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Biogeography - ENV00020I

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Robert Marchant
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The Biogeography module will provide students with a unique opportunity to study biogeographical processes. The module will build on practical experience gained in previous field-studies in the 1st year and integrate an understanding of the physical, ecological, historical, social and economic factors that underpin ecosystems dynamics. There will be particular focus on how ecosystems have responded to environmental change in time and space, and how such biogeographic information can be used to predict future shifts in light of current environmental change debates and use of ecosystem resources. Learning through field-work is an important part of studies carried out in physical geography: hands-on experience will be provided in a dedicated field visit to the Peak District that is an important complement to theoretical studies covered within the lectures.

Module learning outcomes

Successful students will develop:

  • An understanding of the impacts of environmental change on ecosystem composition and distribution.
  • An understanding on a variety of biogeographical techniques used to trace pattern in ecosystem composition and distribution and to apply methods and techniques learnt in a fieldwork setting.
  • An understanding on the response of ecosystems to climate change and more recent interaction with human interactions.
  • An understanding of how information on the past response of ecosystems can be used to project into the future.
  • An understanding of evolved ecosystem physiology to environmental change.
  • An ability to collect and critically analyse a set of physical data, and where appropriate, select numerical approaches and techniques to analyse these.
  • An ability to effectively and fluently present original thoughts and concepts based on the relevant literature.
  • An ability to access relevant scientific information from a variety of different sources and relate this to observations made in the field.


Task Length % of module mark
Assessment of a 3000-word scientific report that analyses field data in the context of class-based understanding.
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment - Newly set essay/report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Standard 4-working week Environment Department turn-around time

Indicative reading

Cox, C. B. and Moore, P. D. 2010. Biogeography: An Ecological and Evolutionary Approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Hannah, L. 2010. Climate Change and Biodiversity. Yale University Press.

Huggett, R.J.2007. Environmental Change: The evolving ecosphere. Routledge.

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.