BIOL5501 Origins, Evolution and Conservation of Biodiversity

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyFace to face
This unit introduces students to aspects of the evolution and patterns of biodiversity that are relevant to conservation. There will be particular emphasis on the flora but also include some fauna of southwest Western Australia. It focuses on exploring questions rather than providing answers, and on framing questions about evolution, adaptation and patterns of diversity as testable hypotheses rather than as untestable narratives. Students gain greater understanding of evolution, distribution and endemism in a biodiversity hotspot and how this can help develop conservation strategies and priorities for conservation actions. Students choose a question of interest for a short, literature-based research project related to the theme, under the supervision of experts in the Faculty.
Students are able to (1) develop an understanding of patterns of biodiversity that are relevant to conservation in southwest Western Australian; (2) understand patterns of evolution as it relates to diversity and adaptation; and (3) understand the conservation issues that have an evolutionary aspect.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an essay (50 per cent); (2) oral presentations (40 per cent); and (3) discussion participation (10 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor David Coates & Dr Rachel Binks
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biological Science (72520 )
the Master of Science (70630)
the Master of Ecotourism (73510)
the Master of Geographic Information Science (71570)
the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Advisable prior study:
SCIE4402 Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here or contact your Faculty Office).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
Field trip (estimated cost - Up to $375).
Contact hours
includes a field trip (cost of food and accommodation is borne by the student); total workload is 150 hours
Unit Outline
Semester 2_2019 [SEM-2_2019]
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.