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Unit of study_

BIOL3034: Evolution of the Australian Biota

The diverse Australian biota presents a compelling story of how history and environmental processes have shaped its evolution and the distribution of species over the landscape. For example, the high level of endemism, and the dominance of eucalypts and wattles are distinctive, along with the complex interactions among species, including humans. This unit of study will consider the historical and contemporary processes of change that have led to, and currently influence, the biological diversity of Australia across a range of temporal and spatial scales. You will examine the timing and tempo of the evolution of major groups of plants and animals of Australia, and how these have been influenced by, and continue to interact with, significant earth history events and other organisms. By understanding the past, and the spatial distributions of species, you will be equipped to inform management and conservation decisions about the future of ecosystems and the plants and animals that comprise them. By doing this unit you will develop a deep understanding of the origin and diversity of the plants and animals of Australia. You will become proficient at the techniques and concepts used to infer past events, map current species distributions and to anticipate future changes in biological diversity.

Code BIOL3034
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(12cp of BIOL2XXX) or [6cp of BIOL2XXX and (MBLG2X72 or GEGE2X01 or GENE2002)]
BIOL3044 or BIOL3944 or BIOL3025 or BIOL3925 or PLNT3003 or PLNT3903

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and techniques in phylogenetic inference
  • LO2. apply concepts to solve qualitative and quantitative problems using appropriate data and computing techniques as necessary
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and events in the evolution, and the current and future diversity of a broad range of Australian organisms
  • LO4. apply concepts to the design and execution of appropriate research programs using appropriate data and computing techniques as necessary
  • LO5. communicate scientific information about the past, current, and future diversity of the Australian biota appropriately; both orally and through written work
  • LO6. engage in individual and group work for scientific investigations and for the process of learning
  • LO7. demonstrate a sense of responsibility, ethical behaviour, and independence as a learner and as a scientist
  • LO8. develop high level of skills in computer-based analysis, field collection, and data management
  • LO9. integrate diverse data sources and analytical techniques to address well formulated research problems concerning the past, current, and future diversity of the Australian biota
  • LO10. demonstrate proficiency in the manipulation and analysis of digital data.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 2 weeks before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.