BB824: An Introduction to the Biology of Marine Mammals (5 ECTS)

STADS: 04006701

Master's level course

Teaching period
The course is offered in the spring semester.

Teacher responsible
Magnus Wahlberg, Lektor, Ph.d.
Tlf.: 6550 9585 Email:

Group Type Day Time Classroom Weeks Comment
Common I Monday 12-18 Ekskursion 07,10
S1 TE Monday 12-16 U156 06
S1 TL Monday 12-16 U156 08
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Ekskursion fredag, lørdag og søndag uge 10.


Academic preconditions:
The Bachelor degree in Biology or the equivalent should be passed.

Course introduction
The aim of the course is to introduce the students to selected topics in the biology of marine mammals with the main focus on anatomy of the animals, physiology, biology of the senses, and ecology.

Expected learning outcome
By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Generally explain marine mammal evolution, physiology including thermoregulation and sensory physiology, orientation biology, distribution, reproductive biology, population biology and molecular genetics for this purpose, and by-catch problems.
  • Work in a small group on a limited, practical project concerning marine mammal biology.
  • Work in a small group when preparing a written report over the results of a practical project.
  • Use modern scientific methods to study marine mammals.
  • Discuss scientific articles and modern scientific results concerning marine mammals.
  • Oral and written presentation techniques.
Subject overview
Anatomy including dissection
Sense physiology
Hearing and sound production, echolocation
Population biology
Visiting museums
Field trip: measuring of hearings, diving response, foragings behavior

  • Hoelzel: Marine mammal biology, an evolutionary approach.

This course uses e-learn (blackboard).

Prerequisites for participating in the exam

Assessment and marking:
Active participation (min. 80%) during lectures, and in the discussion groups during the practicals. Approval of the written project report and oral presentation of the results and conclusions. Pass/fail, internal evaluation by teacher.

Expected working hours
The teaching method is based on three phase model.
Intro phase: 10 hours
Skills training phase: 40 hours, hereof:
 - Excursion: 10 hours

Educational activities Study phase: 75 hours

This course is taught in English.

There is a minimum of 10 participants.

Course enrollment
See deadline of enrolment.

Tuition fees for single courses
See fees for single courses.