Over half the species of animals and plants in the world occur in the tropics. Tropical environmental biology introduces students to terrestrial and aquatic tropical ecosystems and their vast biodiversity. The conservation and management of tropical forests are of global importance particularly with respect to climate change, nutrient cycling, conservation of endangered species and potential for discoveries of new drugs and other bioactive compounds. The major provides specialist training in tropical environmental biology with a particular emphasis on techniques and field skills relevant to the study, conservation and management of tropical environments. Students study a range of topics including environmental science, tropical ecology, terrestrial and aquatic tropical biology, tropical environmental management and conservation of bioresources.
Monash is one of the few world class universities with a tropical campus and the location of the Malaysia Campus is ideal for the study of tropical environmental biology. Through field trips, lectures and research projects, students gain an appreciation for, and understanding of, tropical ecosystems in the region including coral reefs, tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, peat swamp forests, rivers and lakes.
Tropical environmental biology can lead to an exciting career in areas such as conservation biology, aquatic biology, environmental management and consultancies, biotechnology, field and laboratory research in government, industry or universities, and environmental NGOs.
Tropical environmental biology is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science at Malaysia as a minor, major or extended major.
In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major or extended major will be able to:
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific principles, concepts and skills in areas of science relevant to tropical environmental biology, such as ecology, conservation, environmental management and aquatic and terrestrial biology
- demonstrate understanding of how biological processes differ between tropical regions and other latitudes due to the effects of climate
- apply critical thinking, quantitative and qualitative field and laboratory research techniques and analytical skills to solve problems in tropical environmental biology.