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Ecology (10231.2)

Level: Level 2 - Undergraduate Intermediate Unit
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands: 2
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
Discipline: Academic Program Area - Science


Unit Outlines

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  • Semester 2, 2019, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (185581) - View
  • Semester 2, 2018, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (182004) - View
  • Semester 2, 2017, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (169945) - View

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This unit builds upon first-year studies in biological sciences and, second-year units in data analysis. This unit aims to provide an understanding of the basic principles of ecology combined with organism (plant and animal) identification skills and field sampling techniques. Topics covered in this unit are centred around answering the key ecological question "why are individuals of a particular species present in some areas and absent from others?". This question will be addressed by exploring a range of ecological principles, which include organism interactions with the physical environment, life history attributes related to growth, reproduction and dispersal, concepts of resources and limiting factors, population dynamics and terrestrial biodiversity patterns. Practical studies in the field and laboratory aim to develop ecological investigation and measurement skills as well as techniques for collecting and identifying biological specimens. This unit then aims to build on these skills through reporting on the data collected in the field in a scientific manner both verbally and in written form. This unit has an emphasis on semi-arid and arid Australia; given they comprise 70% of the continent.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Apply their understanding of ecological theory at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels to address key questions in ecology;

2. Use newly developed skills for ecological investigation, including the identification of organisms, collection of data and scientific report writing;

3. Have an understanding and be able to describe the patterns of biological diversity and processes generating them in a range of habitats within Australia (specifically semi-arid and temperate ecosystems);

4. Report on ecological research both verbally and in report form, and; Be able to communicate effectively using well-developed scientific thinking and writing skills; and

5. Undertake an ecological study in the field as part of a team in order to examine specific hypotheses.

Assessment Items

Contact Hours

4 hours per week. The mode of delivery is Standard face-to-face teaching and online. This will involve a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, and a major multi-night field class held in week 8, totalling 48 hours of contact over the semester.


Plants and Animals, 623, and Biostatistics, 10222.


Integrated Catchment Science, 10224.

Assumed Knowledge

1st year biology and mathematics.

Incompatible Units


Equivalent Units

Principles of Ecology, 6920.

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