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The University of Southampton

BIOL1003 Ecology & Evolution

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the main branches of ecology by considering the various levels at which the subject may be studied: individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. The aim of the practical sessions is to demonstrate how professional ecologists define and identify problems, how data are collected, and how results of ecological research are analysed, interpreted and applied to environmental and global issues.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the distribution of species in relation to abiotic and biotic factors, and at various ecological scales
  • explain the basics of population ecology
  • explain the dynamics of communities and ecosystems
  • explain the relevance of evolution to ecology, from genetics to ecosystems


The module has four sections: (1) Organisms and their environment - ecophysiology and distribution of organisms in relation to abiotic factors; (2) Evolutionary and behavioural ecology - genetic variation, inheritance, selection and adaptation, co-evolution, sex and extinction; (3) Population ecology - intra- and inter-specific competition, density dependence, predation, niches & mutualism; and (4) Communities & ecosystems - succession, diversity, nutrient cycling and energy flow.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practical classes, and independent learning

Independent Study117
Practical classes and workshops6
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Molles, M.C. Concepts and Applications. 

Smith, T.M. & Smith, R.L. Elements of Ecology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Practical Report 50%
Written assessment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Practical Report 50%
Written assessment 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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