BIOS3601 - Advanced Field Biology

BIOS3601 - Advanced Field Biology offers advanced practical training in diversity, systematics, biology and identification of terrestrial animals and plants and aquatic invertebrates. The course is run principally as an intensive one (1) week course at Smiths Lake Field Station during week 0. Students will receive theoretical and practical training in current methods of trapping, collecting and identifying animals and plants, estimation of population size, biodiversity, the conduct of animal surveys, and data analyses. The course coverage will include both vertebrate and invertebrate animals and plants.

  1. Provide skills and knowledge in ecological research, including posing research questions, designing experiments and collecting and analysing data for a range of animals and plants;
  2. Provide understanding of issues in experimental design and sampling; and
  3. Develop skills in field observation, data analysis and presentation of findings in presentations and reports.

Session 1, 2017

6 units of credit

Hours per week: 3 - A one-week field trip plus scheduled workshops during the semester.

Number of weeks: 12 weeks plus field trip.

Current handbook entry Current timetable Course outline

Who should I contact?

Coordinator: A Prof Mike Letnic

Other Staff: Senior Lecturer Lisa SchwanzA Prof Will Cornwell; and A Prof Paul Gribbon

What does this course cover?

Major topics covered:

There are five broad learning outcomes expected from this course:

  1. At the end of the course, students should be aware and have some experience of sampling methods for a range of terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants and;
  2. Students will understand issues to consider when designing experiments and;
  3. Students will gain experience in structuring ecological experiments to address research questions, including a) the careful formulation of hypotheses, b) the design of field experiments and sampling, c) collection of data, d) data analysis, and interpretation, and e) communication of results via presentations and scientific reports and;
  4. Students will be able to develop their own ideas and research questions and undertake an independent research project.
  5. Students will develop their powers of observation and recording of biological information.

 For more information, see the course outline.

Where does this course fit into my degree?

This is a Stage 3 course primarily for ecology and biology students. It will help prepare those students interested in honours, or careers in research or field work.

Is there assumed prior knowledge or a co-requisite?

It is recommended that students have taken a course in statistics and experimental design (BEES2041 - Data Analysis for Life & Earth Sciences), and have familiarity with principles of systematics.

Student should have taken one or more of the second-year organismal biology courses: BIOS2051 - Flowering Plants, BIOS2031 - Biology of Invertebrates, or BIOS2061 - Vertebrate Zoology.

Are there mandatory activities for this course?

Intensive one-week course at Smiths Lake Field Station (week 0) that incurs a cost to students.

Is there anything else I should know?

This coures is available to students in Advanced Science, with unfilled places available to students in Environmental Science, Biological Science and Ecology Majors with a credit average.


NB: All information provided on this page is superseded by information provided by the course coordinator or lecturer(s).