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BS5460 - Fundamentals of Ecology

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

This subject is an introduction to key ecological concepts. General themes will be illustrated using local and global examples from terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ecological processes that drive the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity, and how this relates to current conservation efforts. Tutorial and practical sessions will centre on fieldtrips that emphasise the practical aspects of collecting quantitative field data to address ecological questions.

Learning Outcomes

  • critically assess ecological hypotheses;
  • describe and critically evaluate the relationships between ecological theory, conservation and management of natural populations and communities in written and/or verbal formats;
  • correctly describe and explain key concepts in population and community ecology.

Subject Assessment

  • Invigilated > End of semester exam - (40%)
  • Invigilated > Tutorial attendance and participation - (20%)
  • Lecture exams - (20%)
  • Field trip assessment - (20%).

Special Assessment Requirements

Students enrolled in the Environmental Engineering course will attend additional tutorials

Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 1 biology or environmental science and are also recommended to have completed some introductory statistics prior to enrolling.
AG2006 BZ2880 BZ5440 BZ5880 BZ2440 BS2460 MB2060 BZ2460


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 27-Aug-2020
Lecturers: Professor Stephen Williams, Professor Michael Kingsford, Assoc. Professor Mia Hoogenboom, Dr Neil Hutchinson, Assoc. Professor Lucas Cernusak, Dr Ben Hirsch, Professor Lin Schwarzkopf.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 25 hours lectures
  • 7 hours tutorials
  • 3 days fieldwork
  • 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.