The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook

Description

Introduces ecology focusing on population and community dynamics. Through case studies, the course examines the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of species (e.g. competition, predation). The basic models of population growth and how these are affected by the environment and complex behaviour patterns are covered. The course examines the question whether population numbers are regulated or merely responding to the environment. It discusses species diversity, introduced species and biological control, similarity among communities. Introduces the use of multivariate analysis methods for studying communities, and application of the island biogeography concept to designs of biological reserves. Australian case studies are used to illustrate concepts. Students will become familiar with the collection and handling of quantitative data and will develop appropriate scientific report writing skills. An understanding of the relationships between populations, communities and the environment is essential for anyone working in the environmental area.


Availability2019 Course Timetables

Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Ourimbah

  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. An understanding and appreciation of the role of biology in environmental science;

2. An understanding of population dynamics;

3. An understanding of the complexity of communities and their interactions with the environment;

4. Skills in the observation and recording of field and laboratory data;

5. Skills in the interpretation and analysis of data;

6. Skills in the communication of ideas, observations and conclusions; and

7. The ability to locate and assess relevant published information on ecological topics.


Content

  1. FACTORS AFFECTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SPECIES

 

  1. Evolutionary, historical, genetic and environmental factors

 

  1. POPULATION GROWTH

 

  1. life tables and population projections
  2. exponential growth
  3. environmental factors affecting population growth

 

  1. BEHAVIOUR AND RESOURCE UTILIZATION

 

  1. case studies

 

  1. PREDATOR-PREY AND COMPETITION MODELS

 

  1. Case studies

 

  1. COMPETITION MODELS

 

  1. Case studies

 

  1. COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND ANALYSIS

 

  1. Similarity and distance
  2. Cluster analysis, ordination, and other multivariate analyses
  3. Diversity indices
  4. Species distribution models
  5. Island biogeography and its application

 

  1. PRACTICAL COMPONENT

 

  1. Field excursions to investigate animal and plant communities
  2. Laboratory based investigations
  3. Use taxonomic key
  4. Statistical analysis and interpretation of results
  5. Study of population growth through computer simulations
  6. Information gathering, collation and evaluation
  7. Multivariate analyses and interpretation of ecological data using ordination and clustering techniques

Requisite

This course replaces BIOL2070. If you have successfully completed BIOL2070 you cannot enrol in this course.


Assumed knowledge

ENVS2004EcologyIntroduces ecology focusing on population and community dynamics. Through case studies, the course examines the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of species (e.g. competition, predation). The basic models of population growth and how these are affected by the environment and complex behaviour patterns are covered. The course examines the question whether population numbers are regulated or merely responding to the environment. It discusses species diversity, introduced species and biological control, similarity among communities. Introduces the use of multivariate analysis methods for studying communities, and application of the island biogeography concept to designs of biological reserves. Australian case studies are used to illustrate concepts. Students will become familiar with the collection and handling of quantitative data and will develop appropriate scientific report writing skills. An understanding of the relationships between populations, communities and the environment is essential for anyone working in the environmental area.FSCITFaculty of Science723School of Environmental and Life Sciences1020005980Semester 2 - 2019CALLAGHANCallaghan20195980Semester 2 - 2019CENTRALCSTOurimbah2019STAT1070 Statistics for the Sciences plus BIOL1001 or BIOL1002, AND BIOL1003 (for Callaghan students) or BIOL1040 and BIOL1070 (or BIOL1050) (for Ourimbah students).

FACTORS AFFECTING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SPECIES 

Evolutionary, historical, genetic and environmental factors 

POPULATION GROWTH 

life tables and population projections

exponential growth

environmental factors affecting population growth 

BEHAVIOUR AND RESOURCE UTILIZATION 

case studies 

PREDATOR-PREY AND COMPETITION MODELS 

Case studies 

COMPETITION MODELS 

Case studies 

COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND ANALYSIS 

Similarity and distance

Cluster analysis, ordination, and other multivariate analyses

Diversity indices

Species distribution models

Island biogeography and its application 

PRACTICAL COMPONENT 

Field excursions to investigate animal and plant communities

Laboratory based investigations

Use taxonomic key

Statistical analysis and interpretation of results

Study of population growth through computer simulations

Information gathering, collation and evaluation

Multivariate analyses and interpretation of ecological data using ordination and clustering techniques YOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to:1An understanding and appreciation of the role of biology in environmental science;2An understanding of population dynamics;3An understanding of the complexity of communities and their interactions with the environment;4Skills in the observation and recording of field and laboratory data;5Skills in the interpretation and analysis of data;6Skills in the communication of ideas, observations and conclusions; and7The ability to locate and assess relevant published information on ecological topics. This course replaces BIOL2070. If you have successfully completed BIOL2070 you cannot enrol in this course.Quiz: Quiz - ClassWritten Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments (Research Proposal)Report: Reports (Lab sheets)Formal Examination: Formal Examination Callaghan and OurimbahComputer LabFace to Face On Campus14hour(s)per Week for1Weeks0This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri)Field StudyFace to Face Off Campus12hour(s)per Week for1Weeks0This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri. Eight hours of this field study is conducted face to face on campus and the remaining 4 hours is face to face off campus.LaboratoryFace to Face On Campus16hour(s)per Week for1Weeks0This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri)LectureFace to Face On Campus2hour(s)per Week for0Full Term0In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:General Course Requirements:Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions.In order to participate in this course, students must attend ande pass a compulsory safety induction before attending these sessions16.


Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz - Class

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments (Research Proposal)

Report: Reports (Lab sheets)

Formal Examination: Formal Examination


Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must attend ande pass a compulsory safety induction before attending these sessions16.

Contact hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 14 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks

This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri)

Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 12 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks

This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri. Eight hours of this field study is conducted face to face on campus and the remaining 4 hours is face to face off campus.

Laboratory

Face to Face On Campus 16 hour(s) per Week for 1 Weeks

This is part of the one week laboratory/fieldwork/tutorial intensive during the mid semester break (9-5, Mon-Fri)

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term