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This subject will include the natural history of Australia from the Cretaceous to the present, and the influence of Australian Aborigines and Europeans; Australian environments, climatic zones, major biomes; terrestrial biota: diversity, endemism and biology of Australian plants, relictual rainforests, sclerophylly, adaptation to fire, diversity, endemism and biology of unique habitats, low nutrients and aridity; diversity, endemism and biology of vertebrate fauna including amphibians and marsupials; marine environments, algae, invertebrates, reefs, mangrove communities, inland waterbodies; and ecology, conservation, and management of Australian ecosystems.
Intended learning outcomes
By the end of this subject students should have
- knowledge of the evolutionary history of the Australian biota, and the influence of past changes in geology, climate and soil;
- an appreciation of the great diversity and genetic resources of the Australian biota;
- knowledge of the structure and physiology of native plants and animals in relation to surviving in Australian environments;
- an understanding of the impact of humans on Australian ecosystems and issues of conservation biology; and
- skills to improve their self-study, analysis and evaluation of biological information.
This subject encompasses particular generic skills so that on completion of this subject students should have developed skills relating to:
- the organization of work schedules which permit appropriate preparation time for tutorials, practical classes and examinations;
- the use of electronic forms of communication and the discerning use of the web for seeking information;
- accessing information from the library employing both electronic and traditional means;
- working collaboratively with other students in tutorials and workshops;
- self-study and analysis and evaluation of biological information; and
- written communication.
Last updated: 21 January 2021