- Code BIOL6206
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Areas of interest Genetics, Evolution and Ecology, Biology, Biodiversity Conservation
This course cannot be entirely adjusted for remote participation in Sem 2 2021 and will include on-campus activities.
This course deals with patterns of biodiversity at large spatial and temporal scales, and the processes that have generated these patterns. Surprisingly, there are many fundamental questions about biodiversity that remain a matter of debate. For example, why are there so many species in the tropics? Did the extinction of dinosaurs pave the way for the rise of mammals? What causes one species to diverge into two? Equally surprisingly to many people, it is possible to test “big-picture” questions like these using a set of basic logical principles and analytical tools, and an ever-expanding database of molecular, geographic and ecological information on the world's species. The aim of this course is not to present you with facts to memorize, but to equip you with the skills to ask interesting questions about biodiversity, and develop creative and elegant ways to answer them. This is a challenging and rewarding course that requires students to think creatively, take charge of framing, investigating and answering questions, consider different viewpoints and come to their own opinions. The course is taught through workshops which give students a chance to explore and discuss ideas, so attendance of all face-to-face classes is an essential component of this course. The course emphasizes individual study and critical thinking.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Formulate explanations of observed patterns of biodiversity and species distributions in terms of key ecological and evolutionary processes;
- Investigate topics in biodiversity by searching, assessing and synthesizing relevant literature;
- Recognize the features of a statistically rigorous and effective test of a question or hypothesis in biodiversity;
- Analyze and interpret biodiversity patterns using specialist computer software and widely-used analytical methods;
- Critically assess the contribution of a scientific paper to our understanding of evolution or ecology.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
- Regular online quizzes on topics covered in classes and required reading (12) [LO 1]
- Explainer (written, electronic media or presentation) of a key idea in macroevolution and macroecology (20) [LO 2]
- Feedback on explainers (6) [LO 3]
- Computer-based workshops with accompanying written report (12) [LO 3,4]
- In class tests (30) [LO 1,2,3]
- Critical review of a key idea or hypothesis in biodiversity (20) [LO 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.
The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours including:
- Students are expected to attend three face-to-face discussion-based workshops per week throughout the semester (total to 36 hours). These classes are not recorded and staff will not be able to provide class notes.
- Approximately 94 hours of self-directed study in their own time, which may involve working with other students, preparation for workshops, working in discussion groups, reading, investigating and other assessment tasks.
Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.
To be determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Bachelor degree with knowledge of biology, biodiversity or ecology and evolution
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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