LARCH 7032 - Advanced Ecology (M)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

This course considers themes in ecological design and new technologies as they relate to contemporary landscape architecture. The course explores topics such as ecology, habitat restoration, hydrology, civil techniques, horticulture, planting design, installation and maintenance and other techniques pertinent to the production of ecologically vibrant landscapes.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LARCH 7032
    Course Advanced Ecology (M)
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Essays, written assignments, illustrated verbal presentations, preparation of variety of other graphic, visual and physical model-based materials
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Isabella James

    Room Lecture Hughes 309, Hughes Lecture Theatre
    Tutorial Barr Smith 540 a/b Final Yr Studio & 4th Year Studio 522a/b
    Standard Tutorials are as follows: 
    Time Lecture Friday 09:00am – 10:00am – To be advised
    Tutorial Tutorial 01 / 02 Friday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    Tutorial 03 Friday 12:00 noon - 2:00pm

    Isabella James / Stephanie Rogers
    Isabella James
    A-HA! Design Studio

    Miss Stephanie Rogers
    City of Adelaide

    Tanya Court
    8303 5694

    Please note that guest lecturers and tutors coordinator will NOT be available outside of studio contact hours. It is expected students fully engage with lecture content and limited studio time to reach the necessary advancement and resolution of design outcomes. For any course related enquiry, please post an entry on the discussion board or email Isabella James on the above email.

    Individual e-mail communication with students on course issues should be keep to a minimum and be for important matters only. Queries should be raised in class. Emails of a trivial nature will not be responded to.

    For issues concerning enrolment or queries about the
    School’s programs contact Clement Low, Student Advisor, 8313 5877,
    For issues related to discrimination or harassment contact
    the Course Coordinator or Velice Wennan, School Manager, 8313 5475,

    For issues relating to health, safety and wellbeing contact
    Ian Florance, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Officer, 8313 5978,


    Ecology is the study of the relationships between plants, animals, people, and their environment and importantly, the balances between these relationships. It includes studying and understanding the ecology of a place and the patterns and balance of relationships between plants, animals, people, and the environment in that place. 

    Advanced Ecology guides students to explore and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of ecological balance in planting design, hydrology, habitat restoration, planting installation and maintenance for sustainable and healthy landscapes. Advanced Ecology students will gain first hand experience in growing, maintaining, planting and identifying plants in collaboration with the Adelaide City Council.  This course encourages the intelligent and sustainable choice of plants using representational methods to deliver unique and creative designs reflecting the aesthetics of planting design, structures, textures, forms, and the specifics of plant selection. 


    By creating an open dialogue with horticultural disciplines, private firms, councils and government, students gain a practical and holistic understanding of the horticultural process involved in all landscape architectural projects and the importance of knowledge and balance between all living things within the environment and place. 

    This course focuses on horticultural design and prepares students for a future career in landscape architecture. Students will be required to develop analysis skills and apply appropriate horticultural representation techniques to explore site-specific solutions.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1 Demonstrate the ability to research and select plants for particular design characters and site conditions and to develop an individual plant palette
    2 Demonstrate a competency to respond to a design brief and develop critical thinking skills in analysing projects and scenarios within the context of site and place
    3 Demonstrate skills in exploratory design precedents, design ideation and informed conceptual design propositions
    4 Demonstrate a competency to articulate, communicate and critically evaluate design intentions, applications and outcomes using a variety of technologies and techniques
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Not Applicable.
    Recommended Resources
    Reference books:

    Bagust,P. & Tout-Smith,L. (2005) The Native Plants of Adelaide: Returning the vanishing natural heritage of the Adelaide Plains to your garden, Wakefield Press

    Kellermann, J. (2012) Flora of South Australia /​ Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

    ABC Gardening Australia (2004). Flora: The Gardeners Bible. NSW: Global Book Publishing.

    Dashorst, G, & Jessop, I. (1990). Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills, Kenthurst  NSW: Kangaroo Press.

    Leszczynski, N. A. (1999). Planting the Landscape: A Professional Approach to Garden Design. New York: John Wiley & Sons

    Macgowan, T. (2009). Transforming Uncommon Ground ‘The gardens of Vladimir Sitta’ Melbourne: Blooming Books

    Barbaux, S. (2010).Jardins Ecologiques : Ecology, source of creation, France: ICI Interface.

    Conran, T. & Pearson, D. (1998). The Essential Garden Book: The Comprehensive Source Book of Garden Design. London: Conran Octopus.

    Hopkins, G & Goodwin, C (2011.) Living Architecture: Green Roofs and Walls. CSIRO Publishing:Victoria

    Dunnett, N. &Clayden, A. (2007). Rain Gardens: Managing Water Sustainably in the Garden and Designed Landscape. Timber Press: Portland.

