BIOL390 Readings in Selected Topics in Biodiversity and ConservationThis
is a unit where you get to select what you will study! Conservation
genetics, impacts of climate change, captive breeding programs and reintroduction biology, invasive
species, ecotourism, coral reefs, three-toed sloths, or microhylid
frogs - these are just some of the topics investigated by previous
a compulsory part of the program for BSc (Biodiversity and
Conservation) students, but is also available to other students with
strong academic records. It runs internally and externally, both semesters. BIOL390
provides students with the opportunity to investigate an aspect of
biodiversity and conservation that particularly appeals to the student. A
topic is decided by the student in consultation with a supervisor from
the Department of Biological Sciences. The aim of the unit is to search,
read and critically review the scientific literature on the selected
topic. There are no scheduled classes; instead all students undertake
independent research, with regular contact with their topic supervisor
and the unit convener.
What topics can you chose? Almost
anything to do with conservation and biodiversity (provided it is not
too broad or very specific). If broad, you may have difficulties wading
through the literature whereas if too specific you may not be able to
find sufficient research papers. Your supervisor will help to find-tune
your topic. Both literature reviews will be on the same topic, but may
cover different aspects of it, or the first review may be more general
while the second may provide case studies. Examples of previous topics
and reviews include:
- Topic: Global amphibian declines
- Review 1: Possible causes of global amphibian declines and conservation implications
- Review 2: The role of the chytrid fungus in global amphibian declines
- Topic: The Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)
- Review 1: A one-of-a-kind avian aggressor?
- Review 2: What makes its aggressive behaviour unique?
- Topic: Urban gardens and native biodiversity
- Review 1: Urban gardens supporting native biodiversity
- Review 2: Urban gardens and implications for biodiversity conservation
- Topic: Relationship between fire and vegetation
- Review 1: Climate controls on fire
- Review 2: Interactions between fire and vegetation in surface and crown fire systems
Other topics include:
- Implications of climate change on reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination
- Impacts of cliamte change on avian phenology
- Counting the costs of ecotourism on nature conservation
- Susceptibility of island birds to extinction
- The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth: Recently discovered and on its way to extinction
What is the assessment load?
||Typically due: |
||Friday, Week 4|
|Literature Review 1
||Friday, Week 7|
||TBA, Week 12|
|Literature Review 2
Friday, Week 13
What are the enrolling requirements?
To enrol in this subject you must be a BSc (Biodiversity and
Conservation) student, or have a GPA > 2.5 and have a topic that does
not fit the requirements of BIOL399. A form for special approval needs
to be completed (Download a form from here).
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