Module title: Biodiversity: Pattern and Process

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV10107
Module leader: Gavin Ballantyne
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science
Prerequisites

ENV09103 - Population and Community Ecology

2018/9, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Gavin Ballantyne
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods including their alignment to LOs
The module uses a combination of interactive lectures, tutorials and directed questions based around the subject content to encourage active student engagement with the learning materials. Course handbooks contain self-directed study questions, which are reviewed in subsequent sessions. Active engagement and student autonomy are developed through the requirement for background reading of relevant research studies for discussion in teaching sessions. Simple simulation models are available in Moodle which enable students to develop their conceptual understanding of population models (LO1), life history evolution (LO2) and species interactions (LO3) beyond the material covered in class through direct interaction, experimentation with, and analysis of, the relevant models. Worked examples and tutorials are used to explore aspects of experimental design and data analysis (LO5), along with discussion and debate of issues around conservation (LO4). Tutorials are also used to develop skills in presentation of scientific results to a lay audience (LO6), through discussion and exercises.


Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment is built into the module through a requirement to complete two critiques of literature in advance of the first summative assessment as practice for this assessment and also for the related question in the final take-home examination; feedback on these tasks is generated and shared collectively in class.

Summative Assessment:
The final assessment consists of a ‘take-home examination’ which requires careful synthesis and evaluation of module material; students will be prepared for this by discussing and practicing similar questions in class. A week will be allowed for the completion of this assessment

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 22
Face To Face Tutorial 11
Independent Learning Guided independent study 167
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 30 3,5 5 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Report 20 1,2,3,4,6 9 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Centrally Time Tabled Digital Examination 50 1-5 14/15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Equilibrium and non-equilibrium models of population dynamics, life-history strategies and evolution, diversity and species interactions: competition, predation, parasitism and facilitation, spatial ecology: metapopulation dynamics and modelling, latitudinal gradients and species-area models, trophic cascades, population extinction: stochasticity and population viability analysis, ecosystem function and conservation, experimental design and data analysis.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Distinguish between the major models of population dynamics and their predictions
LO2: Critically analyse the drivers of, and constraints on, life-history evolution
LO3: Critically analyse the role of species interactions in determining local and global biodiversity trends
LO4: Appraise the role of ecological theories in supporting conservation of species and ecosystems
LO5: Critically evaluate experimental design and analysis in published ecological work
LO6: Summarise and synthesise scientific research and distil it into a form understandable by the informed layperson

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Core - BEGON, M., TOWNSEND, C. AND HARPER, J. (2006) ECOLOGY: FROM INDIVIDUALS TO ECOSYSTEMS: OXFORD: BLACKWELL, 4th ed. - ISBN: 9781405151986
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