• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Ceridwen Fraser
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    See Future Offerings

How species are distributed across landscapes and through time depends on a wide variety of factors, including geological processes, dispersal events, changes in climate, and human modification of the environment. This course will provide an introduction to the ecological study of biodiversity and the processes that shape the current and future distributions of species. The course will draw on the disciplines of biogeography, landscape ecology and conservation biology to explain how and why species and ecosystems are where they are, how species respond to landscape modification, and how they might respond to future change.


Key landscape ecology and biodiversity concepts covered in the course will include scale, spatial heterogeneity, island biogeography, metapopulation theory, disturbance, dispersal, habitat fragmentation, and conservation. Some specialised approaches will be examined, such as the use of genetics in biogeography (phylogeography and molecular ecology).  The course will include both theoretical and practical sessions, including an overnight field trip during which students will apply ecological survey techniques to gather biodiversity data.


The course is highly recommended as a precursor to ENVS6024 Biodiversity Conservation.


Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe a variety of environmental processes that influence the past and current distributions of species
  2. Identify and evaluate our understanding of contemporary processes that threaten biodiversity Describe and explain the key concepts associated with landscape ecology
  3. Understand and compare the main methodological approaches of conservation biologists, biogeographers and landscape ecologists
  4. Gather, analyse and report on biodiversity data in an environmental context
  5. Critically evaluate how to mitigate the impacts of human modification of the environment on biodiversity  

Indicative Assessment

  • Theory exam 35% [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 6]
  • Results of field study presented in a formal journal article style 35%% [LO 1, 2, 3, 5, 6]
  • Applied theory task 30% [LO 4, 5, 6]

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.


65 contact hours comprising lectures, tutorials, practicals and an overnight field trip.


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:
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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1572
2014 $2946
2013 $2808
2012 $2808
2011 $2808
2010 $2778
2009 $2778
2008 $2778
2007 $2400
2006 $2400
2005 $2190
2004 $1836
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3234
2014 $3762
2013 $3582
2012 $3582
2011 $3582
2010 $3576
2009 $3450
2008 $3450
2007 $3450
2006 $3450
2005 $3288
2004 $3288
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4518 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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