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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

The course sets plant animal interactions in an evolutionary context with a focus on recent research findings in the primary literature. 

Guest speakers from the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen are used throughout the course to ensure the course content includes case studies of application of plant animal interactions research to land management.

You will write an Opinion Piece assignment and have access to detailed feedback to improve your writing and presentation skills.

A interactive workshop based around a current topic in plant animal interactions research will enhance your enquiry and debating skills

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor David Burslem
  • Professor Rene Van Der Wal

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?


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Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course explores the diversity and ecology of interactions of plants with both mammals and insects and discusses the underlying evolutionary processes involved. The course examines different ways plants and animals interact and outlines the benefits the participating organisms receive from this interaction. Topics covered are: coevolution; pollination and seed dispersal by animals; herbivory and animal responses to plant defensive chemicals; mammalian and insect herbivores; plant-nematode and plant-mollusc interactions; and applied aspects of plant-animal interactions including biological control. Recent advances in the subject are emphasised.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour examination (67%) and in-course assessment (33%) which comprises a 1,500 word Opinion Piece and a 500 word workshop report. Resit: A two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

A strong emphasis will be made throughout the course on informal verbal feedback during seminar and workshop sessions.


Each student will receive individual feedback and a mark for each task. Feedback will be provided as written comments. Groups will also be given generic feedback.

Course Learning Outcomes


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