    Hobhouse, P, (2002).The Story of Gardens, DK, London.

    Lambertini, A. &Leenhardt, J. (2007) Vertical Gardens: Bringing the City to Life. Thames and Hudson: London

    Margolis, L, Robinson, A.(2007) Living Systems: Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture, Birkhäuser, Switzerland.

    Snodgrass, E.C. & Snodgrass, L.L. (2009). Green Roof Plants: A Resource and Planting Guide. Timber Press: Portland.

    Uffelen, C (ed.) 2008, 1000X Landscape Architecture, Braun, Berlin.

    Weller, Richard et al. (2005) Room 4.1.3: Innovations in Landscape Architecture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

    Thomson, P. (2002). Australian Planting Design. Melbourne: Lothian Books.

    Graphic & Representation References

    Mathur A, Cunha D, Appadurai A, Breckenridge C. 2009, SOAK: Mumbai in an Estuary, Rupa Publication

    Holden, R. & Liversedge, J. (2011) Construction for Landscape Architecture, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

    Delaney, M & Gorman, A. (2015) Studio Craft & Techniques for Architects, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

    Ching, F. (1996) Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, John Wiley & Sons inc.

    Ching, F. (1998) Design Drawing, John Wiley & Sons inc.

    Speaker Series:
    The school has a lecture series where respected practitioners and academics from the field deliver a public lecture on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design, it is recommended that you attend these sessions. The sessions are scheduled at the Horace Lamb Lecture Theatre, and the exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and the Front Office.

    Online Learning Download .pdf plant catalogue Catalogue and plant information Catalogue and plant information Botanic Gardens Ecology Resources and plant data

    Online Learning:
    Lecture summaries, image pdfs, handouts, links for further reference and additional material will be posted on the MyUni website following the relevant class.
    Discussion board will form the initial point of contact for a course related enquiries. Discussions will be opened up each assignment and will act as an online collaborative learning environment with student engagement and peer assistance vital.

    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course uses lectures, tutorials, seminars, site visits, crit sessions and presentations to gain knowledge required to complete assignments. To do well in this course students must bring their draft assignments for review. Receiving feedback, including from your peers is critical to developing deign thinking and successful design outcomes. It allows opportunities to improve and develop.

    Attendance at lectures is compulsory and an engagement with material/concepts presented will be required in the development of assessable studio exercises and assignments.

    Studios are a learning based environment and dependant on peer review and engagement to develop critical thinking, feedback and progress reviews. Exploratory design exercises and progress crits will encourage strong exploration of contemporary design approaches and presentation techniques. Studio will be the majority of the contact time for individual engagement and assignment presentations and crits will be undertaken at this time.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies. Accordingly, students undertaking this 3 unit course are expected to devote 12 hours per week to contact activities and self-guided studies.

    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management:

    Total workload hours: 12 Hrs per week x 13 weeks = 156 Hrs
    Total contact hours: 3 Hrs per week x 12 weeks = 36 Hrs
    Total self-guided study: 156 Hrs – 36 Hrs = 120 Hrs

    These 120 hours should be used towards preparation of weekly tasks and for completion of the various assignments associated with the course, including development of various skills required to complete the same. Please organise your time wisely. This is a 3unit course. Students in this course are expected to attend three hours lecture, tutorials, site visits and studio each week and devote 9 hours of self-directed learning to this course. Tutorials and studio are an important component of your learning in this course. The communication skills developed in tutorials and practical sessions by regularly and actively participating in discussions are considered to be most important by the School and are highly regarded by employers and professional bodies.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    1 Course Introduction: Historial summation of plant design and influences Course Introduction. Ecology, plant basics & terminology.
    2 Site Visit Site Visit
    3 Plants meet Architecture and applications Victoria Square/ Tarntanyangga, TCL project review of Urban Landscape Architecture.
    4 Designing with plants Designing with plants: Seasonal change, flower aspects, foliage, fruit/seeds, pruning, Archetypes, composition and patterns
    5 Landscapes in time Landscape architects, gardeners & botanists and approaches to plant design.
    6 Public Holiday Public Holiday
    7 Practical application of soils Practical application of soils: structure, organic matter and microbiology
    8 Landscape in Construction Working drawings, planting plans & details.
    9 Plants as the medium, characteristics,purpose and manipulation Plant design as a process; a multi disciplinary landscape.
    10 Practical application of plants, growing mediums and environments City of Adelaide: Planning, designing and maintaining a healthy landscape for the future.
    12 Presentation & assessment of
    final project
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assignment Name Due Weight Submission Format
    1 Objectives in the Landscape 27th March 20% Report submission and studio assesment
    2A Plant Identification Quiz 3rd April 5% Online Quiz
    2B South Australian Plant Book: research and identification 28th April 25% Report submission & studio assesment
    2C Plant Pressing and Botanic Review 1st May

