Ecological Fundamentals

Module summary

Module code: OBIO1095
Level: 4
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Gabriel Fernandez-Grandon



Ecology is the study of organism interactions. These can be those that take place between organisms, or an organism and the environment. This course will introduce fundamental ecological concepts to the student.

The course aims to:
1. Introduce students to key ecological concepts
2. Introduce the research techniques used to study the interactions involved in processes such as feeding, mating and parasitism
3. Show how ecological concepts can be applied in areas such as fisheries management, pest control and sustainable harvesting.
4. Show how ecological processes are used by ecologists to examine local and global environmental issues.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of basic ecological vocabulary and concepts;
2. Demonstrate an understanding of how organisms interact within and between species;
3. Explain how organisms are affected by their interactions with both the physical and the
biological environment, and how this functions in different types of ecosystem;
4. Demonstrate an understanding of how evolution shapes ecological processes;
5. Explain the role of the scientific method in ecology;
6. Explain the role of ecological theory in the sustainable management of natural resources.

Indicative content

1. ecological concepts at the individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels
2. Reproduction, population growth and regulation, competition, predation, mutualism, community structure, succession, energy
flow, and nutrient cycling;
3. Organism and Population Ecology: the fundamental relationship with between ecology and evolution;
4. Interactions between Species
5. Communities, Ecosystems and Biodiversity.