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Animal Diversity - Vertebrates

Vertebrates – fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals make up over 60 000 living species distributed globally. This is a course for all biologists. With the evolutionary tree as a backbone, you will examine the evolution and characteristics of vertebrates from fishlike animals 300 million years ago to the present diversity.

Information for admitted students Spring 2022

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from your department

On this page you will shortly find information on registration, learning platform, etc.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

Find your way on campus

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New student

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Student unions

For new international students

Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

This is an advanced full-time course dedicated to the diversity and evolution of vertebrates, a.k.a craniates. It can be taken as a standalone course or as a component of the NABIS Master programme. The course language is English. The course covers all aspects of vertebrate phylogeny and evolution, starting with early chordates, and proceeding with information from both fossils and extant taxa, emphasizing character evolution along the phylogenetic tree, exploring the diversification expressed in all the other fish, the reptiles and amphibians, the birds and the mammals, and everything in between. In the end you will be confident to navigate up and down the phylogenetic tree and recognize vertebrate taxa.

  • Course structure

    Teaching format

    Animal Diversity — Vertebrates is an on-line only course based on the Athena platform. E-techs are distributed as texts and PowerPoints covering specific moments. Teachers give regular presentations by ZOOM or chats in Athena. Students are assigned with a compulsory short essay capturing the main points of the course. Attendance to teacher presentations is compulsory.

    Learning outcomes

    A list of the learning outcomes can be found in the syllabus. Please find the link to the syllabus on the right side of this page.


    Examination for the course takes place through written examinations.


    Sven Kullander



    Sven Kullander (lower vertebrates)

    Daniela Kalthoff (mammals)

    Ulf Johansson (birds)

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    No mandatory course book.

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Student office
    Study counsellor (advanced level)