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MB3269 - Ecological Dynamics: An Introduction to Modelling (Advanced)

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology (pre 2015)

Only available to students enrolled in the BSc (Marine Biology - Advanced)

This subject provides an introduction to the formulation, analysis, application, and critical evaluation of ecological models, with a focus on marine applications. 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 Honours or postgraduate work in ecological modelling.Students will be required to attend supplementary tutorials in addition to lectures and practicals for MB3260.

Learning Outcomes

  • To formulate ecological models, by integrating information about ecological processes that occur on multiple scales, focusing on marine systems;
  • To analyse ecological models, in order to determine how fundamental concepts in ecological theory arise from particular sets of assumptions about how ecological systems work;
  • To judge the robustness of ecological concepts to the simplifying assumptions from which they have been derived;
  • To critically evaluate how the formulation and analysis of model ecological systems informs our understanding of real ecological systems in nature.
Prerequisites: MA1003 AND (MB2060 OR BZ2440)
MB3260 AND MB5260


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 28-Aug-2014
Coord/Lect: Professor Sean Connolly.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 11 hours tutorials
  • 24 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (50%); other exams (20%); assignments (30%).
Restrictions: Enrolment in this offering is restricted.

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.