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This module will introduce the basic principles of ecology, incorporating appropriate terminology and techniques required for field work. The syllabus will enable learners to work safely and be competent with record keeping in the field. Course participants will be guided on the use of identification keys, and learn some of the key practical ecology skills needed for further study.
Insects are arguably one of the most successful groups of organisms on the planet, and represent up to 90% of multicellular life. This course aims to encourage an understanding and appreciation for the adaptations and diversity of insect life, as well as emphasising the ecological and economic importance of this fascinating group. Lectures will aim to provide a broad understanding of the physiology and anatomy of insects, as well as aspects of their behaviour and ecology. Practical sessions will support the information provided in lectures, and provide opportunities to improve transferable skills. Topics covered are: Insects classification and taxonomy; insect anatomy, focussing on key adaptations of insects to life histories and features contributing to the success of this group; insect physiology, including the digestive, reproductive, nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems; insect senses and communication; the role of the cuticle and ecdysis; insect-plant interactions; insect defences, including the immune system; beneficial insects, including the role of insects as pollinators, in medicine, and in forensic science. Lectures are complemented by three practicals sessions that include: a demonstration of the insect orders to support lecture material, including examples of key groups and an introduction to identification; dissection of insects to investigate the mouth parts, digestive system and general anatomy; a choice of further development of taxonomic skills to enhance field study, or an investigation of bee population dynamics using modelling software.
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.
Borneo is a hot spot for biodiversity both in regards to terrestrial and marine ecosystems. This module is a residential field course which will explore ecological and conservation principles in tropical rainforests and marine ecosystems.
In this module, the students will learn to identify and understand the diversity and contrasting characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with an emphasis on the origin and effects of various human-induced environmental impacts.
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.