• 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
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Prof Patrick Meir
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course BIOL6004
  • Offered in First Semester 2019
    See Future Offerings

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.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Examine and summarise central ideas underpinning the ecology of individuals, populations, communities and/or ecosystems;
  2. Integrate ecological understanding of processes operating across multiple scales of space and time;
  3. Understand how observation, experimentation and modelling can be used to generate and test ecological hypotheses;
  4. Think critically about scientific evidence to understand ecological patterns and processes;
  5. Conduct basic ecological research and communicate the findings;
  6. Work as a research team and provide effective peer support.

Other Information

As an indication, the cost to students for the 3 day field trip in Kioloa will be around $170.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • Class practical reports 2 x 10% each (20% - LO 2-6).
  • Field and class practical reports 2 x 20% each (40% - LO 1-5).
  • Theory Exam (40% - LO 1- 4).

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.

Workload

Two lectures per week, approximately 5 x four-hour practical per semester, and a compulsory 3 days fieldtripto Kioloa Coastal Campus.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed BIOL1003. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have completed BIOL6004.

Prescribed Texts

Key readings will be provided on Wattle.

Assumed Knowledge

BIOL1009 or BIOL2202

Majors

Specialisations

Fees

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:
Band 2
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.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
3851 25 Feb 2019 04 Mar 2019 31 Mar 2019 31 May 2019 In Person

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