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Module

BIO3040 : Applied Ecology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gordon Port
  • Lecturer: Professor Darren Evans, Professor Angharad MR Gatehouse
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Human activity has major impacts on the ecology of both managed and unmanaged ecosystems, and it is important for modern ecologists to understand the effects on individuals, populations and communities of plants and animals. To do this successfully, ecologists require both a thorough understanding of the underlying theories that can be used to describe the behaviour of ecological systems, and also the ability to apply these theories so as to predict the likely results of human activity. Applied ecologists must also be able to communicate effectively scientific knowledge into clear guidance that can be used by policy-makers; this may include control of crop pests or alien invasives, or conservation of rare and endangered species.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures will be under four broad themes:
• Population management of pest and beneficial species in agro-ecosystems
• Ecological networks, with examples from agro-ecosystems and landscape ecology
• Efficacy and biosafety of GM crops
• Scientific knowledge and policy – how to communicate scientific findings for policy-makers

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Policy brief
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Written assignment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Preparation for written assignment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials116:0016:00Online via Canvas - A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text published on VLE
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading119:0019:00Project presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Online - group presentation preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Online - group presentations
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity52:0010:00Project presentation preparation and reflection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery71:007:00Online - guidance, consultation and feedback
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:0036:00Study of lectures and other provided material
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0018:00Lecture follow up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:0036:00Directed Reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Module talks
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will include case studies to demonstrate the application of ecological theory in practical contexts. Students will also give group presentations on ecological practice, and learn the skills needed to communicate scientific findings to policy makers.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M40Policy or Management Brief 6-8 pages
Written exercise1M60N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MGroup presentations on life history ecology theory and applied ecology.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will give students an opportunity to demonstrate that they have a thorough understanding of both underlying ecological theory, and how this can be applied in real-world situations and broader areas of the module content. Students will be expected to integrate material from multiple lectures, plus additional study, in order to answer the questions effectively.

The Policy Brief will assess students’ abilities to communicate often complex ecological concepts in clear, concise yet precise language, suitable for non-scientists to understand and make informed decisions.

An alternative assessment will be set for any Semester 1 Study Abroad student taking this module, who will not be in Newcastle during the January assessment period

Reading Lists

Timetable