BIO-info (en)

Category: 2016 – Week 9

Frå toppen – Week 9: Excellence in teaching

Thursday I had the pleasure to attend the Olav Thon Foundation Award Ceremony for 2016 in the University Aula in Oslo. It was of course especially nice to witness the national awards for excellence in education both to Karin Pittman and Christian Jørgensen from BIO, in company with four other colleagues from different Norwegian universities. The awards amount to 500.000 NOK each. In addition, Anne Gro Vea Salvanes was awarded 1,2 million NOK to her national tuition-related research project «Ecosystem, climate, and variation in a maritime mini-ecosystem: a fjord in Western Norway». Very nice, and well deserved! Congratulations to all three!

Christian is also displayed on the front page of Forskerforum, the magazine of Forskerforbundet, where you can find a longer piece on our excellent Center for excellence in biology education, bioCEED. – The problem is not to have teaching with a high halleluja factor, the question is what the students actually learn, says center leader Vigdis Vandvik in an interview. Both politicians and rectors have started to talk about the importance of raising the status of teaching, both as a criterium when recruiting new employees, and as an expectation to our faculty. bioCEED has put the focus on systematic quality assessments and developing a teacher culture with focus on quality in teaching.

Based on inspiration from Lund, bioCEED also has taken the initiative to establish a system for meriting excellence in teaching at UiB. The system proposed will be based on application from each candidate and build on portfolio assessment. Criteria like focus on what the students learn, development over time, and a scientific approach to teaching, will form the basis of status as excellent teacher, with accompanying salary rise. A similar proposal is presented in the fresh report Innsats for kvalitet from a committee appointed by UiT and NTNU.

What are we waiting for?

Hilsen Anders


Featured news – week 9: Online with the students

Online with the students

What the students want, is not necessarily what they learn the most from. New digital learning tools can be a breath of fresh air in passive lectures.

christian_jørgensen fra Forskerforbundet (ikke bruksrett)

– I don’t like to teach. I find the teaching situation uncomfortable says associate professor Chrstian Jørgensen at the Department of Biology at the University of Bergen (UiB). Yet, he has won several prices for his teaching practices. Last year he was awarded the teaching environment award (Læringsmiljøprisen) at UiB, and in January he was awarded for excellence in education from the Olav Thon Foundation, for among others developing student active, dialog based teaching practices.

Now in his office at the Department of Biology, Jørgensen has a full semester with no teaching ahead of him. – Even if I don’t like to teach, I don’t like to do a poor job either. One must respect the students’ time. If you have a lecture for 150 students for 2 hours, those are 300  valuable hours that can go down the drain.

Read rest of the article in the last edition of Forskerforum or on

Photo of the week – Week 9: Excellence in education – Three Olav Thon prizes for BIO

On Thursday’s ceremony of Olav Thon Foundation’s awards for 2016, BIO got three prizes! Karin Pittman and Christian Jørgensen were each awarded their national prize (500.000 NOK) for excellent teaching, while Anne Gro Vea Salvanes was awarded 1.2 mill NOK as support for the national teaching related research project “Ecosystem, climate and variation in a mini-ocean ecocyctem: A Western Norwegian fjord”. It is the second time Olav Thon Foundation hands out prizes and support for excellent research and teaching within sciences.

Anne Gro Vea Salvanes mottar støtte til sitt undervisningsprosjekt av Olav Thon

Anne Gro Vea Salvanes receives support for her teaching project by Olav Thon

Karin Pittman mottar prisen for fremragende undervisning av Olav Thon

Karin Pittman recieves the prize for excellent teaching by Olav Thon

Christian Jørgensen mottar prisen for fremragende undervisning av Olav Thon

Christian Jørgensen receives the prize for excellent teaching by Olav Thon

Stolte prisvinnere! Fra v. jurymedlem Lise Øvreås, Anne Gro Vea Salvanes, Christian Jørgensen, Karin Pittman, viserektor Oddrun Samdal og instituttleder Anders Goksøyr

The prize winners! From left: jury member Lise Øvreås, Anne Gro Vea Salvanes, Christian Jørgensen, Karin Pittman, Vice Principle Oddrun Samdal and Head of Department Anders Goksøyr


Photo and text: Anders Goksøyr, Photo: Katja Enberg


thonpriser_utdeling_foto oddrunsamdal@twitter

.@UiB is proud Thon awards for teaching excellence to Prof. Karin Pittman and Christian Jørgensen! Hooray!
Congratulations Prof Anne Gro Salvanes @UiB for Thon funds for study of student active biology teaching in the west Norwegian fjord!

