Accessibility statement

Conserving Biodiversity in the Anthropocene - BIO00069H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Calvin Dytham
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

In this module students will study the pervasive role of humans in shaping and forming the ecology of our planet today through lectures, debates workshops and their own reading.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module will address the consequences of the rise of humans for the rest of the biological world, generating a new Anthropocene epoch. These impacts include the extinction and endangerment of species, the conversion of vegetation, forests and the oceans to produce food and other products that we value, the transport of species from one part of the world to another, and human-caused climate change. We may even be entering a 6th mass extinction. Some species have already died out, but many others have thrived during the Anthropocene, so all is not lost. This module will discuss some of the major threats to biodiversity (such as overexploitation causing megafauna extinction, habitat change, biological invasions, climate change, evolution), and how other species have taken advantage of these changes. It will demonstrate how an understanding of basic ecological principles of community and population ecology is crucial in successful conservation. The course will make use of case studies to illustrate these principles,

Module learning outcomes

  1. Understand and explain the factors that cause biodiversity change in the Anthropocene.
  2. Access and evaluate literature pertaining to conservation, synthesising understanding to determine conservation priorities.
  3. Select and evaluate appropriateness of scientific methods used to study conservation biology.
  4. Identify research gaps, develop hypotheses and propose experiments to improve understanding of conservation topics.



Task Length % of module mark
Project Proposal
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Project Proposal
N/A 100

Module feedback

Marks for open assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Individual comments will be added to your script and/or on separate summary feedback document. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.


During the teaching of the module you will receive feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Forms of feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.  

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.