BIO3082 - Global Change Biology

General Unit Information


This unit studies how human-induced environmental changes, such as climate change, affects organisms and ecosystems. We explore how environmental stresses affect the physiology, behaviour, and ecological interactions of different organisms. In turn, the implications of these changes for biodiversity and human society are also examined. The unit covers a range of organisms (i.e. plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, microorganisms) and biomes (e.g. grasslands, oceans, coral reefs, Antarctica). Throughout the course, we also consider intervention strategies that can increase the sustainability of human development and reduce its impacts on biota.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Summarise the main anthropogenic pressures on biota, including climate change, land use change, pollution, and invasive species.
  2. Explain how plants and animals respond to environmental stresses, including by modulating: gene expression, metabolism, morphology, and behaviour.
  3. Assess how environmental change affects biodiversity, food security, and other ecosystem services.
  4. Predict how ongoing environmental changes will affect the ecological distributions and interactions of animals, plants, and microorganisms.
  5. Propose and evaluate strategies to prevent or mitigate environmental change and its impacts on biota.
  6. Demonstrate critical analytical approaches to scientific research and writing scientific reports.

Specific Unit Information

Unit Coordinator
NameProfessor Carla M. Sgrò
Office location 18 Inn (Bld17), Room 439
Office hours By appointment - please email
Phone 9902 0332
Technical Coordinator
NameKylie Fennessy
Office location 25Rnf/114
Phone 9905 6447
There is no prescribed or recommended textbooks for this unit, but students will be advised of relevant primary literature as they progress through the unit.
Program for 2021
Handbook Entry BIO3082- Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
Schedule BIO3082 - Timetable of Topics for 2021
Important Links
Science Faculty Information for Current Students
University Information for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....