Northern Biodiversity Hotspots, Plants and Insects of Skibotn

Course website
You can find additional information about this course on the ForBio website.

29 July - 3 August 2019

Course description
This course will include two options running in parallel groups. One provides training in identification of Boreal and Arctic groups of flowering plants and another is in collection and identification of main groups of insects with a focus on Diptera. The course will take place in Skibotn area with remarkably high species number for such northern latitudes (68-69 degrees N) challenging the general concept that species richness decreases as latitude increases. Daily excursions to both lowland and mountain habitats will be combined with practical work in the class to identify the collected materials using the identification keys and learn diagnostic characters of plant and insect taxa.

Practical experience with morphology based species identification is in high demand in both basic and applied biological research. You will study applied taxonomy, acquire identification and field collection skills, as well as learn how to prepare and mount the specimens for preservation in museum collections.

This course is accredited by the University of Tromsø as amounting 2.5 ECTS. Course code Bio-8024. See pervious course description here. Please be aware that this is a last year version of the course. UiT webpages were not yet updated for the next semester.

Performance during the practical parts of the course and a practical exam (pass/or fail), which will be arranged on the last day of the course. The exam will consist of identification of specimens using keys and documenting the distinct morphological characters of the specimens that are used to classify it to taxa at different taxonomic levels. For entomology group the assessment will include mouting and identification of own collections.

Course language

Target audience
The course is primarily intended for PhD students and post-docs. However, it is also open for Master students and non-students.

Skibotn field station, University of Tromsø, Storfjord, Troms, North Norway


Dr. Andy Sortland - University of Tromsø
Dr. Galina Gussarova - University of Tromsø and University of Oslo
Dr. Elisabeth Stur - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Dr. Jostein Kjærandsen - University of Tromsø

Participant quota
Max. 15 people

Travel to Tromsø has to be booked separately but the bus to the field station, the accommodation, and meals are included.


Application deadline

Payment deadline and details will be provided upon acceptance to the course.

ForBio is the organiser of this course and provides financial support. It will cover the registration fee and travel costs for members registered at Scandinavian universities and research institutes.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith