BI1EF2-Ecology: species and their interactions

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 Mark Fellowes


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide the student with an understanding of the local and global patterns of the distribution and abundance of living species, and the processes that have resulted in these patterns.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, the student will be expected to be able to:

  • Describe the basics of population and community ecology.
  • Describe the fundamental interactions between species, and between species and their abiotic environment.
  • Review how an understanding of the fundamentals of ecology can be applied to questions of conservation and pest management.
  • Identify the common bird species found on campus.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be provided with an opportunity to develop insights into field ornithology and, through this, to gain an understanding of the critical link between field taxonomy skills and field ecology.

Outline content:
In this unit, we will consider different types of interactions among species, and how an understanding of these interactions may help lead to a more scientifically based programme of conservation and pest management. Core topics include: population dynamics, herbivory, predation, parasitism, mutualisms, food web structure, biogeography, global climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be 20 lectures, covering the fundamentals of ecology. The practical component will be based around a series of field classes introducing students to the diversity of bird life on campus and using this to illustrate how basic field surveys are carried.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 20
Guided independent study 60
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Oral assessment and presentation 25
Class test administered by School 5

Other information on summative assessment:
There are two pieces of assessed work. Students will be examined on their bird identification skills (spots test) and must report the results of a bird survey and then build on this with a more detailed exposition on the biology of a named species.

Formative assessment methods:

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:
    One-and-a-half hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September only

    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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