REG-20306 Climate Change Ecology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work38
Course coordinator(s)dr. M Holmgren
Lecturer(s)J Ottenburghs
dr. K Matson
dr. M Holmgren
Examiner(s)dr. K Matson
dr. M Holmgren

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

PEN-10503 Ecology I and PEN-20503 Ecology II

Continuation courses:

REG-30306 Animal Ecology.


Understanding how global climate change affects ecological interactions is fundamentally important for successful conservation and management of ecological resources. This course explores the interactions of biological systems with the climate system and reflects on the impacts of past and current climate changes on different levels of ecological organization (i.e. populations, communities and ecosystems) to prepare students for the challenges of the future. The course complements classical courses on ecological theory and practice by focusing on the implications of climate change for the composition, structure and functioning of ecological systems. The target groups are students from BBN, complemented with students from other programmes.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify direct and indirect effects of climate change on ecological systems;
- apply ecological theories to critically evaluate the impacts of climate change on the conservation and management of resources;
- formulate a research question on climate change ecology;
- collect and analyze data on timing of biological observationsp;
- analyze strengths and weaknesses of scientific approaches;
- communicate scientific findings in written and oral presentations.


We will use a combination of teaching methods that require active participation by all students. Students will work in teams to present a lecture, write a scientific report, and prepare a knowledge clip script to communicate scientific ideas to their classmates.


- lecture 15%;
- final report 30%;
- script 15%;
- final examination 40%.
All assignments are evaluated by the two lecturers, and feedback with regard to the quality of the assignments is given by the supervisor to the students/student groups. The minimum to pass each assignment is 5.5. Evaluations are kept for one academic year.


- Climate Change Biology by Lee Hannah (Elsevier, second edition 2015).
All chapters are currently and freely-downloadable within the WUR computing environment:
- Recent scientific papers.

Compulsory for: BBNForest and Nature ConservationBScB: Spec. B - Ecology and Conservation5MO
Restricted Optional for: WUWLBBSc Minor Wildlife Biodiversity5MO