• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This is an Honours Pathway Course that is normally taken at the same time as BIOL3131, and deals with carrying out research on the behavioural ecology of free-living animals. Students will work in tutorial groups to develop hypotheses about behaviour that will be tested during a week-long field trip. Results are then presented in a poster at the course's conference; and in a report in the form of a scientific paper. The course emphasises the design and effective reporting of scientific research, and will expose students to all of the stages of carrying out and reporting original research.

Research topics have included: 

  • Anti-predator behaviour in kangaroos, parrots and emus
  • Foraging behaviour of antlions and bees
  • Habitat segregation in birds
  • Sex differences in plumage and vigilance
  • Social structure of fairy-wrens
  • Social foraging in seagulls
  • Sex differences in foraging in oystercatchers
  • Song and alarm calls in birds
  • Schooling behaviour of fish

A quota may be placed on enrolments for this course.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Literature skills to identify the current state of knowledge about a specific research question in behavioural ecology
  2. Formulation of testable hypotheses based on an understanding of the research literature
  3. Practical skills in behavioural ecological research
  4. Ability to collaborate as a group to reach research goals
  5. Skills in scientific communication, including written communication and the preparation of a research poster
  6. Ability to interpret data against original hypotheses and knowledge of the literature, and suggest avenues for future research

Other Information

As an indication, the cost to students for the 5 days field trip in Kioloa will be about $250.

The Biology Teaching and Learning Centre is located in Building 116. Alternatively you can email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Individual written introduction to a research problem (15) [LO 1,2,5]
  2. Participation in the group's research effort (10) [LO 3,4]
  3. Group poster presented at class 'Conference' (25) [LO 4,5]
  4. Individual research paper based on the whole semester's project (50) [LO 1,2,5,6]

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.


Five-day field trip to Kioloa in April plus a 1-2 hour class meeting each week, plus weekly meeting with a project tutor, plus group meetings independent of tutors. Overall, about 60-65 hours of contact with teaching staff, plus group and individual time.

Inherent Requirements


Requisite and Incompatibility

Corequisite: BIOL3131 Completion of 96 units towards a degree. Incomaptible with BIOL6010

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

To undertake this course BIOL3131 must be taken concurrently (or completed previously).



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
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
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.

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions