AB-836 Arctic Mycology (10 ECTS)






Autumn semester (July–August), annually. Cancelled in 2023.

Lepista multiforme (NO: Fjellridderhatt). Photo: Jürgen Kolb

Grade:Letter grade (A through F)
Course Cost:Fieldwork, NOK 600 (3 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
Course Capacity Min/Max:9/18 students (AB-336/836 in total)
Language of instruction:English
Examination support material:Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue

Course requirements

Enrolment in a relevant PhD programme.

Academic content

Fungi are one of the most species-rich groups of organisms in the Arctic, and have significant impact on Arctic ecosystem processes. However, knowledge of Arctic fungi is still scarce, making Arctic mycology an exciting topic. Through lectures, exercises and fieldwork, the course will cover topics such as:

  • Arctic fungal diversity, including taxonomic identification through field recognition, classical microscopy and recent molecular technology.
  • Arctic fungal ecology, including how mycorrhizal, saprotrophic and pathogenic fungi drive nutrient and energy cycling in the Arctic.
  • Fungal physiology.
  • Mutualistic relationships, such as the lichen symbiosis.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the students will:


Have insight into the diversity, function, and ecology of Arctic fungi, and various fungal symbioses and their importance in the Arctic ecosystem. Know and be able to explain current mycological methods and research questions.


Be able to identify fungi both in the laboratory and in the field. Have skills in study design, data analysis and technical report writing.

General competences

Have gained competence in problem solving related to Arctic mycology research, in the field, in the lab and at a theoretical level. Have competence in both creative and critical thinking in relation to the development of research projects, methodology, and evaluation of one’s own and published data.

Learning activities

The course extends over 4 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AB-336.

Learning activities includes lectures, seminars, laboratory work, day trips and excursions involving overnight stays. Within the context of a “hands-on” project, students will be trained in study design, data evaluation and technical report writing. Each PhD student must prepare and present scientific papers for discussion during seminar sessions.


  • Total lecture hours: 20 hours.
  • Exercises/seminars: 8 hours.
  • Laboratory work: 8–10 days.
  • Excursions: 3–4 days.

Compulsory learning activities

All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

  • Excursions
  • Laboratory work
  • Preparation and presentation of scientific papers


  • All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
  • Only the final grade will be reported, based on an average of the grades from the examination parts.
Percentage of final grade
 Written report 70%
 Oral exam 30%

Student life

Persons looking at two polar bears, Isfjord Radio/Kapp Linné, Svalbard. Photo: Kevin Newsham
Keeping watch over a family of polar bears at Isfjord Radio, Kapp Linné in 2014. Photo: Kevin Newsham
Persons in Colesdalen, Svalbard. Photo: Kevin Newsham
The Arctic Mycology course in Colesdalen in 2015. Photo: Kevin Newsham