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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Ecology

Undergraduate Course: Conservation and Management of Natural Populations (ECLG10009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryConservation and management of natural populations is one of the greatest scientific challenges of the modern era. It affects every aspect of our lives, from food security (pollinators, fisheries, crop genetic diversity) and health (pathogen evolution, emergence of zoonotic diseases), to rural economics, sports and leisure (hunting, bird watching, re-wilding) and building materials (forestry). Effectively managing wild populations requires a thorough understanding of the fundamental biology and ecology of populations and communities.

The course will build upon basic population and community ecology to provide students with a conceptual toolkit for thinking about managing wild populations. We will start by revising core concepts and exploring how to use them to identify anthropogenic changes and determine their causes. We will then examine the major threats to biodiversity and intervention strategies in response, exploring the different aims, requirements and outcomes of the more commonly used approaches.
Course description The course is based around around 11 lectures and will also involve group discussion sessions centred on salient topics covered in these lectures. We will also conduct a key question scan to identify the outstanding questions in the field. The first half of the course focuses on the conceptual underpinnings of the field and the second half on major threats to biodiversity.

The lectures will cover

An introduction to conservation biology and biodiversity
Demography and conservation
Community ecology and conservation
Evidence based conservation
Conservation genetics
Identifying when diversity is under pressure
The impacts of land-use change
Biological invasions
Conservation in the face of climate change
Conservation and people
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please do not enrol a student on this course without prior permission from the School of Biological Sciences. Please contact the Course Administrator in the first instance.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Block 3 (Sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 15, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, External Visit Hours 3, Online Activities 2, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 71 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% in course assessment (70% Key Question Scan, 30% class test).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
Understand modern techniques for monitoring and managing natural populations.
Reading List
Primack, R.B. 2012 A Primer of Conservation Biology (5th Edition). Sinauer.
Begon, M., Townsend, C.R. & Harper, J.L. 2012. Ecology: from individuals to ecosystems (4th Edition). Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Understanding of modern techniques for monitoring and managing natural populations.
Critical thinking. Analysis of primary literature. Data handling and synthesis.
Relating science to policy.
KeywordsConservation,ecology,population management
Course organiserDr Albert Phillimore
Tel: (0131 6)50 5413
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Law
Tel: (0131 6)51 3689
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