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BIO2031 - Biodiversity and bioresources

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader(s): Dr Dennis O'Dowd


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


This unit is about appreciating life and its value; therefore it provides a foundation for understanding the conservation and management of genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. Topics include the origins and unfolding of life on earth and the processes that have led to its current distribution and diversity; controversies surrounding the state of knowledge of present-day biodiversity, the means of measuring it, the magnitude of losses resulting from human activities; and the value of biological diversity, primarily in terms of ecosystems 'services' and as bioresources.


On completion of this unit students will be able to: describe and evaluate the key components of biodiversity; critically evaluate global estimates of biodiversity as well as predictions for future losses; analyse and evaluate the means for the rapid assessment of biodiversity; use examples to illustrate the value of biodiversity, as genetic and biological resources, and in terms of the ecosystem services it provides; effectively communicate findings to a scientific and a general audience in individual and group settings.


Mid-semester theory examination (1 hour): 25%
Final theory examination (1 hour): 25%
Practical: two written reports (800 and 1200 words): 25%
One essay (1200 words): 10%
Quizzes on practical exercises: 15%

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical or equivalent


24 points of level one units



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