Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit analyses the way animal populations fluctuate and use resources in space and time. It considers how individuals within populations interact with each other and with individuals in populations of other species, including those interactions that contribute to the determination of the biodiversity apparent in communities today. It covers population parameters such as age structure, birth and death rates and how these are used to construct life tables and population models. Theories and empirical evidence as to how biodiversity has developed over time and is currently maintained are considered along with discussion of how biodiversity contributes to ecosystem function and how that biodiversity should be managed and conserved.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Zoology; Wildlife Conservation; Biodiversity and Evolution major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) acquire a knowledge of population parameters and use them to produce population models; (2) understand how models are used to manage and conserve animal populations; (3) understand how populations interact with populations of the same and different species and model those responses; (4) use statistics to analyse data either collected during practical sessions or provided from field experiments; (5) articulate the main characteristics of communities and the divergent theories on how diversity is generated and maintained; (6) be able to apply theories of community organisation to conservation and management; (7) use multivariate techniques to analyse community data; and (8) critically assess recent and relevant literature.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) final examination; (2) data analysis and interpretation exercises; and (3) mid-semester in-class test. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Raphael Didham
Unit rules
Successful completion of
Unit(s) ANIM2220 Animal Diversity
or Unit(s) ENVT2250 Ecology (ID 1228)
or Unit(s) ANIM2207 Animal Form and Function
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
practical classes: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.