Study theory and practice of natural ecosystems. Navigate and track the human impact on environments. Classify biodiversity and explore cell theory and evolution. Survey Australian environments. Observe, interpret and assess data in real settings.
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This research-based university in Perth has a strong interdisciplinary focus and a reputation for outstanding teaching and ground-breaking research. With more than 22,000 students and 2,000 staff from over 90 countries, and campuses in Dubai and Singapore, Murdoch embraces free thinking, shared ideas and knowledge to make a difference, and Open Universities Australia is certainly part of that.
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At the completion of this subject students will be able to:
- explain, with examples, why the skills of observing, classifying, predicting, experimenting, theorising and communicating are important in environmental biology
- outline the major tenets of the cell theory and the theory of evolution and explain why they are the major unifying theories of modern biology
- describe briefly the distinguishing features of the major phyla of eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms
- discuss, using examples from biogeography such as biomes and the theory of continental drift, the concept that 'ecology is evolution in action'
- describe the main features of marine, inland aquatic and terrestrial environments and give examples of animals and plants that are adapted to each
- outline the main features of conservation biology as a sub-discipline of environmental biology and present a rationale for the conservation of the wild living resources of the earth
- write clear, concise reports on your laboratory and field work that follow standard biological conventions, especially referencing.
- Scientific method (including an introduction to the cell theory and evolution as the unifying theories of modern biology)
- Understanding biodiversity (a survey of the characteristics of the major groups of living biota)
- Evolution in action - population and community ecology
- Biodiversity and the environment - marine, inland aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
- The future - conservation biology and restoration ecology
No eligibility requirements
No special requirements
This subject was previously known as Introduction to Environmental Biology.
This subject introduces the theoretical and practical framework underpinning studies of natural ecosystems. Topics of classifying biodiversity, interactions within the biosphere and human impacts are explored using the unifying themes of the scientific method, cell theory and evolution. Detailed examples include the near shore marine environment, the freshwater environment and the arid terrestrial environment. Australian case studies illustrate basic principles. Practical work reinforces the environmental theme while building skills in observation, quantification, experimental design and interpreting data.
- Two practical reports (20%)
- 2 hour invigilated examination (50%)
- 3 x Online quizzes (30%)