- Code BIOL2131
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Areas of interest Plant Science, Evolution and Ecology
Ecology concerns the fundamental patterns and flows in natural biological systems. We consider how organisms interact with their physical environment and with each other to shape their individual attributes, patterns of population dynamics, distribution, diversity and abundance. We consider these interactions across scales of time and space, the patterns and processes of community assembly and how ecosystems work and affect the physical and biological environments. Why are some organisms found here, and not there? Why do plants and animals look and work like they do? How does this affect how ecosystems work? What makes the populations of different organisms large or small, or change in size? Why do some organisms co-exist together, and others not? Why is there so much diversity and how does it affect how communities and ecosystems work? In addressing these questions, we gain critical insight into how populations and communities have evolved, how energy and biomass flow through ecosystems, and how populations and communities respond to changes in their environment. These changes may result from natural disturbances such as changes in climate, through altered disease prevalence or competition, or from human modification of habitat, perhaps through overharvesting or species removal.
In this course you will explore the foundations in ecological thinking, in relevant field methods and in the application of ecology for understanding and conserving natural ecosystems. The course will consider the major biological kingdoms, and will address key themes, including the study of organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems, placing them in context across physical scales from the individual to the Earth system, across processes from the flow of mass and energy to biotic interactions such as competition, and across modes of study from theory to practice. There is a compulsory 3 days field trip to the university Kioloa Coastal Campus. A significant proportion of the final mark will derive from full engagement with this part of the course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Examine and summarise central ideas underpinning the ecology of individuals, populations, communities and/or ecosystems;
- Integrate ecological understanding of processes operating across multiple scales of space and time;
- Understand how observation, experimentation and modelling can be used to generate and test ecological hypotheses;
- Think critically about scientific evidence to understand ecological patterns and processes;
- Conduct basic ecological research and communicate the findings;
- Work as a research team and provide effective peer support.
The cost of the fieldtrip in Kioloa will be around $200
- Assessment will be based on: (null) [LO null]
- Class practical reports 2 x 10% each (20% - LO 2-6). (10) [LO null]
- Field and class practical reports 2 x 20% each (40% - LO 1-5). (20) [LO null]
- Theory Exam (40% - LO 1- 4). (40) [LO null]
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WorkloadTwo lectures per week, approximately 5 x four-hour practical per semester, and a compulsory 3 days fieldtripto Kioloa Coastal Campus.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsKey readings will be provided on Wattle.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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