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BZ3510 - Plants and People

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

This subject focuses on the study of the past, present, and future uses of plants, and of the relationship between plants and people. We depend on plants, using them or their products in nearly all of daily activities. Many plants also depend on humans for their existence, and many more are affected by our ways of life. But how has this interdependence come about? Are we using plants sustainably? Could we be using them better? And how will people's use of plants change in the future? This subject examines these and other fundamental questions, drawing on both plant sciences and the social sciences. Through it, students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation both of the economic and cultural importance of plants and of the role of plant sciences in society.

Learning Outcomes

  • knowledge of the historical relationships between humans and plants;
  • knowledge of the principal characteristics of economically important plants and their products;
  • understanding of fundamental aspects of ethnobotany;
  • understanding of issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity;
  • deepened appreciation of how plant sciences and plant scientists can contribute positively to society.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner.


Cairns, Study Period 3, Block
Census Date 02-Feb-2012
Face to face teaching 06-Feb-2012 to 17-Feb-2012
Coord/Lect: <Person not found>.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 6 hours tutorials
  • 6 hours practicals
  • 24 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (50%); practical and field-trip reports, essay and performance in tutorials (50%).

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.