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300182 PP Case studies on the ecology and biodiversity of tropical vertebrates (2019W)

in a lowland rainforest in Costa Rica

10.00 ECTS (6.00 SWS), SPL 30 - Biologie
Continuous assessment of course work



max. 6 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The preliminary meeting will be on 1st October 2019 at 14:30 in the seminar room at Rennweg 14. Fieldwork will be conducted between 16th and 30th November 2019. Appointments for the subsequent data analysis will be made individually with the supervisor.

Tuesday 01.10. 14:30 - 16:30 Seminarraum (Fakultätszentrum für Biodiversität) Rennweg EG
Tuesday 03.03. 15:00 - 18:00 Hörsaal (Fakultätszentrum für Biodiversität) Rennweg EG
Monday 30.03. 17:00 - 18:30 Seminarraum (Fakultätszentrum für Biodiversität) Rennweg EG


Aims, contents and method of the course

The field course will be conducted at the Tropical Research Station La Gamba, which is located in the lowlands of southern Costa Rica. The course will address a wide variety of different research topics ranging from behavioral ecology to community ecology of tropical vertebrates, mainly using birds as model organisms. Birds will be caught with mist nests in different habitats ranging from primary rainforests to differently disturbed secondary forests. In addition to species identification, the participants will be trained in how to handle caught birds and how to take various morphological measurements. Based on the collected data a variety of research aspects will be studied. The data analysis will be supervised individually in consultation with the supervisor.

The costs of the course will be approximately 650 Euros excluding the costs for flight tickets.

Assessment and permitted materials

(1) The results of all research projects have to be presented in a seminar (contribution to final mark: 1/3). (2) A written report (= Bachelor thesis) has to be submitted after the end of the course (contribution to final mark: 2/3).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

In addition to a total average grade of 4, the participation in all fieldwork days (maximum 1 day of absence possible) will be necessary for a successful completion of the course.

Examination topics

The results of the individual small research projects will be presented in form of a seminar talk (approx. 15 min.). The content and structure of the presentation will be used for the evaluation. Furthermore, the written scientific manuscript will be used for the evaluation. Particular attention will be paid on: (1) a clear development of the research questions / hypotheses in the introduction section, (2) a comprehensible description of the methodological approach, (3) a clear presentation of the results, (4) as well as the adequate discussion of these results, considering relevant literature.

Reading list

Richard Garrigues (2014): The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide. 2nd edition. Zona Tropical Publications. Zona Tropical Publications.

Additional literature will be provided at the preliminary meeting.

Association in the course directory

BOE 13, BZO 13

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21