OverviewThe aim of the module is to cover major overarching and current issues, such as understanding biodiversity in the fossil record, extinction rates and how they are calculated, and how many species are there and why it matters. By looking at these "bigger picture" issues conceptual thinking will be brought in; for example how using basic biological knowledge, we can estimate the number of species on Earth. In addition, there will be guest lectures, and discussion of current global issues that are making the press such as the results of major international conferences; past examples included the outcomes of the Copenhagen conference on climate change and the concept of 'Planetary Boundaries'.
This module appears in:
Contact hours consist of 24 1-hour sessions (Total: 24 hours). Twelve sessions will be lecture based including question and answers. The other twelve sessions will consist of 50:50 lecture and discussion surrounding the topic or practical sessions.
available as a 'Wild' Module
This Module contributes: BSc Wildlife Conservation
Method of assessment
The formal assessment of this module will be through two written reports <2000 words (50%). And an exam paper lasting 2hrs will for the other 50%.
Recent issues of Nature, Science and PNAS:
Haldane, J.B.S. (1926) On being the right size. Harpers Magazine (March)
May, R.M. (1988) How many species are there on Earth? Science 241: 1441-1449
Pimm, et al. (2006) Human impacts on the rates of recent, present, and future bird extinctions. PNAS 103: 10941-10946
Rockstrom, et al. (2009) A safe operating space of humanity. Nature 461: 472-475
Students who successfully complete this module will:
-Have a sound understanding of current issues in biodiversity and conservation.
-Have Gained skills in conceptual thinking.
-Understand how these current issues impacts on conservation practice.