BIO1011 - Biology I

General Unit Information

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BIO1011 (Biology I) is an ideal unit for students who wish to pursue a career in an area related in any way to biology, or who are just interested in biology. This is because the unit is comprehensive, exploring biological processes from the level of molecules to investigating the large scale ecological questions, such as climate change and ecosystem functioning, that influence all life on Earth. The noted science journalist Robin Williams has suggested that while the 20th century was the century of physics, the 21st century will be the century of biology. This may be due to the increasing importance to the world of a sustainable and healthy environment and advances in the areas of genetics, medicine and ecology.

BIO1011 provides a thorough introduction to biological processes from the level of cell biochemistry to that of whole organisms. The structure and function of plant and animal cells in terms of energy fixation, storage and usage are also examined. The unit introduces the diversity of plants and animals and the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape them. BIO1011 also includes the study of microbial, animal and plant biology, comparing and contrasting similarities and differences among these major groups of organisms.

BIO1011 provides a suitable introduction for students wishing to pursue a career in any of the biological, environmental, or biomedical sciences. To complete an appropriate 1st year sequence, leading to a minor or major in any of these discipline areas, students should further their study in either (or both) BIO1022 and BIO1042. This is a sound basis for further study in the biological disciplines including medicine and environmental science. BIO1011 provides students with skills in library research, approaches to scientific methods, use of basic laboratory equipment, and data evaluation and presentation. The practical section of the subject introduces and stresses the experimental approach used when studying problems at various levels of biological organisation. Practicals are taught in a modern, well-equipped laboratory complex that has a variety of multimedia and computing resources.

The unit does not assume prior knowledge of biology however, students who have done VCE Biology will be challenged and stimulated by the content and presentation of the course. However, the flexible learning structure of the subject, with considerable staff and multimedia support and extensive self-learning opportunities, means that students who have no prior learning in biology can still excel.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Recognise and understand biological concepts and processes including cell biology and biochemistry, genetics, diversity, evolution and ecology;
  2. Display competence and precision in the use of laboratory equipment including pipettes, spectrophotometers and microscopes;
  3. Formulate hypotheses, make predictions and carry out scientific experiments to test such;
  4. Collect experimental data, evaluate it and present it in meaningful ways using appropriate software;
  5. Communicate scientific principles and information underlying biology-related topics in written formats and using appropriate conventions for scientific attribution;
  6. Perform library catalogue and database searches to locate and synthesize appropriate information for practical reports.

Specific Unit Information

Names Dr. Richard Burke Dr  Wee Wei Yee (Monash University Malaysia) Dr Lau Khim Heng (Malaysia Oct intake)
E-mail Sci-biol-firstyear-enquiries@monash.eduwee.weiyee@monash.eduLau.Khim.Heng
Office location 18 Innovation Walk, G32B  Rm 4-8-26 
Phone (+613) 9905-9531  (+603) 5514 6000, ext 45619(+603)5514 6097
Senior tutors
Names Dr Saw Hoon Lim
Miss Tova Crossman
Office location 23 Rnf Walk, room G03
Office hours 9 am -5 pm Monday - Friday by appointment
Phone 9905 5005, 9905 9545
Technical coordinators
Names Dr Yardenah Brickman
Mr Christopher Wilson
Office location 23 Rnf Walk, Student Enquiries
Phone 9905 5671, 9905 5624
Prescribed Campbell Biology, ANZ 11th Edition
Recommended Henderson's Dictionary of Biology, Lawrence, E. 2011, 15th Edition, Pearson Education.
Program for 2018
University Handbook Entry BIO1011- Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
Schedule BIO1011- Lecture & Practical Schedule for 2018    
Important Links
Science Faculty Information for Students - Enrolments, Prac Sessions, more.....
University Information for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....
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