School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Australian Biota
  • Unit Code

    SCI2118
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    1
  • Version

    1
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Dr Robert Allyn DAVIS

Description

This unit will introduce students to the nature and diversity of Australian plants and animals, their taxonomy and identification. Participants will study major vascular plant and vertebrate animal groups and be able to identify them using appropriate tools. The Australian biota will be considered in the context of the world biota, and their unique features will be discussed in terms of their biogeography and evolutionary history. Note that laboratory sessions in this unit will make use of animal tissues and products. Activities abide by the relevant NHMRC guidelines and are approved by the ECU Animal Ethics Committee where appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Explain and apply the basic principles of biological taxonomy.
  2. Identify and describe major events influencing the evolution and distributions of key elements of the Australian biota, including isolation, adaptive radiation and secondary colonisation.
  3. Identify the ecological and economic importance of selected Australian biota and identify threats to them.
  4. Prepare herbarium and other selected types of biological specimens.
  5. Recognise and characterise the morphology of significant groups of Australian plants and animals.
  6. Use appropriate tools to identify plants and animals, including regional floras and faunas, field guides and digital resources.

Unit Content

  1. Australian native mammals: prototherian and metatherian mammals, native eutherians (rodents, bats and marine animals).
  2. Human impacts on the biota: consequences of Indigenous and European colonisation; introduction of alien species; interaction between native and introduced taxa.
  3. Introduction to biological taxonomy.
  4. Origins, diversity and distribution of major groups of non-mammalian vertebrates: fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
  5. Plant morphology: features required for plant identification.
  6. Plants of selected significant biomes and geographical areas: heathlands, eucalypt woodlands and forests, salt-lake communities; the Pilbara and other arid regions, South-West Floristic Region, seagrasses and other significant aquatic plants.
  7. Recognition and identification of major elements of the Australian flora: Fabaceae, Mimosaceae and Caesalpiniaceae, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae, significant monocots, and other selected taxa.
  8. Recognition and identification of weeds and feral animals.
  9. Structure and use of taxonomic keys: hardcopy and digital floras and faunas, resources relevant to Australian biota.
  10. The history of the Australian continent: Rodinia, Pangaea, Gondwana and its break-up; post-Cretaceous era.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, fieldwork, online activities and directed reading.

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

Due to the professional competency skill development associated with this Unit, student attendance/participation within listed in-class activities and/or online activities including discussion boards is compulsory. Students failing to meet participation standards as outlined in the unit plan may be awarded an I Grade (Fail - incomplete). Students who are unable to meet this requirement for medical or other reasons must seek the approval of the unit coordinator.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
AssignmentLiterature review20%
Laboratory WorkIndividual and group laboratory work20%
PortfolioHerbarium collection20%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination40%

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCI2118|1|1

School: Science

This unit information may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.

  • Unit Title

    Australian Biota
  • Unit Code

    SCI2118
  • Year

    2017
  • Enrolment Period

    2
  • Version

    1
  • Credit Points

    15
  • Full Year Unit

    N
  • Mode of Delivery

    On Campus
  • Unit Co-ordinator

    Dr Robert Allyn DAVIS

Description

This unit will introduce students to the nature and diversity of Australian plants and animals, their taxonomy and identification. Participants will study major vascular plant and vertebrate animal groups and be able to identify them using appropriate tools. The Australian biota will be considered in the context of the world biota, and their unique features will be discussed in terms of their biogeography and evolutionary history. Note that laboratory sessions in this unit will make use of animal tissues and products. Activities abide by the relevant NHMRC guidelines and are approved by the ECU Animal Ethics Committee where appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Explain and apply the basic principles of biological taxonomy.
  2. Identify and describe major events influencing the evolution and distributions of key elements of the Australian biota, including isolation, adaptive radiation and secondary colonisation.
  3. Identify the ecological and economic importance of selected Australian biota and identify threats to them.
  4. Prepare herbarium and other selected types of biological specimens.
  5. Recognise and characterise the morphology of significant groups of Australian plants and animals.
  6. Use appropriate tools to identify plants and animals, including regional floras and faunas, field guides and digital resources.

Unit Content

  1. Australian native mammals: prototherian and metatherian mammals, native eutherians (rodents, bats and marine animals).
  2. Human impacts on the biota: consequences of Indigenous and European colonisation; introduction of alien species; interaction between native and introduced taxa.
  3. Introduction to biological taxonomy.
  4. Origins, diversity and distribution of major groups of non-mammalian vertebrates: fishes, amphibians, reptiles and birds.
  5. Plant morphology: features required for plant identification.
  6. Plants of selected significant biomes and geographical areas: heathlands, eucalypt woodlands and forests, salt-lake communities; the Pilbara and other arid regions, South-West Floristic Region, seagrasses and other significant aquatic plants.
  7. Recognition and identification of major elements of the Australian flora: Fabaceae, Mimosaceae and Caesalpiniaceae, Myrtaceae, Proteaceae, significant monocots, and other selected taxa.
  8. Recognition and identification of weeds and feral animals.
  9. Structure and use of taxonomic keys: hardcopy and digital floras and faunas, resources relevant to Australian biota.
  10. The history of the Australian continent: Rodinia, Pangaea, Gondwana and its break-up; post-Cretaceous era.

Teaching and Learning Processes

Lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, fieldwork, online activities and directed reading.

Assessment

GS1 GRADING SCHEMA 1 Used for standard coursework units

Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

Due to the professional competency skill development associated with this Unit, student attendance/participation within listed in-class activities and/or online activities including discussion boards is compulsory. Students failing to meet participation standards as outlined in the unit plan may be awarded an I Grade (Fail - incomplete). Students who are unable to meet this requirement for medical or other reasons must seek the approval of the unit coordinator.

ON CAMPUS
TypeDescriptionValue
AssignmentLiterature review20%
Laboratory WorkIndividual and group laboratory work20%
PortfolioHerbarium collection20%
ExaminationEnd of semester examination40%

Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)

For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website.

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other students’ work;

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

SCI2118|1|2