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MB3260 - Ecological Dynamics: An Introduction to Modelling

Credit points: 3
Year: 2010
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

This subject examines classical and contemporary issues in ecology at the population, community, and ecosystem levels, with a focus on marine systems. Emphasis is on relating findings from small-scale field and laboratory studies to the larger spatial and temporal scales relevant to major research priorities in ecology, conservation, and management. Ecological models are central to this endeavor and are the principal focus in lectures and practicals. Topics covered include population dynamics and extinction risk; dispersal and connectivity; species interactions (e.g., competition, predator-prey dynamics); biodiversity; and ecological resilience. Practicals focus on the use of computer software as a tool to understand ecological models and the modelling process. This subject is appropriate for field-oriented students interested in ecological dynamics at the population and ecosystem levels, as well as for students interest specifically in Honours and postgraduate work in ecological modelling.

Learning Outcomes

  • become familiar with the formulation and analysis of ecological models, assisted by computer software;
  • develop the capacity to use models as a means of integrating information about ecological processes that operate on multiple scales and assessing how those processes interact to determine ecological dynamics at population and ecosystem levels;
  • understand the effects of spatial and temporal scale on the dynamics of marine ecosystems;
  • understand the relationship between ecological models and data;
  • understand the major ecological processes influencing marine populations.
Students enrolling in this subject should have some university-level background in ecology (MB2060 or BZ2440 or equivalent). Some university-level mathematics (MA1020 or MA1000 or equivalent) is recommended, but not essential.
Prerequisites: MA1020 OR MA1000) AND (MB2060 OR BZ2440)
MB5260 AND MB3269


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 26-Aug-2010
Coord/Lect: Professor Sean Connolly.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 12 hours tutorials
  • 27 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (45% - 50%); quizzes or tests (20% - 25%); assignments (30%).

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.