programme

Ecology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Home/ Ecology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHE2ED1014

To which offered: (I/ III/ V) I semester

Course Title: Ecology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Credits: 4 Credits

Course Code (new): SHE2ED101

Type of Course: Compulsory yes Cohort MAED

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Suresh Babu (CC)

Email of course coordinator: suresh[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

Aim:

This course is an introduction to the scientific principles that govern the natural world around us and their applications to contemporary ecological concerns. The course will be a primer on basic ecological theory relating to the hierarchical organization of biological complexity as it is viewed in ecology – from individuals to ecosystems and beyond.

The contents would introduce students to processes that occur at populations, community and ecosystem levels. A brief section on Evolutionary Biology would produce the necessary anchorage for the central ecological principle discussed in the course.

The course will be taught in modules of 4 hours each week. The field skills module would be transacted at a field location with an opportunity to understand, estimate and measure ecological variables in the real-life conditions.

Learning Objectives:

The course will build a working knowledge of ecological concepts and terminology that are necessary to understand the contemporary ecological challenges. The students will also learn to apply theory to environmental/ecological problem solving. The field skills module will teach them to measure ecological variables that are relevant to natural resource management and human ecology.

Course Outcomes:

  • Understanding of core ecological concepts such as biochemical basis of living, Evolutionaty theory, Populations, Communities, Ecosystems and Global Biogeography
  • Ability to effectively communicate through written material, graphs and oral presentations, to explain complex ecological phenomena, across and within learner groups
  • Ability to recognize ecological underpinnings and patterns in natural phenomena, and apply the conceptual apparatus to the real world scenarios with a view to addressing issues and providing solutions.
  • Ability to analyze ecological data, evidences and representations and ability to comment/draw independent conclusions supported by lines of reasoning and evidence
  • Ability to define problems, formulate hypotheses, test hypotheses, analyse, interpret and draw conclusions from data, establish hypotheses, predict cause-and-effect relationships
  • Ability to conduct research with self awareness, reflexivity and interpret scientific findings with societal contexts
  • Ability to understand and use technology in a variety of situations, ranging from retrieving data from repositories, to collecting data from the field using instrumentation,
  • Ability to analyze data using appropriate custom softwares, and visualizing and communicating information using variety of media
  • Ability to do an independent ecological study, starting from a study design, to survey, to compilation and analysis of data and take a project to its logical conclusion.
  • Ability to work in multicultural work groups, to accomplish complex tasks involving, theoretical, field based and lab based projects.
  • Ability to discern and avoid unethical behaviour such as fabrication, falsification or misrepresentation of dataand avoid plagiarism in any form
  • Ability to appreciatebiodiversity conservation challenges and environmental sustainability issues
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of learning situations ranging from, theoretical, lab based and field based projects, that involve multiple learning contexts.
     

Course Content:

The Coursework is divided into broadly Five Sections, further divided in to 12 Modules.

The sections are: (i) Basic Evolutionary Theory, (ii) Organismal and Population Ecology, (iii) Community Ecology, Dynamics & Species Interactions, (iv) Ecosystem Ecology and (v) Field Biology and Projects

S. No.

Module

1

Introduction to Ecology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity

2

Basics of Evolutionary Biology

3

Population Ecology

 

4

 

 

Basics of Community Ecology

5

Basics of Community Dynamics

6

Basics of Community Dynamics: Ecological Succession

7

Food Webs and Food Chains

8

Ecosystems of the World

9

Ecology & Field Biology

 

Indicative Reading List:

  • Begon, M., Townsend, C. R., & Harper, J. L. (2006). Ecology: From Individuals to Ecosystems. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Diamond, J., & Case, T. J. (Eds.) (1986). Community Ecology. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, Inc.
  • Futuyma, D. J. (2009). Evolution (2nd ed.). Sinauer Associates Inc.
  • Krebs, C. J. (1999). Ecological Methodology (2nd ed.). Harlow, England: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
  • Krebs, C. J. (2008). The Ecological Worldview. CSIRO Publishing/ CABI Publishing.
  • Krebs, C. J. (2009). Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance (6th ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
  • Ricklefs, R.E. & Miller, G. (2000).Ecology(4th ed.). W.H. Freeman & Co.
  • Townsend, C. R., Begon, M., & Harper, J. L. (2008). Essentials of Ecology (3rd ed.). Blackwell Publishing.

Assessment:

Course evaluation will be done through a combination of tests/quizzes, writing assignments, field projects and student presentations. In All there will be Four Assessment situations- consisting of a short quiz, two tests, and a field based project (10, 20, 30, 40%) respectively.