Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

C11EEB Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  16/17

Total Credits: 20

Level: Level 1

Target Students:  Students studying Biology and Zoology.

Taught Semesters:

Full Year Assessed in both Autumn and Spring Semesters 

Prerequisites: A-level Biology (or equivalent).

Corequisites:  None.

Summary of Content:  This module provides an introduction to the fundamentals of evolution, ecology and behaviour. Evolutionary processes are explored from a variety of approaches, from the fossil record, through adaptation, speciation and the study of phylogenetics and how it shapes the tree of life, right up to the cutting edge of genomic evolution. Modern ecology has never been a more important subject than now, a result of our major environmental problems. In this module ecological topics are explored by examining ecosystem processes, competition, predation, pathogens, parasites and disease, life histories, resources, niches, demographic processes, and sustainability. Understanding animal behaviour in response to their ecosystem begins with asking rigorous questions about foraging, signalling, sexual selection, parental care, altruism and also allows us to understand human behaviour in an evolutionary context.

Method and Frequency of Class:

ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
Practical 4 weeks1 per week3 hours
Lecture 19 weeks2 per week1 hour
Workshop 4 weeks1 per week3 hours

Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

Method of Assessment: 

Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
Exam 1 15 January - multiple choice examination 
Coursework 1 50 Assessment of practical work - approx 1000 words 
Exam 2 35 May/June - multiple choice examination 

Dr K Durrant

Education Aims:  A student who completes this module will have an understanding of: - The fundamental processes of evolution - The history and diversity of life on Earth and how it is structured into ecosystems - Interactions between biotic and abiotic environmental factors - How living organisms adapt to their environment - How animals interact with their environment behaviourally - How evolutionary and ecological processes lead to genetic change and speciation - Current issues in areas of conservation, epidemiology and climate change

Learning Outcomes:  Learning Outcomes: A student who completes this module will be expected to be able: A1. to describe the evolution, genetics, behaviour and ecology of living organisms A2. to identify the relationship between evolution, ecology and behaviour and other biological disciplines and their relevance to humanity in the face of global challenges A3. to understand and use appropriate terminology to describe evolutionary, ecological and behavioural concepts A student who completes this module will have the ability: B2. to undertake appropriate experimental design and statistical analysis B3. to work safely in the field and laboratory, using appropriate equipment and instruments and assess related safety issues in order to make and record accurate observations and measurements B4. to acquire information systematically, process it effectively, and draw appropriate conclusions B5. to demonstrate numeracy and written skills in the evaluation of the results from practical work B6. to develop effective ways of working including productive team work, scheduling of tasks and time management to meet deadlines B7. to demonstrate computing skills in the handling of scientific data and the use of on-line learning tools

Offering School:  Life Sciences

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