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BS5260 - Modelling Ecological Dynamics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2020
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

Available to students admitted to the Graduate Diploma of Research Methods,Graduate Certificate of Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Master of Science, Master of Science (Professional), Bachelor of Advanced Science, Master of Applied Science, Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice or Master of Development Practice.

This subject provides an introduction to the formulation, analysis, application, and critical evaluation of ecological models. Lectures examine how models connect particular ideas about how ecological systems work to fundamental concepts in ecological theory, and on critically evaluating how analyses of model ecological systems can inform our understanding of real ecological systems. Practicals emphasize applying ecological models to solve problems in biodiversity conservation and management. Topics covered include population dynamics and extinction risk; ecological stability and resilience; fisheries modelling; dispersal, connectivity, and marine reserves; species interactions; biodiversity; and trophic dynamics. This subject is appropriate for empirically-oriented students seeking a better understanding of the relevance of ecological modelling for their field and laboratory research, as well as for students interested in postgraduate work in ecological modelling.

Learning Outcomes

  • analyse ecological models, in order to determine how fundamental concepts in ecological theory arise from particular sets of assumptions about how ecological systems work;
  • critically evaluate the robustness of ecological concepts to the simplifying assumptions from which they have been derived;
  • critically evaluate how the formulation and analysis of model ecological systems informs our understanding of real ecological systems in nature;
  • formulate ecological models, by integrating information about ecological processes that occur on multiple scales;
  • apply the techniques of ecological modelling to solve problems in conservation and management.

Subject Assessment

  • Invigilated > End of semester exam - (40%)
  • Invigilated > Quizzes or tests - (20%)
  • Non-Invigilated > Assignments - (40%).
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline, or should be currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Advanced Science, having completed at least one undergraduate ecology subject. Some university-level mathematics is recommended, but not essential.
MB3260, MB3269, MB5260


Townsville, Study Period 7, Intensive
Census Date 09-Jul-2020
Face to face teaching 22-Jun-2020 to 17-Jul-2020
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Mia Hoogenboom.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 24 hours lectures
  • 3 hours tutorials
  • 30 hours practicals
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.