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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Biological Sciences
Course coordinatorDr Ross Thompson (School of Biological Sciences)


Ecology and conservation biology is the scientific study of interactions between organisms and their environment, and the application of that information to conservation management. The key goals are to describe and explain pattern and process in the natural world, understand human impacts and devise practical means to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem function.


On completion of the major sequence in ecology and conservation biology students will:

  • understand the principles underlying interactions between organisms and their environment, and the application of those principles to conservation management
  • be able to apply analytical and practical skills involved in the conduct of ecological studies in terrestrial, marine, or freshwater environments; these are underpinned by basic skills, including the identification of plants and animals, laboratory and field methods for their study, and assessing their relationships with the physical and biotic environment
  • have developed analytical and practical management skills, including survey and inventory of biodiversity, ecological measurement, and techniques relevant to biological conservation, from genes to species to ecosystems; these include measurement of genetic and species diversity, adaptive management, risk analysis, and decision-making theory
  • be able to apply principles of experimental and survey design, data collection and interpretation
  • be able to communicate scientific principles underlying ecology and conservation biology in oral and written formats
  • be fully prepared for further study, teaching, research and employment in ecology and conservation biology or a related area of the biological sciences.

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in ecology and conservation biology (24 points)

Major sequence in ecology and conservation biology (48 points)

A list of related units are provided in the 'biological sciences' entry in this section of the Handbook.