Accessibility statement

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: 2024-25

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.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module will provide an overview of current research questions, methods and analyses across the breadth of modern ecology. The first section will start with an introduction to reading papers - how to read them quickly and how to interpret figures. It will then focus on the major processes that are particular to the ecology of plants and animals. The second section will start with an introduction to molecular and analytical methods. It will then focus on interactions within and between plants, animals and microbiomes, as well as with the 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

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

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

Apply and interpret new approaches addressing ecological questions

Critically evaluate and summarise ecological research

Design appropriate research programmes to address defined knowledge gaps


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Current Research in Ecology Online Exam
6 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Current Research in Ecology Online Exam
6 hours 100

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such 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.