Department of
Biological Sciences

Researcher, PhD
Tom J. Langbehn

Teaching experience

I have teaching experience at various academic levels, including undergraduate (BSc), graduate (MSc), and PhD levels. In the past years, I have predominantly taught the following courses:

BIO325 Ocean Science: Module 3 - North Sea Student research cruise, Autumn 2020-2022, 20 graduate students

Ocean Science is a comprehensive 20 ECTS course comprised of four modules, spanning the entire autumn semester. From 2020 to 2023, I assumed responsibility for Module 3, taking over from Katja Enberg. Within Module 3, my role involved coordinating and overseeing the logistics and educational aspects of a week-long teaching cruise across the North Sea, usually aboard the RV G.O. Sars.

In 2019, under Katja's leadership, the course underwent a significant overhaul. Key changes included the integration of student-led research projects conducted in collaborative teams. In this framework, students developed and planned their research projects centered around a focal topic (life-histories and distribution of Great Argentine). Subsequently, students had the opportunity execute these research plans and to collect their own data during the survey, analyze the information, and compile their findings into survey reports. The assessment structure was expanded to encompass competence demonstrations conducted on board. This included a fish faunistic exam and an exercise on interpreting acoustic observations.

Building upon this foundation, I extended the course's scope by creating data labs with dedicated tutorials. These labs equipped students with the necessary tools for cleaning, quality control, and analysis of their data. Throughout the year, these data labs have consistently received positive feedback from students, and there is a noticeable improvement in the coding skills of our master's students.

BIO325 Ocean Science: Module 2 - Biological Oceanography, Autumn 2023, 20 graduate students

This module specifically supports two of the BIO325 learning outcomes: (1) Understand how physical processes and structure influence the biological interactions and distribution of marine organisms, and (2) Understand models of marine productivity. A specific emphasis on preparing students for the teaching cruise and providing them with the oceanographic knowledge necessary for their analyses. Another key focus is the "dissection" of the "Huisman model" , which serves as the cornerstone for most contemporary bio-physical ocean production models. Additionally, the module delves into the approach proposed by Follows et al 2007 , discussing how it can transition from vertically resolved to global 3D models. While the teaching approach is primarily lecture-based, practical exercises on dimensional consistency and dimensional analysis are included.

BIO213 Marine ecology, environment, and resources Autumn 2023, 100 undergraduate students

The course gives an introduction to marine ecosystems and how these are formed by nature and human activities. The characteristics of, and the environmental conditions regulating, the ocean's primary production, micobial processes and secondary production are reviewed. The world's marine ecosystems are classified into main categories and particular emphasis is given for the characteristics of Norwegian coastal ecosystems. Main features of world fisheries, aquaculture, ocean pollution and climate change and their effects on the marine ecosystem are discussed.

This course is obligatory for students of the 5-year Integrated Master Programmes in Fish Health/Aquamedicine and Aquaculture

The course is currently exclusively lecture-based, but includes practical exercises on dimensional consistency and dimensional analysis. Drawing from my teaching experience in 2023 and the student feedback that I have gathered, I will propose suggestions for restructuring this course to incorporate team-based, active learning methodologies.


Guest lectures

I regularly give guest lectures on various topics in different courses:

BIO212 Community Ecology – “Pelagic communities” (2021-2024, annualy)

BIO325 Ocean Science – “Integrating models with data” (2019)

AB338/838 Life History Adaptations to Seasonality – “Climate-driven range shifts & life history adaptations to seasonality” (2018)

AB202 Arctic Marine Biology – developed and taught module on seabird-at-sea census techniques (2015)


Visual Storytelling

There are three things that I love to nerd out about: biology, coding, and data visualization. I am happiest when they all come together. I've always been a visual learner; to fully grasp a concept, I need to see it or, even better, sketch it out. In my opinion, visualization stands as the most powerful tool for communicating complex ideas at a single glance, leaving a lasting memory of the underlying science.


Hand illustrations by, all other illustrations (c) Tom Langbehn


Over the years, I've created a diverse array of scientific posters and visualizations for both my talks and publications, as well as those of numerous colleagues. Several of them have won awards at international scientific conferences. Additionally, I have designed several project or research group logos, including the one for our group.


Selection of scientific posters from the years 2016-2020, (c) Tom Langbehn


I regularly discuss data visualization design and teach fundamental and advanced R coding and ggplot2. I have taught Visual Storytelling across the full breadth of academic levels and at several institutes, including the University of Bergen (Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Earth Science, and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research), the University of Oslo (national research school in geosciences - DEEP), the Institute of Marine Research, and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists

Notably, between 2020 and 2023, I had the pleasure of teaching approximately 150 students each year.


1) Helmet jellyfish – Periphylla periphylla, 2) Antarctic lanternfish - Electrona antarctica, 3) Sloane's Viperfish - Chauliodus sloani, 4) Boa dragonfish - Stomias boa, 5) Patagonian toothfish - Dissostichus eleginoides, 6) Half-naked hatchetfish - Argyropelecus hemigymnus, (c) Tom Langbehn


1) White-chinned petrel - Procellaria aequinoctialis, 2) Black-browed albatross - Thalassarche melanophris, 3) Wandering albatross - Diomedea exulans, 4) King penguin - Aptenodytes patagonicus, (c) Tom Langbehn



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