BIO3070 - Trends in Ecology

General Unit Information

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This unit will investigate what's hot in the science of ecology and how we got there by following the history of ecological ideas and the people behind them through to the big questions that remain unanswered in ecology today. The ecological dimensions of space and time will be a common theme running through the unit as we explore the ecology of fitness, interaction networks and the four 'M's - metacommunity ecology, metasystems, metabolic ecology and macroecology. Underpinning all of this will be the recognition of the interplay between ecology and evolution that is blurring the distinction between the two disciplines. Each topic and its core concepts will be covered in lectures and the relevance of these topics to the changing world and to conservation will be discussed. Material presented in lectures will be supported by practical and tutorial sessions. Together we will read and interpret 'hot off the press' ecology research papers, debate controversial topics in the field, delve into live data and design experiments to answer unsolved problems.


After completing this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Explain and describe current topics in ecology and their core concepts;
  2. Discuss the development of ecological ideas and current questions in the field;
  3. Gather, analyse, interpret and discuss primary data and research publications in the topics covered;
  4. Design experiments and develop hypotheses to test contextually-relevant research questions;
  5. Present and debate unanswered questions and controversial ideas in the field;
  6. Work effectively in individual and peer or team contexts.

Specific Unit Information

Names Dr. Chris Johnstone
Office location 18/117
Office hours By appointment. Please email.
Technical coordinator
Names Emily Skoda
Office location 18/114
Phone 990 24630
Prescribed TBA
Program for 2015
HandbookEntry BIO3070 - Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites 
Schedule BIO3070- Lecture & Practical Schedule for 2017
Important links
Science Faculty Information for Students - Enrolments, Prac Sessions, more..... 
University Information for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....