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Study unifying principles of biology

Evolutionary Biology and Ecology

Are you ready to learn how toxic chemicals may be related to human health problems? Or do you want to learn more about animal adaptation to human environments? And are you interested in ecosystem modelling?

Via studying the unifying principles of biology, the programme provides an in-depth treatment of selected topics in modern biological sciences, in such a way that students are stimulated to pursue their further studies in a specialized graduate programme focused on one of these topics. At the same time, this minor provides a broad basis for pursuing a general biology graduate programme combined with a professional career in education or science communication.

Related VU master’s programmes: 

Ecology and Evolution 

Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Environment and Resource Management

Overview courses

  • Ecosystem Modelling

    Uses the acquired understanding of ecosystems, climate and carbon cycling as a basis to explain current ecological processes as well as to project these into the future.

  • Environmental Toxicology

    Offers an in depth insight into the recognition, analysis and prediction of environmental and human health problems caused by potentially toxic chemicals. 

  • Adaptation to Human Environments

    Explores the multiple ways in which animals have evolved adaptations that help them to survive in ever-changing environments (including urbanization).

  • Behavioural Biology

    Spans the animal kingdom and approach important behaviours from evolutionary, developmental, functional and mechanistic angles. Topics will include cooperation, consciousness, aggression, play, reproduction and personalities. 

  • Evolutionary Genetics

    Discusses genome evolution in pro- and eukaryotes, evolution of chloroplasts and mitochondria, horizontal DNA transfer, evolutionary consequences of genome evolution and sex, as well as causes of speciation.