Photo and text: Oddrun Samdal @ Twitter (translated by BIO-info editors)

SAA – Week 9: Open Day at BIO

Open day

UiB open their doors for students from high schools all over the country next Wednesday. Western Norway is well represented, but students are arriving from all over the country. Here at BIO we host “Biologisk Fagdag” from 9am to 3pm. Thanks for the research groups in Fisheries ecology and aquaculture, Environmental toxicology and Marine biodiversity that contributes with exciting labs for the students!

Research – Week 9

WUN Conference, symposium and workshops in Maastricht, 2nd-4th of April 2016

UIB is a member of the Worlwide Universities Network (WUN). In connection with their upcoming annual meeting, WUN has arranged several conferences, workshops and a symposium in Maastricht, April 2nd-4th, 2016. The programs for the various events are available on the conference website.

Registration deadline: 24.03.2016. More info (Norwegian only).

NORHED conference on “Knowledge for Development” in Oslo, 6th-7th of June

This conference is open to all and the topic should be of interest to many:

The conference will have a broad focus on topics such as university partnerships, the role of universities for development, linkages between higher education and development, the geography and power of knowledge, gender and diversity in higher education and research, and the role of higher education and research for the SDG agenda.

Registration deadline: 15.03.2015 More info.


Upcoming events – Week 9

Announcement: Group B, election to the University Board 2016-2017

Catch an important and exciting opportunity to have an impact on the University’s future. There will be an election of a group B-representative (temporary academic position) for the University Board. Read more about this here.

Man's hand down the ballot in the ballot box. Isolated on white


Master exam – Alexander Price: “East Antarctic gypsum aggregates. A new niche for bacterial communities and a novel target for environmental palaeomicrobiology.”

Alexander Price will Friday 11th of March present his master thesis in Biology, Microbiology
Supervisors: Lise Øvreås, Joachim Jacobs. Internal examiner: Jon Vidar Helvik. Examiner: Jørn Einen.
Time and location: Friday 11th of March, at 10:15, Seminarrom K1, Biologen
All who are intersted are welcome.

Ph.D. Midterm evaluation Eliana Ruiz Martinez: “VIMPACT Estimating viral impact and Cost of Resistance on marine phytoplankton communities.”

Eliana Ruiz Martinez will present status and progress for her Ph.D. project.
Supervisors: Antonio Pagarete, Ruth Anne Sandaa
Evaluation committee: Professor Arild Folkvord (leder), Professor Lise Øverås, Professor Øyvind Fiksen
Time and location: Wednesday 9th of March at 10:00, Seminarrom K3, Biologen
All who are intersted are welcome.

Ph.D. Midterm evaluation Caroline Armitage: “Codium fragile and Sargassum muticum: Non-native macroalgae in a changing environment.”

Caroline Armitage will present status and progress for her Ph.D. project.
Supervisors: Kjersti Sjøtun, Vivian Husa
Evaluation committee: Professor Gunnar Bratbak (leder), Førsteamanuensis Richard Telford, Senioringeniør Kenneth Meland
Time and location: Thursday 10th of March at. 10:15, Big aud., Høyteknologisenteret
All who are intersted are welcome.

New publications – Week 9

Andersen GL, Krzywinski K, Gjessing HK, Pierce RH (2016) Seed viability and germination success of Acacia tortilis along land-use and aridity gradients in the Eastern Sahara. Ecology and Evolution 6:256-266   Michaelsen TC (2016) Summer temperature and precipitation govern bat diversity at northern latitudes in Norway. Mammalia 80:1-9   Tao H-H, Slade EM,…

Welfare, HR and HSE – Week 9

New employee

Bagmi Pattanaik was temporarily employed 02/22/2016 as a researcher on the project Neosaxitoxin – “Production of Neosaxitoxin using Genetic Methods” with Nils-Kåre Birkeland. Welcome!


Bagmi Pattanaik


Join «Biking to work»!

Biking to work is an informal activity campaign promoting physical activity. Read more about the campaign here (Norwegian) and sign up your team!