The diverse Australian biota presents a compelling story of how history and environmental processes have shaped its evolution and the distribution of species over the landscape. For example, the high level of endemism, and the dominance of eucaplypts and wattles are distinctive, along with the complex interactions among species, including humans. This unit of study will consider the historical and contemporary processes of change that have led to, and currently influence, the biological diversity of Australia across a range of temporal and spatial scales. You will examine the timing and tempo of the evolution of major groups of plants and animals of Australia, and how these have been influenced by, and continue to interact with, significant earth history events and other organisms. By understanding the past, and the spatial distributions of species, you will be equipped to inform management and conservation decisions about the future of ecosystems and the plants and animals that comprise them. By doing this unit you will develop a deep understanding of the origin and diversity of the plants and animals of Australia. You will become proficient at the techniques and concepts used to infer past events, map current species distributions and to anticipate future changes in biological diversity.
Lecture 2 hrs/wk; practical class/discussion group 3-4 hrs/wk
Final theory exam (50%), Research project proposal - outline and scope (10%), Participation in group discussion/presentation (10%), Presentation of completed research project (30%)
(12cp of BIOL2XXX) or [6cp of BIOL2XXX and (MBLG2X72 or GEGE2X01 or GENE2002)]Prohibitions
BIOL3044 or BIOL3944 or BIOL3025 or BIOL3925 or PLNT3003 or PLNT3903