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Centre for Biological Sciences

BIOL3009 Applied ecology

Module Overview

This module on applied ecology, focuses on major topical issues of the day (e.g. GM crops, Food security, Ecosystem services). The major part of the module is concerned with management of land, especially in relation to food production. There is particular emphasis on sustainable intensification of agriculture and how best to use the ideas from ecosystem services to manage land for multiple users. This section concludes with an extended series of lectures, debates and videos addressing the potential risks and benefits associated with genetically modified organisms. The remainder of the module examines issues such as the ecological consequences of overfishing and the emerging ideas of land sharing versus land sparing for biodiversity and food security. This module is particular relevant to those students interested in applied ecological and environmental issues, and to those interested in some of the conflicts between science and society.

Aims and Objectives

Aims:

  1. To extend the knowledge of ecology and population biology taught in first, second and third year modules to cover the application of these disciplines to solving ecological problems, such as managing pests or genetically modified organisms and the problems associated with climate change.
  2. To provide a coherent summary of the issues relating to managing land for food security
  3. To examine the use of ecosystem services and toolkits for managing land for multiple users.
  4. To examine the ecological impacts of managing ocean fisheries
  5. To provide examples of the applications of theoretical ecology to topical ecological issues
  6. To provide a summary of factors influencing how the land is managed, especially in terms of food production

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  1. Describe the major issues relating to land use management for multiple ecosystem services.
  2. Give a reasoned argument for or against genetically modified organisms.
  3. Understand issues relating to land and ocean management in terms of sustainable food production

Syllabus

A module in applied ecology, focusing on major topical issues of the day (e.g. GM crops, Food security, Ecosystem services). The major part of the module is concerned with management of land, especially in relation to food production. There is particular emphasis on sustainable intensification of agriculture and how best to use the ideas from ecosystem services to manage land for multiple users. This section concludes with an extended series of lectures, debates and videos addressing the potential risks and benefits associated with genetically modified organisms. The remainder of the module examines issues such as the ecological consequences of overfishing and the emerging ideas of land sharing versus land sparing for biodiversity and food security. This module is particular relevant to those students interested in applied ecological and environmental issues, and to those interested in some of the conflicts between science and society.

The module is supported by seminars on related topics of interest, some of which will be given by outside speakers and by researchers talking about their areas of particular expertise.

Method of assessment: Examination and coursework

Learning and Teaching

Study time allocation

Contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study time: 150 hours

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, seminars, debates, videos with guest speakers and independent study.

Assessment

Assessment methods

Assessment Method Summative/  Formative % contribution to final mark  Final element of assessment (√) 
Written examination: comprises one 2-hour paper requiring two questions to be answered from a choice of four. Summative 75%
Coursework essay Summative 25%  
Re-assessment Method Summative/  Formative % contribution to final mark  Final element of assessment (√)
Written examination: comprises one 2-hour paper requiring two questions to be answered from a choice of four.

Summative

75%
Coursework essay: marks carried forward Summative  25%  

Linked modules

Pre-requisites and / or co-requisites

ModuleCodeYear
Ecology and EvolutionBIOL10031
Pure and applied population ecologyBIOL20042

Costs

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
Printing and copyingMost continuous assessment (coursework, including projects) has to be printed for submission. The University print costs can be found at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/services/copying_for_students_and_visitors/faq.php#659 You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print/copy payment service by going to www.printcopypayments.soton.ac.uk Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/printcentre/exhibition/academicposters.page?

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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