BI1BEA2-Current Topics in Zoology and Ecology

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Phil Baker


Summary module description:

Ecology and zoology are increasingly important in terms of our humanity; there is little of global importance which is not touched by them. If we take a personal perspective, zoology informs our understanding of how we evolved as a species, why we have many of the behaviours that we do, why we love and fight, breed, get ill and die. If we take a less self-focused approach, ecology and evolutionary biology tell us how life achieved the present spectacle of diversity to reach every corner of the planet, and how organisms adapt so that life succeeds. Beyond that, biology helps us predict the future, from the effects of population growth and the consequences of over-exploiting natural resources, to helping us nourish and protect future generations. Almost everything that matters is affected by biology, and at Reading our research informs this growing understanding. This module will introduce students to some of the ideas which inform current and future zoology and ecology through keyhole presentations by staff in Biological Sciences.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Knowledge of biological topics in the context of societal and global issues.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
Topics selected from evidence-based conservation: evolution of languages; invertebrate and vertebrate biodiversity; future human health; mosquitoes and climate change; global energy supply/artificial photosynthesis; urbanisation of nature; population growth, food supply, climate; plants, crops and bacterial pathogens; the origin and extent of life; biology and society, human wildlife conflict.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Guided independent study 90
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Other information on summative assessment:
In class test (100%). Students will be required to sit a series of in-class assessments during the course of the module using multiple-choice and short answer formats. They will be expected to show understanding of the subject matter presented in lectures and critical thinking regarding the topics.

Formative assessment methods:
Preliminary short online tests will be used.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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