The UNSW Plant Ecology (BIOS3061) course involves student-led discussions where you'll debate a range of current controversies spanning areas that range from plant-animal interactions to seedling ecology. We incorporate evolutionary, population and community approaches and include examples from Australia and around the world. This course will not just teach you about plants, but will also teach you how to access, understand and critically evaluate the scientific literature.

The course includes a compulsory five-day field excursion (to Kioloa, on the NSW South Coast), where students lead field-based plant ecology research projects.

Major topics covered include:

  • Biological invasions
  • Plant responses to climate change
  • Plant-animal interactions (herbivory, seed dispersal and pollination)
  • Disturbance (including life in fire-prone ecosystems and the effects of humans on plant communities)
  • Plant regeneration (including reproduction and mating systems, and seed and seedling ecology; evolutionary radiations; plant ecological strategies)
  • Plant evolution
  • Plant Ecological Strategies
  • Understanding the way scientific progress is made
  • Applying fundamental knowledge for appropriate ecosystem management


Conditions for Enrolment   

Students will need 48 Units of Credit (UoC)  and a basic understanding of ecology and botany to be able to keep up with the concepts and understand course literature.


Career Opportunities 

Environmental careers are often multidisciplinary and can integrate into many fields such as Physical, Biological and Information Sciences. Professionals not only study the environment and human impact, but they also explore solutions like renewable energy, natural resource management and sustainable development.    

Relevant Roles

  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Ecological Consultant
  • Data Analyst
  • Plant Biologist 

Learn more


What Our Graduates Say 

"Plant Ecology was by far one of my favourite courses – Angela and Stephen fostered a fun and thoughtful environment where students could consider and challenge exciting questions and concepts in Ecology." 

- Jessica Schembri, UNSW Bachelor of Science graduate.