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.

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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 Biological Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor John Beardall


This unit investigates how plants and animals respond to their environment. The unit covers a range of biomes including oceans, freshwaters and terrestrial ecosystems and considers the major environmental stresses caused by global change in these systems and how the biota acclimate and adapt to such stresses.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic processes governing the ways in which organisms respond to changes in their environment, from alterations in patterns of gene expression, through differences in metabolic activities to changes in morphology;

  1. Explain the mechanisms by which biota cope with specific stresses in their environments, particularly those associated with global change;

  1. Demonstrate a critical, analytical approach to scientific research and have developed skills in writing scientific reports.


Examination (3 hours): 60%
Practical work: 40%

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and the equivalent of three hours laboratory work per week.
This unit may have a weekend excursion.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


12 points from level two BIO or GEN units or by permission