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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Biomedical Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Invasive Non-Native Species (BIME11012)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will illustrate the threat posed to ecosystems by invasive and non-native species. The impact these species can have on local biodiversity and overall ecosystem health is exceeded only by that of habitat loss and is thus a key consideration for long-term ecosystem management and sustainability.
Course description This course emphasises the ecology of species 'invasions' to locations in which they were previously absent. While the focus is on non-native species, the mechanisms of invasion ecology have direct relevance to natural dispersal and colonisation by species and individuals. This has significance in terms of climate change adaptation, species reintroductions and evolutionary biology. The course explores the ecological implications of 'invasiveness' that go beyond the presence or naturalisation of a new species.

The course explores some of the historical events and activities that have led to the establishment of non-native species and the consequences over time to natural ecosystems. This theme is carried over to consider contemporary human facilitated species dispersal at a global level and some of the biosecurity regimes and protocols in place to reduce this flow. Case studies are used to illustrate some of the pathways that have led to non-native species. Finally, the challenge of facilitating species migration as a means of climate change adaptation in the context of biosecurity are discussed.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Online Activities 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 53 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formal summative written assessment will constitute 60% of the student's grade. Online assessment will incorporate a variety of activities will constitute 40% of their overall course grade and is taken to represent a formative assessment of learning throughout the programme.
Feedback Summative assessment consists of a written element, worth 60% of the total mark, and an online element worth 40%. In both cases, comprehensive written feedback is provided individually with 15 working days of the assessment deadline. Students are expected to reflect on their feedback, to seek additional clarification if appropriate, and to use this to improve on future assignments of a similar nature.
Formative assessment consists of discussion around what is expected of each piece of assessed work for the course. This is conducted in an open discussion forum for all students to contribute to and provides an opportunity to clearly understand the key requirements for each assignment before submission. Any student can post questions about the assignment and a response will be posted on the discussion board by the course tutor within 3 working days.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand what is meant by an 'invasive non-native' species and appreciate what makes this combination of features such a threat to ecosystems.
  2. Give examples of where invasive non-native species have had a significant impact on a given ecosystem.
  3. Discuss the management options to control invasive non-native species and their relative merits and likely successes.
Reading List
Journal: Biological Invasions - Springer
Book: Invasion Ecology (2013 second edition) Lockwood JL, Hoopes MF, Marchetti MP, John Wiley and Sons
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course encourages effective study time management through recommended reading of primary literature as well as the active sourcing and sharing of contemporary literature on and around the core subject. The written assignment is designed to enhance science communication skills to different audiences.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Robert Thomas
Course secretaryMr Lyndon Zahra
Tel: (0131) 651 5232
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