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BIO2011 - Ecology

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Dennis O'Dowd


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit is an introduction to ecology; the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. Topics include the scope and approaches of ecological enquiry; abiotic and biotic factors determining distributions; population growth and regulation; species interactions; patterns and maintenance of species diversity; food web analysis; disturbance and succession; and production ecology and nutrient cycling. Particular emphasis is placed on integrating ecological processes across spatial and temporal scales. Practical work can be completed through team-based projects conducted during a pre-semester field camp, or on Saturday/Sunday field excursions during the semester.


On completion of this unit, students will have gained a basic understanding of ecological principles, theory, and methodology. Students will have gained skills in ecological techniques and be able to critically evaluate their application to particular situations. Students will also gain skills in critical evaluation of key ecological issues, from population regulation to community organization. Skills, including design, analysis, written preparation, and presentation of ecological reports will be developed. Lastly, students will have gained a sound framework for understanding the environment, whether they become a biologist, an engineer, a schoolteacher, or a resource manager.


Theory examination (2 hours): 45%
Continuous assessmnet (quizzes): 15%
Practical assessment (two 1,500 word project reports): 35%
Powerpoint or population ecology exercise: 5%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical or equivalent


24 points of level one units, which includes 6 points from BIO or GES units.