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To develop skills in the critique of literature and formulation and testing of hypotheses within the field of community ecology.
The aim of this course is to investigate fundamental aspects of community ecology—the study of interactions between two or more species and their environment. The course will be of value to anyone interested in biodiversity, global environmental change, and ecological theory. Major themes include food web ecology, metacommunities, determinants of community structure, community assembly, species interactions in diverse assemblages, and threats to biodiversity.Given the strong conceptual basis of the course material, we will often present topics via a mix of both theoretical (modelling) and empirical research when possible. Although a strong background in mathematics isn’t required, we do expect that you will make an earnest effort to dissect equations and models and be able to explain what they show in plain English.Recommended preparatory course(s): BIOL377, BIOL378 or BIOL375
As a student in this course, I will learn the following skills:Understand the interplay between theoretical and empirical approaches to community ecology.Link an understanding of the structure and function of diverse assemblages with the fundamental ecological theories that underpin this structure.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.Be able to synthesise, using evidence and reasoning, a key ecological concept from basic principles.Transferable Skills Register As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:Performing original research. From the outside, undertaking original research can appear straightforward but the reality is anything but. By conducting a research project, the student will understand the ins and outs of research—including its pitfalls—in a direct fashion, better preparing them for the challenges ahead in a work environment.Critically reviewing and synthesising information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, construct your own understanding and shape your own viewpoint. In tutorials, we will discuss recent research papers in a group environment and this will develop your abilities to identify the essential elements of research outputs and to build upon them in your own project.Written and verbal communication. Clear written communication is essential for most professional careers, and communicating verbally to a range of audiences is also critical in any area of endeavour.
Subject to approval of the Head of School.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
, Jonathan Tonkin
and Daniel Stouffer
Domestic fee $1,066.00
International Postgraduate fees
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
School of Biological Sciences.