- Code BIOL6004
- 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.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
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;
- Synthesise understanding of ecological methods and data analysis, and represent this in a standard report format;
- Learn to build evidence-based arguments for how populations, communities and/or ecosystems might respond to changes in their biological and physical environments.
Field Trip: The cost of the fieldtrip in Kioloa will be around $200
The Biology Teaching and Learning Centre is located in Building 116. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
- 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]
- Scientific Report (40% - LO 1- 4, 7-8). (40) [LO null]
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WorkloadTwo lectures per week and approximately 5 x four-hour practical per semester and a compulsory 3 days fieldtrip to Kioloa Coastal Campus.
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Prescribed TextsKey readings will be provided on Wattle.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- 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.
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