This course aims to introduce some of the major concepts in the study of life, focusing on evolutionary and ecological questions. It assumes no previous qualifications in biology and, while this course is an important prerequisite for those majoring in biology, it is also designed for students not intending further study in biology.
The program consists of five modules, as follows.
(a) Evolution - diversity and classification of life; evidence for evolution; natural selection and adaptation; speciation; evolutionary trees.
(b) Molecular Genetics - organisation and replication of genetic material; the mechanism and control of transcription and translation.
(c) Genetics of Inheritance - Chromosomes and cell division; patterns of inheritance and sex determination; population genetics; human genetics.
(d) Ecology - regulation and exploitation of populations; ecosystem energy and nutrient flow; species interactions; biodiversity; human impacts.
(e) Behavioural Ecology - evolutionary approach to studying animal behaviour; social behaviour; cooperation and altruism; sexual selection; mating systems; communication.
Specific topics may differ from year to year. There will be laboratory and field practicals as well as tutorials to allow students to gain the basic skills needed to engage with the main topics.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Gain broad understanding of the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying life, relevant to understanding of modern biology and choice of later-year courses. This learning outcome is best achieved if students also takeANUC1126 ‘Molecular Biology', because an understanding of molecular processes complements the evolutionary and ecological perspective on life.
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of evolution, including natural selection, adaptation and speciation.
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of genetics, including DNA structure and function, cell replication, heritability and population genetics.
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of ecology, including biomes, species diversity, extinction, population ecology and life-history.
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of behavioural ecology, and how it uses an evolutionary, genetic and ecological framework to study animal behaviour.
- Referencing scientific papers, presenting scientific data, development of directional hypotheses.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
- Mid Semester Examination (28%) (LO1-5)
- End of Semester Examination (38%) (LO1-5)
- Assignments (20%) (LO1-6)
- Quizzes (14%) (LO1-5)
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.
Workload160 hours of total student learning time made up from:
- 75 hours of lectures and laboratory/tutorial-based activities.
- 85 hours of supported and independent student work.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsCampbell, Reece and Meyers Biology 9th Edition Australian Version.
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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3995||25 Feb 2019||04 Mar 2019||31 Mar 2019||14 Jun 2019||In Person||N/A|