ENT-54306 Insect Ecology


Studiepunten 6.00

Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. EH Poelman
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. M Dicke
dr. DK Aanen
dr. PW de Jong
prof. dr. BJ Zwaan
ing. J Zandveld
dr. EH Poelman
Examiner(s)prof. dr. M Dicke

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

PEN-10503 Ecology I.

Continuation courses:

Other courses in the BSc minor Applied Ecology and Durable Management of Insects and ENT-30306 Ecological Aspects of Bio-interactions; PHP-30806 Molecular Aspects of Bio-interactions.


This course addresses the ecology of insects with an emphasis on biological traits that are characteristic for insects. Main topics are:
- adaptation to extreme environmental conditions, diapause and migration;
- evolution of life-histories, r and K strategies, selection on life-history components in the context of lifetime fitness;
- population genetics of insects;
- behavioural ecology of insects;
- parasitoid lifestyle, optimal foraging, host selection, offspring allocation strategies;
- population dynamics, especially of parasitoid-host interactions;
- diversity and stability in insect communities;
- mutualism in insect ecology, pollination, insect-microbe mutualism;
- genetics and reproduction: haplodiploidy, sex allocation strategies, sib-mating, evolution of clutch size.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- demonstrate insight into the ecology of insects in the context of the unique biological features characteristic of insects;
- recognize state-of-the-art scientific advances in the behaviour, ecological genetics, life-history evolution, reproduction and adaptation to extreme environmental conditions of insects;
- apply ecological principles to the specific biology of insects;
- carry out experiments to investigate ecological questions related to insects.


- lectures;
- experiments addressing the life-history and searching behaviour of insects;
- writing a report that incorporates knowledge from recent literature in the field of insect ecology.


The examination is based on a written exam, the report on the experimental work, including discussion of literature and on the performance in the practical.


Literature that covers the lectures content will be provided on Brightspace.

Verplicht voor: WUEBCBSc Minor Ecology and Biological Control of Insects4WD