This course aims to introduce some of the major concepts in the study of life, focussing on evolutionary and ecological questions. It assumes no previous qualifications in biology and, while this course is an important prerequisite for those majoring in biology, it is also designed for students not intending further study in biology. The program consists of four modules, as follows.
(a) Evolution - diversity and classification of life; evidence for evolution; natural selection and adaptation; speciation; evolutionary trees.
(b) Molecular Genetics – organisation and replication of genetic material; the mechanism and control of transcription and translation.
(c) Genetics of Inheritance - Chromosomes and cell division; patterns of inheritance and sex determination; population genetics; human genetics.
(d) Ecology - regulation and exploitation of populations; ecosystem energy and nutrient flow; species interactions; biodiversity; human impacts.
(e) Behavioural Ecology - evolutionary approach to studying animal behaviour; social behaviour; cooperation and altruism; sexual selection; mating systems; communication.
Specific topics may differ from year to year. There will be laboratory and field practicals as well as tutorials to allow students to gain the basic skills needed to engage with the main topics.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will:
1. Gain broad understanding of the evolutionary and ecological processes underlying life, relevant to understanding of modern biology and choice of later-year courses. This learning outcome is best achieved if students also take BIOL1004 ‘Molecular Biology', because an understanding of molecular processes complements the evolutionary and ecological perspective on life.
2. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of evolution, including natural selection, adaptation and speciation.
3. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of genetics, including DNA structure and function, cell replication, heritability and population genetics.
4. Acquire knowledge and understanding of the processes of ecology, including biomes, species diversity, extinction, population ecology and life-history.
5. Acquire knowledge and understanding of behavioural ecology, and how it uses an evolutionary, genetic and ecological framework to study animal behaviour.
6. Referencing scientific papers, presenting scientific data, development of directional hypotheses.
- Mid-semester examination (28%) (LO1-5)
- Final examination (38%) (LO1-5)
- Assignments (20%) (LO1-6)
- Quizzes (14%) (LO1-5)
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.
WorkloadThree lectures per week and up to 20 hours of tutorial sessions and practical classes
Campbell, Reece and Meyers – Biology 11th Edition Australian Version, or latest edition. PLEASE NOTE: the text available at the ANU Co-Op Bookshop contains an access code for Mastering Biology software that will give you access to supplementary support.
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.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|2510||25 Feb 2019||04 Mar 2019||31 Mar 2019||31 May 2019||In Person||N/A|