Ecology provides an overview of ecology, behavioural ecology and conservation biology and is an ideal course for students wishing to take organismal options in their third year. The course aims to cover all the major ecosystems, to review key ecological concepts and approaches and to introduce students to topical issues and problems.
The course begins with the opportunity to attend one of two 10-day field courses; the first starting in late June and held at Juniper Hall (near Dorking in Surrey), which introduces students to key techniques vital to fieldwork that are subsequently used for project work; or the second starting in late September, held at Madingley (just outside of Cambridge), which introduces practical techniques in molecular ecology and evolution, including field work and laboratory and computational analyses in genetics and genomics. Alternative arrangements can be made for students who cannot attend either field course.
These are followed by 24 lectures in the Michaelmas term which cover biodiversity, the global marine ecosystem, freshwater ecosystems and the ecology of change in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
The 24 lectures in the Lent term cover foraging behaviour and interactions between predators and prey, the ecology of social behaviour and the diversity of breeding systems, ecological genetics, population demography and the dynamics of population and communities. The final twelve lectures in the Easter term cover the extinction crisis, the ecology human population and atmospheric effects on the biosphere. It is taught by the departments of Genetics, Plant Sciences and Zoology.
Lectures: take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12pm.
Practicals: there are no practicals for this course, students undertake a project based either on their field course work or organised by the co-ordinator at the start of Michaelmas term.
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Ed Tanner (Plant Sciences)
Course Website: https://www.biology.cam.ac.uk/undergrads/nst/courses/ecology
The course timetable can be seen here