2 x 1-hour lectures weekly
4 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 32-hour field trip per semester
BIOL1101 - Evolution of Biological Diversity
Enrolment not permitted
BIOL8711 has been successfully completed
Topic description

This topic will provide an introduction to the fundamental ideas and practices of ecology, the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. The topic provides a background in the fundamental principles of ecological science across multiple levels of organization including the individual organism, the population, the community, and the ecosystem. Students will gain an appreciation of 1) how ecologists employ the scientific process in answering questions about ecological systems and 2) how ecologist apply this knowledge to the conservation and management of populations, communities and ecosystems, and the services they provide.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide an introduction to the fundamental ideas and practices of the science of ecology.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Define and describe what ecology is, the breadth of the discipline and its relevance to many other disciplines of biology and conservation
  2. Describe how organisms' interact with one another and their environment and how these interactions give rise to patterns in their abundance and distribution
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the important ecological principles that operate at the levels of the individual organism, the population, the community, and the ecosystem
  4. Appreciate how an understanding of evolutionary processes informs the study of ecology
  5. Apply ecological principles to interpret ecological processes
  6. Apply ecological principles to environmental challenges and conservation concerns
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to use, the processes and methods of scientific inquiry to formulate research questions, hypotheses, and predictions
  8. Formally communicate, through both oral and written means, the results of ecological studies
  9. Have the practical skills to undertake basic ecological studies

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.