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


The Behavioural Ecology unit covers the broad area of behavioural ecology – how an animal's behaviour is adapted to its physical and social environment. The unit comprises five modules: (1) Foundations of Behavioural Ecology; (2) Sexual Selection; (3) Predator-prey interactions; (4) Perception and Signalling; and (5) Kinship, Conflict, Cooperation and Social Behaviour. The unit is taught by a team of lecturers who combine expertise in all of these areas. The unit integrates these themes within an evolutionary framework that explores the adaptive basis of behaviour, individual plasticity and the genetic basis of behaviour, ecological interactions governing social, sexual and antipredator behaviours, along with a strong mechanistic understanding of how perceptual systems work. This is a required unit for the Zoology major, but it should also be relevant to any student with interests in animal biology, ecology, evolutionary biology and natural history.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (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) understand major ideas in behavioural ecology and (2) develop research skills including experimental design, data collection, analysis and interpretation.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a two-hour end-of-semester examination; (2) revision quizzes; and (3) a report on a research project written as a scientific paper. 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 Jonathan Evans and Associate Professor Joseph Tomkins
Unit rules
Successful completion of
one Unit(s) ANIM2207 Animal Form and Function (ID 1298)
or ENVT2250 Ecology (ID 1228)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
discussion groups: 5 hours&mdash
1 hour per week (from week 1)
assessment briefings: 2 x 2 hour sessions
oral presentations: 2 x 3 hours
statistics workshop: 1 hour
  • 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.