Whole Year 2012
This course covers theoretical and applied issues in community ecology, with emphasis on terrestrial ecosystems. Major themes include food web ecology, local vs. regional determinants of community structure, species interactions in diverse assemblages, and the role of species in ecosystem functioning.
The aim of this course is to investigate fundamental aspects of community ecology---the study of interactions between two or more species and their consequences. The course will be of value to anyone interested in biodiversity, global environmental change, and ecological theory. Major themes include food web ecology, scaling up population-dynamic models, determinants of community structure, community assembly, species interactions in diverse assemblages, and threats to biodiversity. Where possible, the course will use applied examples of ecological principles and a mixture of both theoretical (modelling) and empirical research.
Many of the hot topics in ecology today have their foundations in ideas introduced decades ago. It is critical to be aware of the heredity of ideas and how ecology has developed over time. Therefore, in each seminar we will discuss landmark papers that shaped how we think about community ecology or contributed a significant methodological advance. Although a strong background in mathematics isn’t required for the course, it is expected that you will make an earnest effort to dissect equations and models and be able to explain in plain English what they show.
• Link an understanding of the structure and function of diverse assemblages of organisms with the fundamental ecological theories that underpin this structure
• Understand the complexity of interactions in ecological communities and how the ‘balance’ of interactions is altered by human modification
• Understand the interplay between theoretical and empirical approaches
• Be able to critically review scientific literature, including theoretical studies
• Develop the intellectual freedom to think critically about scientific issues
• Understand the keys to formulating a research question and designing a research programme
• Be able to synthesise, using evidence and reasoning, a key ecological concept from basic principles
Subject to approval of the Head of School.
Course Coordinator / Lecturer
and William Godsoe
Seminar literature critique
10 Aug 2012
For further information see
School of Biological Sciences.
All BIOL471 Occurrences
Whole Year 2012