NS6203: Population and Community Ecology


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS6203: Population and Community Ecology

Module Title Population and Community Ecology
Module Code NS6203
Module Tutor Matthew Wood
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 15
Level of Study 6
Brief Description

This module explores the fundamental biology that underpins the way that populations, communities and ecosystems function in the real world. These classical fields of ecology are of wide importance in biology, and have been reinvigorated recently by the use of new technological and analytical approaches. Population and community ecology is increasingly relevant to our understanding of the natural world, particularly in regard to the ecology of climate change, sustainability and conservation. This module complements NS6208Conservation Ecology

Indicative Syllabus

This module considers the theoretical foundations of population and community ecology, and uses this knowledge to consider relevant questions in biology. How and why do populations grow, remain stable or decline in size? How does competition regulate interactions between populations, including predator-prey interactions, parasitism and symbiosis? What is the nature of an ecological community, and how do population interactions influence its structure? What makes a food web robust to disturbance? This module will use a range of learning approaches including lectures, practical exercises, data workshops, seminars and a field study. This module would suit students with broadinterests who would like to study ecology in more depth.

Learning Outcomes

A student passing this module should be able to:

1. Understand and explain the complex processes in population and community ecology

2. Recognise and justify the importance of ecological interactions in shaping the structure of ecological communities

3. Apply advanced theoretical understanding to current issues in ecology and critically evaluate the value of long term studies of populations and communities

4. Use computing resources to construct and test population models

5. Provide pertinent answers to questions under time-constrained conditions

6. Critically evaluate the theoretical basis of biological concepts, and illustrate understanding using supporting evidence from primary sources and case studies

Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 36
Independent Learning Hours: 114
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 50% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 2000 words or equivalent
002: 50% Written Exam: End of module, seen, open book: 2.00 hours
Special Assessment Requirements
Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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