Biodiversity and global changes


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)
Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (3rd Cycle)
Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DI011
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Urban Šilc, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 30 hours, seminar 15 hours, field work 15 hours, individual work 120 hours.
Course type: common elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars, e-learning


Course syllabus (download)


Finished bachelor’s degree in Biology or equivalent program of study.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Global patterns of biodiversity
  • Measuring species diversity
  • Genetic diversity
  • Ecosystems
  • Climate variability, climate change and the greenhouse effects
  • Biotic vulnerability, response and adaptations to climate change
  • Future impact of climate change



  • Rosenzweig M.L. (1995). Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lovejoy T. E., ‎Hannah L. J. (2005). Climate Change and Biodiversity. Yale University Press.


Objectives and competences:

Through the course, students will be familiarized with the global patterns of biodiversity and its measurement, from the genetic to ecosystem level. Students will understand the mechanisms that generate biodiversity and how these mechanisms are affected by climate change today and in the future. The course will explain the climate system and the greenhouse effect, the observed impact of recent climate changes, future projections of the impact of climate change, and modern approaches for predicting future global changes.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Understanding how diversity of species and communities is changing in space and time and how to measure it.
  • Students will understand how biota responds to climate change: what is the response of single species and how whole communities and ecosystems are affected.
  • Students will gain insight into modern trends in climate change research.



Seminar (20 %), exam (80 %).