Subject Descriptions - Subject Information

Calendar: 2017 Undergraduate
Faculty: Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
Department: School of Biological Sciences

Subject Information
Subject Code BIOL351
Subject Name Conservation Biology: Marine and Terrestrial Populations
Credit Points 8
Pre-Requisites BIOL251 & BIOL252 & STAT252 OR STAT151 & BIOL251 & BIOL252
Co-Requisites Nil
Restrictions Nil
Equivalence BIOL361
Assessment Critique of Paper for Genetics Poster 10%; Paper Presentation 10%; Population Modelling Assignment 10%; Paper Analysis 5%; Genetics Poster as PowerPoint Slide 15%; Final Examination 50%
General Subject Yes.

Subject Description
Field camps and trips are an integral part of this subject. Describing populations - demography, life tables, genetic structure. Factors regulating population growth - competition herbivory, predation, environmental disturbance. Natural selection. Frequency-dependence and density-dependence. Phenotypic plasticity. Sex, recombination and breeding systems. Localised adaptation. Hybrids and hybrid zones. Mechanisms of evolution and speciation. Population biology in relation to conservation - minimum population sizes, inbreeding depression, genetic tolerance of extreme conditions.

Subject Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:
1. Understand the factors that contribute to biological variability.
2. Interpret demographic data and to plan a simple demographic study.
3. Describe the factors determining the genetic composition of populations.
4. Explain the ecological, genetic and evolutionary consequences of human modification of ecological processes.
5. Justify the need for conservation of biodiversity, and identify the major threats to the viability of threatened natural populations.
6. Apply effective sampling design and methodology to the assessment of biological populations.
7. Apply algebraic and statistical methods in genetics and ecology and to use simple mathematical models to predict population processes in conservation biology.
8. Critically evaluate the methodology and conclusions of conservation biology studies.
9. Clearly communicate an understanding of relevant published literature.
10. Clearly communicate and prepare an analytical critique of published literature.
11. Clearly communicate and present an oral presentation based on published literature (e.g. paper analysis, poster, or seminar).

Extra Information
Generic Extra Information:
NOTE: The use of animals, animal tissues or animal-derived products (such as sera) is inherent and unavoidable, in order to achieve specific learning objectives. Students with conscientious objections to that use should not enrol in this subject.