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Current Research in Ecology - BIO00073H

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

Module summary

Ecology explains the dynamic world around us, from the relationships between organisms to large-scale ecosystem processes.This module will explore the processes shaping microbial, animal and plant ecology and the interactions within and between these groups, and critique current understanding of these processes.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information

Student are required to have at least one of these prequisites.

Module will run

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

Module aims

The module will provide an overview of current research questions, methods and analyses across the breadth of modern ecology. The first three sections will focus on the major processes that are particular to the ecology of microbes, plants and animals respectively. The final section will take a systemic approach, covering ecosystems and the ecology of large scale interactions within and between groups and with their environment. The focus will be on cutting edge research, presenting controversial topics and uncertainty, highlighting knowledge gaps and strategies to move the field forward. Material will be taught through interactive workshops, in conjunction with related preparatory and follow-on tasks.

Module learning outcomes

1. Explain and evaluate the roles and interconnections of ecological processes in shaping ecosystem function

2. Apply and interpret new techniques addressing ecological questions

3. Critically evaluate and summarise ecological research

4. Design appropriate research programmes to address defined knowledge gaps


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Comprehension and criticism
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Comprehension and criticism
8 hours 100

Module feedback

Cohort-level feedback will be provided on performance in closed exams and made available via the VLE. Histograms of module marks will be posted on the notice boards outside the Biology Student Services office. Individual marks will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Exam scripts will be made available at the end of either the Spring or Summer terms. 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.