The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook

Description

This course aims to introduce fundamental concepts and principles of ecology, focusing on population and community dynamics. Through case studies, the course examines the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of species. 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, and similarity among communities. The use of multivariate analysis methods for studying communities and the application of the island biogeography concept to designs of biological reserves will be discussed. Students will become familiar with the collection and handling of quantitative data and will develop appropriate scientific report writing skills.


Availability2020 Course Timetables

Callaghan

  • Semester 2 - 2020

Ourimbah

  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe the key factors and processes that underlie the life history traits, spatial distribution and abundance of organisms in their natural environments;

2. Use conceptual and mathematical models to describe and predict population dynamics and the interactions between populations;

3. Use qualitative and quantitative approaches to characterise and analyse community structures and their changes over time;

4. Describe key principles of landscape ecology and their application to conservation management;

5. Collect, analyse, interpret and communicate field and laboratory data;

6. Critically review the ecological literature, develop original research questions and designs and write scientific proposals.


Content

1.   Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection

2.   Population dynamics and regulation

3.   Life history strategies

4.   Competition and predation models

5.   Community structure and succession

6.   Flow of nutrients and energy in ecosystems

7.   Landscape ecology

8.   Methods to collect and analyse ecological data


Requisite

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


Assumed knowledge

STAT1070 Statistics for the Sciences plus BIOL1001 or BIOL1002, AND BIOL1003 (for Callaghan students) or BIOL1040 and BIOL1070 (or BIOL1050) (for Ourimbah students).


Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz - Class Weighting 15%

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments (Research Proposal) Weighting 15%

Report: Report Weighting 30%

Formal Examination: Formal Examination Weighting 40%


Compulsory Requirements

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

General Course Requirements:

  • Computer Lab: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - A minimum of 80% compulsory attendance is required. In approved circumstances, reasonable adjustments are made for those students who cannot meet the 80% attendance requirement.
  • Field Study: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - A minimum 80% compulsory attendance is required. In approved circumstances, reasonable adjustments are made for those students who cannot meet the 80% attendance requirement.
  • Laboratory: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - A minimum 80% compulsory attendance is required. In approved circumstances, reasonable adjustments are made for those students who cannot meet the 80% attendance requirement.
  • Field Study: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - Students must complete a compulsory safety induction
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - Students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

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