The Jock Marshall reserve provides an outdoor laboratory for authentic education and learning, including observing, monitoring and learning about natural history and the environment. While the reserve is not an example of a pristine habitat, it is a highly valuable tool for education providing a unique wet-field biology experience, giving students the opportunity to develop generic skills in sampling and surveying techniques and the problems associated with fieldwork. Students are able to access an extensive range of facilities such as the Education Centre, a network of pitfall traps to survey terrestrial animals, and a lake with purpose built piers for aquatic surveys. Samples collected within the reserve can be investigated and anyased in the fully equipped Education Centre.

Other activities students undertake in the reserve include biodiversity comparisons, leaf breakdown in aquatic systems, research techniques and methods in biological surveys and aquatic food chains including food web investigations.

Undergraduate units

Undergraduate units that utilise the JMR, include;

BIO1042 Life in the environment. This unit is ideal for students interested in learning more about ecology and environmental science.

Topics include biosphere and environmental conditions, the adaptations of organisms to environmental stresses, the organization of plants and animals in ecosystems, environmental genetics, the important role of microbes and the evolution of Australia's unique biota.  Human impacts on the environment and the effective and responsible management of biological resources is also covered.

BIO2011 Ecology and biodiversity. This unit is an introduction to ecology; the scientific study of the interactions between organisms and their environment. Ecology and biodiversity forms the foundation for understanding conservation and the management of genetics, species and ecosystem diversity.

Topics include the scope and approaches of ecological enquiry, biotic and abiotic factors determining distributions, population growth and regulation, species interactions, patterns and maintenance of biodiversity, food web analysis, disturbance and succession, and production ecology and nutrient cycling.

BIO2010 Data science for biologists. Professional biologists with the skills to design experiments and analyse data are essential for identifying and responding to society’s urgent environmental, biomedical, and social challenges.

This unit provides the approaches and tools that enable curious and creative minds to collect, analyse, and understand complex biological data. The combination of training in critical thinking, data science using R, communication, and team work, will provide you with a demonstrable skill set that is highly-valued.

BIO2030 Food Security in a changing world. Food security is defined as when all people at all times have access to enough food and a balanced diet. Underpinning all food security are plants, whether eaten directly or consumed by stock animals.

This interdisciplinary unit will examine the factors that govern crop yields. The unit will also address the nutritional value of foods by exploring what is a balanced diet, how do we get it and its effects on animal physiology and health.

BIO2040 Conservation biology. Conservation Biology is a new, multidisciplinary science born of crisis: the unprecedented threat to biological diversity in modern times.

This course has two basic goals. First, it examines the magnitude and nature of the problem and second, the course explores solutions.

ENV2022 Environmental field skills and monitoring. This unit provides an introduction to the monitoring of vegetation, water and soils. It provides hands-on and industry relevant experience in the tools and techniques for conducting a multi-disciplinary environmental assessment.

During this unit students will implement an environmental monitoring program.

BIO3091 Biology of Australian vegetation. This unit examines the ecology of the major Australian vegetation communities and their component plants. It focuses on the factors influencing the distribution, composition and structure of Australian plant communities, and the characteristics of their species. It addresses the role of both contemporary environmental factors and historical factors in shaping the vegetation and flora.

BIO3111 Applied Ecology. Applied Ecology is concerned with managing the impact of human activities on the natural environment.

Specifically, the course explores and evaluates the many ways in which ecological knowledge and concepts can be used to achieve positive outcomes in areas of conservation and natural resource management. It examines the many dimensions of environmental challenges and the tools and approaches for effectively managing natural systems.

BIO3132 Biology of Australian vertebrates. This unit examines the evolution and characteristics of the vertebrate fauna of Australasia in relation to the historical and current biogeography and ecology of the region.

The primary focus will be the biology of the higher Australasian vertebrates and will be achieved by examination of the physiological, behavioural, and nutritional ecology of the major taxa.

Website resources for BIO3132;

The Jock Marshall Reserve is a restricted site. You must receive access permission and complete the relevant induction process on Moodle before entering the reserve. If you are enrolled in any of the units that utilise the JMR, you will receive this information by the relevant unit coordinator.

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