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This module is an alternative for students that are unable to attend the Year 3 Biology or Zoology field courses. Students will be provided with data to analyse and directed to research and investigate relevant habitats that emulate those studied on the Year 3 field course.
This 20 credit module is divided into two sections and broadly introduces students to the study of animal behaviour and ecological processes. The first 10 lectures focus on the evolutionary pressures that drive animal behaviour and give rise to the behavioural adaptations witnessed across the animal kingdom today, from learning and cultural transmission, to anti-predatory mechanisms and migration. The section is concluded with a lecture on human behaviour, determining how we are influenced by the same set of natural regulations that govern our wild counterparts The final 10 lectures focus on ecology, which is the study of the interactions of organisms with their environment. The topic is divided into four key themes: the individual, species interactions, communities and ecosystems and additional introduction to marine ecology.
This module assesses how animal behaviour is often the most significant cause of species declines and how understanding patterns of behaviour can assist in developing effective conservation and management strategies for species on the brink of extinction. Students will be introduced to the concept of conservation biology and the vast array of human-induced activities that currently threaten biological diversity on a global scale. There is a focus on the five main activities of conversational concern; fragmentation, habitat degradation, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change. Examples will be provided from specific taxa affected. The shortfalls of in situ and ex situ are introduced and examples are provided of how behavioural studies and knowledge of animal behaviour can, and have been used within conservation. The role of understanding behaviour in domestic animal's welfare is also introduced. Here students learn about the history and current UK policy on the use of farm and laboratory animals. Following that an insight is provided into how our domesticated animals perceive the captive environment and have developed behavioural mechanisms to cope with incarceration that can also be assessed to ensure sufficient welfare is provided.
This residential field course comprises practical work employing ecological techniques appropriate to sample biodiversity and environmental parameters from a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (freshwater systems, woodlands, sand dunes). You will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of ecological data. Furthermore, you will be able to recognise different temperate habitats and indicator species associated with them.
This residential field course comprises practical work employing techniques appropriate to sampling the zoological biodiversity of a range of terrestrial and freshwater habitats (coastland, woodland, grassland, freshwater systems). Students will learn techniques for the identification of species, practice recording accurate field notes, and gain experience in the analysis and presentation of zoological and ecological data. Furthermore students will be able to recognise and describe key groups of animals associated with a range of temperate habitats.
This course aims to explore the ecology and conservation of one of the most fascinating and iconic groups of extant animals. The charismatic appeal of most mammalian carnivores often overshadows their evolutionary significance and ecological importance. The course covers a wide variety of topics including predator-prey ecology, evolution of the modern mammalian carnivores, social and foraging behaviours, and disease. The module will also discuss the threats currently facing this group, and the global and local strategies that are attempting to halt the decline of many species.
This field based module will introduce students to the professional techniques utilised to monitor and study animals and plants in a variety of terrestrial habitat types and in relation to conservation management and biodiversity monitoring in the United Kingdom. The course places a strong emphasis on ecological census techniques and basic classification and taxonomy. Students will develop key techniques relevant to the environmental sector including Protected Species (specifically birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles and plants), River and Phase 1 habitat surveys and Environmental Impact Assessment. Students will also learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that define different UK habitats and be introduced to the natural history of Wales. A focus is on developing key transferable skills that enhance employability such as problem solving, data analysis, report writing, evaluation, communication and teamwork.This module is therefore suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in ecological consultancy or conservation.
As rapid human population expansion, mass species extinction and climate change challenge sustainability, scientific research plays a critical role in developing the policies, practice and technologies at strategic and operational levels that are essential for environmental security. Understanding the different vectors of scientific communications and assessing their rigour is essential if the information is to be utilised effectively and ethically to influence practice. Reviewing research has an important place in the scienti¿c progress, providing a means by which advances in scientific research can be collated, assessed and evaluated to inform policy and drive future innovations. Three general approaches to reviewing literature have evolved in recent decades encompassing expert driven narratives, systematic reviews and meta-analysis. Each approach differs in rigour, comprehension and methodology. Understanding the function and utility of each style is critical if the information is to be used to effectively drive practice and further research. Within this module students undertake two of the three approaches to reviewing literature; a 3,000 word narrative and a 6,000 word group-based systematic review. A key expectation in graduate skills is the ability to synthesise information, critically evaluate its content and create new innovative knowledge on the topic that enhances the discipline. This module allows students to study and develop these post-graduate skills by undertaking the reviews. In addition, in order to enhance essential reflective practice and interpersonal skills a key theme within the module is on individual and collective goal setting, self- and peer reviewing professional practice and key skills development.
Many of Britain's terrestrial mammals are protected by law and it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them or damage their habitats. These species are often encountered on sites proposed for development and it is therefore important to understand their ecology to ensure their protection. This course is aimed at environmental professionals or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector that wish to learn about the survey techniques, ecology and legislation for several of Britain's protected terrestrial mammal species (primarily dormouse, badger, otter, water vole, bats and pine marten).
This course builds on Terrestrial Mammals: Ecology, Survey Techniques and Legislation by focusing on pine martens. Pine martens are protected by law and it is an offence to kill, capture or disturb them or damage their habitats. These species are often encountered on sites proposed for development and it is therefore important to understand their ecology to ensure their protection. Due to their reduced distribution they are also a focal species for reintroduction programmes within England and Wales. The course is aimed at environmental professionals or learners aspiring to work in the environmental sector that wish to specialise on this particular mammalian species and gain in-depth knowledge about the survey techniques, ecology, legislation and best-practice guidance for monitoring and reintroduction based on the latest evidence-based research.
This residential field course module explores the relationship between environment and society in the Himalayan state of Sikkim in NE India on the borders with China, Nepal, Tibet and West Bengal. The course is inter-disciplinary in approach and policy-oriented. Students work with members of University Staff in mixed groups of biologists, human geographers, physical geographers and zoologists. Through intensive inter-disciplinary group working students utilise (and pass on) their specialist skills in the group exercises and projects that are undertaken.