BIO3082 - Global change biology - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Biological Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Chris Greening


Dr Chris Greening

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


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


This unit studies how human-induced environmental changes, such as climate change, affects organisms and ecosystems. We explore how environmental stresses affect the physiology, behaviour, and ecological interactions of different organisms. In turn, the implications of these changes for biodiversity and human society are also examined. The unit covers a range of organisms (i.e. plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, microorganisms) and biomes (e.g. grasslands, oceans, coral reefs, Antarctica). Throughout the course, we also consider intervention strategies that can increase the sustainability of human development and reduce its impacts on biota.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Summarise the main anthropogenic pressures on biota, including climate change, land use change, pollution, and invasive species.
  2. Explain how plants and animals respond to environmental stresses, including by modulating: gene expression, metabolism, morphology, and behaviour.
  3. Assess how environmental change affects biodiversity, food security, and other ecosystem services.
  4. Predict how ongoing environmental changes will affect the ecological distributions and interactions of animals, plants, and microorganisms.
  5. Propose and evaluate strategies to prevent or mitigate environmental change and its impacts on biota.
  6. Demonstrate critical analytical approaches to scientific research and writing scientific reports.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Practical work: 50%

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures and the equivalent of three hours of laboratory work per week

See also Unit timetable information

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