in terms of dimensions, diversity and value systems;
• explain the dynamics and complexity of agro-ecological interactions;
• analyse the relationship between structure and function of agroecosystems;
• distinguish stakeholder roles and relevance in agroecological innovation;
• integrate and synthesise knowledge to inform the design of agroecological systems


The course will be taught using material which will be provided in Brightspace including Powerpoint presentations, scientific articles, group work exercises, models and games.


Grades are assigned on:
- an individual exam (70%);
- a group work report (30%).
Both grades need to be a 5.5 or higher.


The course will be taught using scientific articles which will be provided in Brightspace.

Restricted Optional for: MOAOrganic AgricultureMScC: Double Degree Agroecology6WD
MOAOrganic AgricultureMScA: Agroecology6WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScC: Natural Resource Management6WD
MPSPlant SciencesMScA: Crop Science6WD
Restricted Optional for: WUSACBSc Minor Sustainable Agriculture and Consumption6WD