• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology
  • Areas of interest Biological Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Zoology, Biology, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Alison Behie
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course examines the behaviour, ecology and conservation of living non-human primates. Primates include monkeys, apes, and strepsirhines, as well people. Understanding non-human primates helps us to evaluate and understand the behaviour, culture, language, and biology of our own species, as well as to give us valuable information that is necessary for the conservation of non-human primates, the majority of which are now threatened. Lectures cover a variety of topics including: morphology and distinguishing characteristics of each group of living primates; social organisation, mating, activity and diet as well as community ecology. Once lectures are complete, tutorial work will be done through the collection of behavioural data on primate groups at the National Zoo and Aquarium (NZA). Students will be trained in data collection and assigned a species of primate on which to collect behavioural data. This data will then be used to answer a research question based in one of the theories learned in lecture. Finally, theory and data will be put in the context of primate conservation and how we best conserve the world’s primates. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. summarise the behavioural and ecological characteristics of selected non-human primate species;
  2. use appropriate behavioural observation techniques to record the behaviour of living non-human primates;
  3. put behavioural data in the context of existing primatological and conservation theory to address a research problem;
  4. combine information from a variety of academic resources covering foundational theories, species biology and conservation to explain a current research problem that needs addressing; and
  5. succinctly present research results in an oral formats.

Other Information

This course will require students conduct data collection at the National Zoo and Aquarium for a period of 12 hours in the middle of semester. Students will be given complementary entry to conduct this data collection.

Indicative Assessment

  1. One midterm examination, 40 minutes (20) [LO 1]
  2. Data collection assignment (20) [LO 2,3]
  3. Data analysis assignment (20) [LO 2,3]
  4. 2000 word research proposal based on Zoo data collection (30) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  5. 5 minute presentation of Zoo research report (10) [LO 5]

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 18 hours of lectures, 18 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities;

b) 98 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of Archaeology (ARCH), Anthropology (ANTH), Biological Anthropology (BIAN), Biology (BIOL) courses, or with permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN6514.

Prescribed Texts



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.

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
2021 $4110
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5880
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7515 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 14 Sep 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person View

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