Ecology: from cells to Gaia
This course presents the principles of evolution and ecology for citizens and students interested in studying biology and environmental sciences. It discusses major ideas and results. Recent advances have energised these fields with evidence that has implications beyond their boundaries: ideas, mechanisms, and processes that should form part of the toolkit of all biologists and educated citizens.
Major topics covered by the course include fundamental principles of ecology, how organisms interact with each other and their environment, evolutionary processes, population dynamics, communities, energy flow and ecosystems, human influences on ecosystems, and the integration and scaling of ecological processes through systems ecology.
This course will also review major ecological concepts, identify the techniques used by ecologists, provide an overview of local and global environmental issues, and examine individual, group and governmental activities important for protecting natural ecosystems. The course has been designed to provide information, to direct the student toward pertinent literature, to identify problems and issues, to utilise research methodology for the study of ecology and evolution, and to consider appropriate solutions and analytical techniques.
Needed Learner Background: general biology and a good understanding of English.
This course has the following expectations and results:
1) covers the theoretical and practical issues involved in ecology and evolution,
2) conducting surveys and inventories in ecology,
3) analyzing the information gathered,
4) and applying their analysis to ecological and conservation problems.