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
OfferedGippsland Second semester 2015 (Day)
Gippsland Second semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Wendy Wright


An introductory section on systematics and phylogeny will establish relationships between the structure, function and evolutionary history of major groups of organisms. These major groups will be introduced and defined in terms of their basic structure and features. Life cycle, habits and habitat will be discussed. Attention will be paid to the diversity of ways in which various members of each group achieve key biological functions such as: feeding; reproduction; gas exchange and locomotion. Representative organisms will be chosen to illustrate the importance of their ecological roles. The process of ecological restoration in degraded ecosystems will also be considered.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify the requirements of living things and demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which organisms meet these requirements;

  1. Identify the major plant and animal phyla, and the major lineages within these;

  1. Explain the importance of several key evolutionary events;

  1. Relate the taxonomy of the major plant and animal phyla, and the major lineages within these, to their structure and function;

  1. Use field guides and dichotomous keys to identify organisms;

  1. Describe the ecological role of several representative species and relate this to the use of such species in restoring degraded ecosystems.


End of semester examination (3 hours): 60%
Practical and tutorial exercises: 20%
Major assignment - restoring ecosystems: 20%

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures per week and two hours of practical classes per fortnight; plus a one-day field trip.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

An optional field trip will be available to OCL students.


ENV1711 and either BIO1711 or BIO1722 or an equivalent.


A student who has passed two or more of: BIO2181, BIO2231, BIO2242 and BIO2282 will not be permitted to enrol in ENV2712.