Ecology & Evolution
Ecology & Evolution 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Introduction: the meaning and value of ecology
Understanding the biological basis of diversity: genetic diversity and evolution 2.1 Genetic diversity: patterns of natural variation, genotype & phenotype, quantity & distribution of genetic variation 2.2 Forces of evolution: mutation, migration, selection and genetic drift 2.3 Theories of evolution: neo-Darwinism, Lamarck, Darwin’s “descent with modification”, subsequent observational and experimental evidence, modes of speciation, rates of evolution, extinction, phylogeny, evolution on earth
Evolutionary Trees and their Meaning 3.1 What are phylogenetic trees and what do they tell us? 3.2 Constructing phylogenetic trees 3.3 Uses of phylogenetic trees: reconstructing the evolution of organismal traits, historical biogeography. 3.4 Phylogenetic trees and classification/taxonomy
Community ecology: conditions, resources and the world’s communities 4.1 Geographical and temporal patterns at large and small scales 4.2 Spatial and temporal factors that influence richness 4.3 Gradients of species richness and island biogeography 4.4 Conservation: Species-area relationships, minimum critical areas; population distribution and fragmentation; in situ versus ex situ conservation
Population ecology 5.1 Life history strategies and control of species abundance 5.2 Species interactions: Predation, Competition, Facilitation
Marine Biodiversity and Sustainability 6.1 Limiting factors and disturbance 6.2 Body size relationships and diversity and trophic structure in the marine 6.3 Community & trophic structure structure in the marine (i.e. size structured) and hence energy flow 6.4 Marine harvests and sustainability 6.5 Aquaculture
Animal behaviour ecology 7.1 What is behavioural ecology? 7.2 Proximate causes of behaviour 7.3 Ultimate causes of behaviour 7.4 Behavioural adaptations to survival 1 7.5 Behavioural adaptations to survival 2
-threshold -Grades D- to D+. Aware of the basic principles underlying the science of ecology as outlined in the learning outcomes.
-good -Grades C- to B+. Better understanding of the principles as evidenced by an ability to explain the major aspects of the science of ecology. Ability to distinguish well-founded, and erroneous statements concerning biodiversity, the theory of evolution, and ecological science. Ability to explain the major components of the theory of evolution and of the main sections of the science of ecology and biogeography, and a range of examples of the application of ecology. Ability to recognise where ecology has been applied successfully, or unsuccessfully, in the management and conservation of biodiversity.
-excellent -Grades A- and above. Very good understanding of the science of ecology showing broad comprehension as evidenced by an ability to interpret relevant information critically, to recognise implications, to identify connections with other areas of knowledge and synthesise between them; knowledge spanning a wide range of relevant examples. Able to demonstrate insight into the paradox of ecology's importance versus the danger of applying it too simply or generally. Evidence of considerable effort, thought and background reading.
- A broad understanding of the science of ecology and biogeography.
- A knowledge of the major nutrient cycles.
- An understanding of the basis of adaptation and evolutionary change.
- An understanding of the basis of population growth and the dynamics and factors affecting these processes.
- An understanding of the dynamics of food webs and forces that affect ecosystem stability.
- That they have informed views on how ecology can be applied to manage and conserve biodiversity more effectively.
- Understanding of the theory of evolution and the classification of biodiversity.