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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Postgraduate

Postgraduate Course: Plant Geography (PGBI11012)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryBiologists have sought to understand patterns of species distribution, richness and endemism across the globe for over two centuries, a field of enquiry called biogeography. Biogeography is the study of species distributions in time (past, current and future) and space (from local to global scales). It is a fascinating field tackling some of the most fundamental questions in biology and biodiversity, and is of crucial importance at the intersection of the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Biogeographic research is essential for planning effective conservation strategies and being able to predict how organisms will react to anthropogenic environmental change.
Course description This course provides a background to the discipline of plant geography, including an account of its history, overview of basic concepts, as well as explanations of current analytical biogeographic methods used in the three main fields of biogeography (historic, ecological and conservation). This theoretical material is interspersed with examples based upon areas that are under active research at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and University of Edinburgh. Teaching is lecture based (online or in person as conditions dictate), and will involve some group discussion tutorials, where students will be encouraged to read, interpret, and criticise recently published research articles in the field. Assessment is through written course work in the form of a research proposal, and to support you in this there is one session on how to write a research proposal and past examples given.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, 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) You will write a research grant proposal based on a project of your choice, using a three year timeframe and a budget of £10,000 (a similar scope to a PhD project proposal). (100%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key concepts relating to speciation, plate tectonics, paleoclimates, species diversity, plant dispersal, island biogeography, vicariance, and biomes.
  2. Understand theory and research methods relating to historical, ecological and conservation geography.
  3. Apply the learnt concepts, theory, and methods to formulate a research project proposal relevant to plant geography.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsplant geography,biogeography,vegetation history,plant environments
Course organiserProf Andrew Hudson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3383
Course secretaryMiss Fionnuala Nidhonnabhain
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