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The University of Southampton

GEOG6114 Biogeography

Module Overview

Biogeography aims to understand the origin and distribution of species and the processes that cause them to change over time. During the lectures we will discuss classic biogeographical theory and current research topics such as biological invasions and species distribution modelling. In addition, the module will discuss how biogeographic information can be used to predict biological responses to future environmental change, and it will review concepts on biodiversity conservation. This module will build on experience gained on previous field trips. This module is intended to be interesting and relevant to students who aim for careers in biodiversity conservation and management, international development, and land-use planning, and/or those with a general interest in natural history and conservation issues. Total Study Hours: 150 (contact 33, non-contact 117)

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • To describe main theories underlying biogeographical research.
  • To describe the historical factors that influence current species distributions.
  • To describe processes such as extinctions, biological invasions, and dispersal in explaining biogeographical patterns.
  • To apply biogeographical concepts to a wide range of environmental problems.


1) Introduction to biogeography 2) Historical Biogeography 3) Biodiversity patterns: baselines, patterns, and processes 4) Species distribution under global change 5) Phylogeography 6) Island Biology 7) Biological invasion 8) Conservation biogeography

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module consists of: 1) Lectures and Seminars: to discuss recent literature and case studies to learn basic concepts related to Biogeography. 2) Poster project: to research a topic related to the syllabus content that is of interest to the students. Students will be asked to post a short poster proposal on line and will receive comments/guidance as necessary. Depending of the number of students we will approach the poster project assessment following different strategies: i) 25 students: posters will be submitted electronically and there will not be an oral presentation. 3) If resources and timing allows, we will aim to have a local field trip to discuss issues of relevance to the module.

Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Whittaker, RJ; Fernández-Palacios, JM (2009). Island Biogeography. 

Global Ecology and Biogeography. 

Journal of Biogeography. 

Lomolino, MV; Riddle, BR; Whittaker, RJ; Brown JH (2010). Biogeography. 

Ladle, RJ; Whittaker, RJ (2011). Conservation Biogeography. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 60%
Poster Project 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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