• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • David Blair
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    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) and geographical information systems (GIS) in landscape ecology. The course will include both theoretical and practical sessions, including field work during which students will apply ecological survey techniques to gather environmental and wildlife biodiversity data.


The course is highly recommended as a precursor to ENVS3039 Biodiversity Conservation.


Honours  Pathway Option

This course can be taken as Honours Pathway, subject to the approval of the convenor. HPO students will be expected to show greater depth of understanding of the content of the course. HPO students will submit alternative advanced versions of practical and excursion reports, equivalent to a minimum of 20% of overall assessment.

Learning Outcomes

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

On satisfying the requirements of this course, 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
  3. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the key concepts associated with landscape ecology
  4. Explain the relevance of biogeographical processes to biodiversity
  5. Understand the main methodological approaches of conservation biologists, biogeographers and landscape ecologists
  6. Gather and analyse biodiversity data in an environmental context

Indicative Assessment

  • Practical exercises 20% [LO 1, 2, 3, 5, 6]
  • Presentation / poster 15% [LO 1, 2]
  • Field study report 30% [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
  • End of semester theory exam 35% [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 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.


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

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 48 units towards a degree. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed ENVS6203.




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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
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
2711 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

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