• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
    Research
    Specialist
  • Course subject Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Patricia Backwell
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

This course deals with carrying out research on the behavioural ecology of free-living animals. Students will work in tutorial groups to develop hypotheses about behaviour that will be tested during a week-long field trip. Results are then presented in a poster at the course's 'conference' and in a report in the form of a scientific paper. 

The course emphasises the design and effective reporting of scientific research, and will expose you to all of the stages of carrying out and reporting original research. 

Research topics have included: 

  • Anti-predator behaviour in kangaroos, parrots and emus
  • Foraging behaviour of antlions and bees
  • Habitat segregation in birds
  • Sex differences in plumage and vigilance
  • Social structure of fairy-wrens
  • Social foraging in seagulls
  • Sex differences in foraging in oystercatchers
  • Song and alarm calls in birds
  • Schooling behaviour of fish

Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but will have modified assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon completion of the course, students will have developed knowledge and skills related to the practice of research. These will include:

1. Literature skills to identify and critically evaluate the current state of knowledge about a specific research question in behavioural ecology
2. Formulation of testable hypotheses based on an understanding of the research literature
3. Practical skills in behavioural ecological research
4. Ability to collaborate as a group to reach research goals
5. Skills in scientific communication, including written communication and the preparation of a research poster.
6. Ability to interpret data against original hypotheses and knowledge of the literature, and suggest avenues for future research

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Individual written introduction to a research problem (5%; LO 1, 2, 5)
  • Participation in the group's research effort (10%; LO 3, 4)
  • Group poster presented at class 'Conference' (25%; LO 4, 5)
  • Individual research paper based on the whole semester's project (40%; LO 1, 2, 5, 6)
  • Literature review of a broader or related area in which project carried out (20%; LO 1, 5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

A five-day field trip during the first semester break plus a 1-2 hour class meeting each week, plus weekly meeting with a project tutor, plus group meetings independent of tutors. Overall, about 60-65 hours of contact with teaching staff, plus group and individual time.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $1650
2004 $2160
2005 $2520
2006 $2520
2007 $2520
2008 $2916
2009 $2916
2010 $2916
2011 $2946
2012 $2946
2013 $2946
2014 $2946
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3606
2004 $3618
2005 $3618
2006 $3618
2007 $3618
2008 $3618
2009 $3618
2010 $3750
2011 $3756
2012 $3756
2013 $3756
2014 $3762
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3313 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions