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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


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.

6 points

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.

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

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Rachel Binks
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Biological Science (72520 )
or the Master of Science (70630)
or the Master of Ecotourism (73510)
or the Master of Geographic Information Science (71570)
or 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).
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
  • 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.