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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 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 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.
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.
The module is concerned with identifying and defining geographical questions within the tropical rainforest environment of the Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and applying relevant geographical skills, knowledge and techniques to these questions. This fieldwork-based module focuses on the physical geography of wet tropical environments, hydrological and geomorphological processes, the nature and dynamics of tropical rainforest vegetation and ecology and the impacts of logging and conversion to agriculture, and particularly oil palm and current and predicted climatic change. Land policy and land management practices are a key theme. Some aspects of the human environment are also covered. The fieldweek module introduces students to all aspects of project work (identifying and defining geographical problems; formulation of aims, research questions and hypotheses; formulation of an appropriate research design to answer these questions; choice and use of field measurement techniques and field observation; data analysis and interpretation; oral presentation of findings; and structuring and production of academic written reports). A key aim is to prepare students to be able to undertake a final-year dissertation in physical geography. The module comprises preparatory meetings, a 14 day field course, which typically runs immediately prior to Easter, and 2 hours of analytical classes during Teaching Block 2 prior to submittal of project reports.