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BI2020: ECOLOGY (2021-2022)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course builds on themes from introductory ecology courses.  You will develop your abilities to interpret data by applying theory discussed in classes to real-life data sets using short problem-solving exercises linked to each topic.  Feedback will help you improve writing and interpretation skills.  Extended problem-solving exercises will improve your communication skills, scientific writing and introduce you to valuable approaches to summarising complex datasets in Excel. You will also consider issues around experimental design. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study Yes
  • Dr Clare Trinder

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The content covers core topics in ecology and uses examples from terrestrial and marine systems, plants, animals and soil. It features the following themes: the nature of ecological communities and how we describe, measure and quantify them; interactions such as herbivory, competition, parasitism and predation; the role of mutualisms in community dynamics; the impact of biodiversity and its effect on ecosystem function; food-webs, community assembly and biogeography; population dynamics and ecosystem processes.

Although topics are covered as separate units, there is a strong emphasis on the links between these interactions, encouraging you to develop a holistic view to see how organisms and functions are interconnected.

Interpretation exercises based on theories and ideas from each topic will develop your capacity for problem identification, collection of evidence and synthesis of ideas.
The introduction to Excel PivotTables provides you with a transferable skill which may be valuable for analysing data in Honours Projects and when working with any large data set in future.

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Field Course during University week13
  • 1 Science Laboratory during University weeks 9, 9, 9, 11, 11, 11, 15, 15, 17, 17, 19, 19
  • 3 Seminars during University week9
  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 10 - 19
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 9 - 19

More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

2x Open Book Tests (20% and 30%) (50% in total)

4x Practicals (7.5% each) (30% in total)

5x Tutorial Participation (4% each) (20% in total)


Alternative Resit Assessment

Students will repeat whichever elements of the assessment were failed or not completed at first sitting; the marks for elements already passed will be carried forwards.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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