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 course 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 aim of this is to help students develop skills enabling them to conduct independent research in animal ecology and behaviour, with wider applicability to collecting and reviewing information from multiple sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1 Conduct self-guided research into ongoing research in animal behaviour and ecology from primary and secondary sources, and critically discuss findings orally and in writing.
2 Formulate hypotheses exploring animal behavior and ecology, and design and implement experiments to test these hypotheses.
3 Relate practical concepts in pest control to key principles of animal behaviour and ecology, with specific examples.

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

Teaching and learning activity

Course material will be delivered primarily through problem based learning, discussion tutorials and practical classes. Lectures are used to explore individual topics in depth following student-led learning.


Examination - 60%
LO - 1-3
Pass Mark 40%
2 hour exam to test understanding of the course content.

Essay - 40%
LO - 1-3
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 3000
An in depth species comparison of an aspect of the central course, to include species NOT used as examples in the given course material.

Students are required to pass all components in order to pass the course.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Comments on essay outline
Verbal questions in the revision session