The University of Southampton

BIOL3072 Behavioural Ecology

Module Overview

Behavioural ecology considers the evolutionary pressures that shape behaviour. This module will explore animal behaviours from evolutionary biology and population ecological perspectives. Each week, lectures will consider a different behavioural ecology topic, to be discussed in more detail in accompanying weekly seminars. Throughout the module, students will keep an individual notebook/log/journal, sharing their notes and reflections with other students during seminars as part of group discussions to expand their personal learning network. Each student will write a research proposal for a behavioural ecology research project of their own devising, requiring them to consider the relevant background information, appropriate methodology and to budget the costs of their proposed project.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Appraise studies in topical areas of behavioural ecology research. • Devise, plan and propose a behavioural ecology research project.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To understand the evolutionary processes that shape animal behaviours.
  • Evaluate the adaptive value of behaviours.
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical behavioural ecology frameworks used to explain observed behaviours.
  • Complete a behavioural ecology research project proposal.
  • Manage your time and literature searching in order to increase your knowledge of behavioural ecology.
  • Be prepared to complete weekly tasks in order to develop critical thinking, literature searching and time management skills.
  • Engage with peers in discussion.


7 topics to be covered: • Cooperative breeding • Personality variation • Conservation and behavioural ecology • Cultural evolution and social learning • Urban behavioural ecology • Movement ecology and migration • Reproduction and parental care

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study110
Total study time131



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  ( words) 100%
Weekly Homeworks %
Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.