• Total units 24 Units
  • Areas of interest Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Specialisation code EVEC-SPEC
  • Academic career Undergraduate
Evolution and Ecology Specialisation

Corequisite majors: Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology major

This Specialisation provides a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts in evolution and ecology, as they apply to both plants and animals. The courses offered give students the opportunity to extend their knowledge in the areas of behavioural ecology, marine ecology and zoology, and to grapple with the controversial issues in evolutionary biology. A solid grounding in evolution and ecology are essential for students intending to pursue higher degrees in these areas. In addition, students who have an interest in field based careers (rangers, ecological surveyors and consultants, field research) or in wildlife management (conservation and environmental policy, sustainable resource management) require the understanding of field research techniques and ecological and evolutionary theory on which these professions are based.

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Describe and explain, in depth, the fundamental concepts in evolution and ecology and identify areas of uncertainty and controversy in the discipline.

  2. Classify, compare and describe plant and animal species and describe the processes involved in their evolutionary and ecological interactions.

  3. Access and critically assess the primary research literature in the field.

  4. Formulate testable hypotheses for evolutionary and ecological problems based on their conceptual understanding and design experiments to test the hypotheses.

  5. Apply the practical skills necessary to carry out research, based on their experiences of field studies, and /or working in a research team.

  6. Deploy statistical techniques of analysis within one or more areas of ecological research, including the use of databases and statistical packages.

  7. Be conversant with the specialist terms that are used by evolutionary and ecological scientists, as well as being able to communicate information and concepts clearly and concisely to interested lay persons.


Advice to Students

This Specialisation has a general evolution and ecology focus, and also includes courses specifically relating to animal evolution and ecology. Students who have a specific interest in plants should compare this specialisation with the Plant Science Specialisation that is offered.

For students taking BIOL3208 or BIOL3209 as part of this specialisation, the research project must be in the field of Evolution and Ecology.

Students should seek further course advice from the academic convener of this specialisation


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This specialisation may only be undertaken in conjunction with the Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology major


This specialisation requires the completion of 24 units, which must consist of:

24 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
BIOL3109 Ecological and Evolutionary Developmental Biology 6
BIOL3113 Invertebrate Biology 6
BIOL3114 Vertebrate Biology 6
BIOL3116 Marine Conservation Ecology 6
BIOL3131 Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology 6
BIOL3132 Field Studies in Behavioural Ecology 6
BIOL3142 Parasitology 6
BIOL3193 Bacteria and Health: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective 6
BIOL3206 Evolution of Biodiversity 6
BIOL3208 Biology Research Project 6
BIOL3209 Biology Research Project 12
BIOL3210 Appreciating parasites: from molecules to ecosystems 6
BIOL3303 Advanced Field Studies in Functional Ecology 6
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