Animal Ecology

Module summary

Module code: OBIO1098
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Daniel Bray



Animal Ecology is the study of how animals interact with their environment and with other organisms. These include the interactions that take place between species and within species. This module will give the students a thorough understanding of the processes which take place in animal ecology. Focus will be placed in areas such as animal behaviour, mating systems and reproduction, sensory systems, movement patterns in individuals and populations, and interactions over trophic levels.

The module aims to:
• Introduce students to key ecological concepts
• Introduce students to the methods used in the study of animal behaviour.
• Introduce the research techniques used to study the interactions involved in processes such as feeding, and mating
• Introduce students to the mechanisms involved in parasitism
• Introduce the students to cyclical movement patterns in animals
• Introduce students to how animals use their senses.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of vocabulary and concepts in animal ecology.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of how animals interact within and between species.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of how evolution shapes animals, and their adaptions to different environments.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of how animals use their senses.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of how the study of animal behaviour can be used in areas such as pest control.

Indicative content

1. Methods and terminology in animal behaviour.
2. Herbivory, predation and parasitism
3. Role of animals in pollination
4. Mating systems and reproduction, investments and outcomes
5. Daily movement patterns, migration
6. Sensory functions and their uses