Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Science, Malaysia
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Dr Charles Clarke


This unit provides students with an introduction to Field Biology in a tropical environmental setting. The challenges associated with designing and implementing field-based experiments, surveys and observations are discussed, along with methods and practices to minimise risks and waste of resources. The critical roles played by geographical information systems, data management and analysis, and the ability to measure, record, identify and describe animals, plants and ecosystems are also examined and treated in detail. All components of the course are linked to field-based study activities in Malaysian ecosystems.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to conduct field-based surveys and research in tropical ecosystems, with an emphasis on the dominant communities from equatorial regions;

  1. Demonstrate competence in the use of computer-based mapping skills and Geographical Information Systems in biological research and conservation;

  1. Apply specialised knowledge and skills to the areas of resource and risk assessment, in relation to conducting biological research in the field, with special emphasis on tropical environments;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify animals, plants and habitats from tropical Malaysian ecosystems;

  1. Work collaboratively and effectively in the field in tropical environments.


Online quizzes: 10% total
plant and animal identification tests: 20%
mapping/GIS assignment: 10%
major project report and presentation: 30%
final examination: 30%

Workload requirements

Two hours of lectures and a 3-hour laboratory session (or short field trip) each week.
An extended field trip will be run during the mid-semester break for a period of approximately five days.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)