ENV2712 - Biology and diversity
6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate Faculty of Science
Leader(s): Dr Wendy Wright
An introductory section on systematics and phylogeny will establish relationships between the structure, function and evolutionary history of major groups of organisms. These major groups will be introduced and defined in terms of their basic structure and features. Life cycle, habits and habitat will be discussed. Attention will be paid to the diversity of ways in which various members of each group achieve key biological functions such as: feeding; reproduction; gas exchange and locomotion. Representative organisms will be chosen to illustrate the importance of their ecological roles. The process of ecological restoration in degraded ecosystems will also be considered.
On completion of this unit, students should be able to identify the requirements of living things and demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which organisms meet these requirements; identify the major plant and animal phyla, and the major lineages within these; explain the importance of several key evolutionary events; relate the taxonomy of the major plant and animal phyla, and the major lineages within these, to their structure and function; use field guides and dichotomous keys to identify organisms; describe the ecological role of several representative species and relate this to the use of such species in restoring degraded ecosystems.
End of semester examination (3 hours): 60%
Practical and tutorial exercises: 20%
Major assignment - restoring ecosystems: 20%
Three hours of lectures per week and two hours of practical classes per fortnight; plus a one-day field trip.
Off-campus attendance requirements
An optional field trip will be available to OCL students.