Graduate Seminar in Ecology & Evolution

Subject ZOOL90007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 contact hours comprising one 2.5-hour seminar per week.
Total Time Commitment:






Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Mark Elgar


Subject Overview:

This subject provides advanced critical appraisal of contemporary and controversial issues in population biology, including terrestrial and marine population ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavioural ecology. Each week, students will provide a seminar of a particular issue (reflecting a fundamental idea or a controversy of competing ideas or empirical evidence), which will form the basis of subsequent critical discussion. The choice of issues will be determined at the start of the subject.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to provide students with:

  • a detailed understanding of selected contemporary issues in population biology, including evolutionary and population ecology;
  • the capacity to appraise critically theoretical concepts and empirical tests of those concepts;
  • the capacity to articulate complex biological ideas in both an oral and written format;
  • an appreciation of the significance of these topics in a broader picture.


One two-hour seminar presentation (35%), and written supporting wiki material (1000 words) (15%), given during the semester; six peer reviews (totalling 5000 words), due evenly throughout the semester (30%); seminar participation (20%)

Prescribed Texts:

No prescribed text, but a monograph may form a central component of the subject.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should gain skills in:

  • demonstrating the breadth of knowledge gained in an particular discipline;
  • developing the ability to exercise critical judgement and rigorous and independent thinking;
  • professional level oral and written communication and presentation skills;
  • leading group discussions of complex issues, and providing persuasive intellectual arguments;
  • providing critical appraisal of draft documents;
  • time management and self-management skills.


This subject assumes higher-level undergraduate knowledge in ecology and evolution.

Students undertaking this subject will be expected to regularly access an internet-enabled computer.

Related Course(s): Master of Science (BioSciences)
Master of Science (Ecosystem Science)
Master of Science (Zoology)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Honours Program - BioSciences
Honours Program - Zoology

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