    5% Report submission & studio assemement
    3 A Biophilic Centre: Concept design and plant presentation 7th June 40% Studio presenation
    - Ongoing Tasks:
    Lecture & Studio attendance & participation
    Seedling survival
    15th May 5% None
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Not applicable
    Assessment Detail
    Marking & Feedback (General)
    Final results for the course will only be available through Access Adelaide and students should not contact the course coordinator or the tutors for the same.
    Feedback for in-class submissions will only be available during the tutorial as oral critique in the style of studio wall-crits. Students should arrange with peers to make notes for reference.

    Submission/Notes on Assessment
    For information on the University’s Good Practice Guidelines for assessment, refer to:

    1. Assessment criteria will be used to assess students’ work. The criteria for each assignment will be
        indicated on the assignment handout.
    2. To gain a pass in this course, all assignments need to be passed in all their parts (> 50%).
        Students can redeem failed assignments by resubmitting the work as academic supplementary assessment
    . Please see below and the School's Handbook 2010 for details on resubmissions and
        maximum possible marks.
    3. The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.
        Marks may be deducted because of poor language skills. 
    All studio presentations and pin ups to be completed and ready for presentation/pin up at prior tutorial start time, or as assignment states, late submissions will not be accepted and automatic fail grade applied.
    Project 2B to be submitted to the Submission Box by Thursday 30th April by 3pm, late submissions will not be accepted.

    The submission dates and locations for various assignments associated with this course are:

    All submissions must include Student Name and Student ID Number.

    Submissions without Student Name or ID Number will not be considered for marking, and will receive zero marks in accordance with the guidelines.
    In addition, all assignments need to have an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Please attach the cover sheet in front of the document, to the top left hand corner.
    Please adhere to submission deadlines and follow instructions provided.
    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the Course Coordinator.
    On occasion, the lecturer/tutor may wish to retain students’ work for future reference and the relevant student will be informed at such a time.

    Early Submission:
    There is an early submission box located on Level 4 which is cleared out daily at 10am. Please mark your submission clearly before placing in box.

    Late Submission:
    The school will NOT accept late submissions and any such assignment will receive zero marks. This also applies to electronic submissions.
    Printing delays & hard disk crashes will not be entertained as legitimate causes for delay, so please ensure that the work is finished in advance.

    The school has a resubmission policy whereby students can redeem failed work by submitting additional work for a maximum of 50%.

    Good practice:
    Students should ensure that they regularly backup their work on multiple locations as hard-disk crashes are an unfortunate reality.
    When relying on community printing facilities, students should attempt to finish their work in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted (digital or hardcopy), as originals may be lost during the submission process.

    For modified arrangements of submission and assessment due to special circumstances see the following Assessment Task Extension(s) & Additional Assessment guidelines:

    Modified Arrangements (General):
    Students can apply for extensions or modified arrangements based on Medical conditions or other Extenuating circumstances. However, students need to submit their application along with supporting documents within 5 business days of the condition becoming applicable.
    The application forms are available from the Front Office and at and need to be submitted at the Front Office along with any supporting documentation.
    Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance and the Course Coordinator will inform the applicant if the application is accepted. Please DO NOT contact the Course Coordinator directly.

    Medical Reasons:
    In case of an extended medical condition which makes it impossible for the student to submit the work on time, an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Medical Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office along with a doctor’s certificate within 5 business days.

    If the student is unable to submit the work on time due to extenuating Circumstances an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Extenuating Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office.
    Please note that this is only available for certain military, religious, or legal obligations and does not extend to minor personal problems. (Refer to Student Handbook at for further details or contact Student Advisor).

    Compassionate Grounds:
    In case of certain extraordinary personal problems students can apply for extensions based on compassionate grounds. However, these must first be discussed with the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    To maintain privacy relating to personal issues students can contact the University Transition and Advisory Service at 8313 0100 or, or approach the Counselling Service on 83035663 for an individual appointment.

    Additional Assessment:
    If a student receives a Fail grade for the course with an overall mark between 45 and 49, they may be eligible for an Additional Assessment which would allow them to get a maximum of 50 Pass for the Course.
    Additional Assessment offers are made by the School and the student will be informed directly once these are made available.

    Students who have a disability and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to contact the University Disability Services at 83135962 or for supporting documentation and then communicate these to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.

    Elite Athlete:
    Students who have national/international sporting commitments and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to register with the University Elite Athlete Support Scheme at and then communicate this to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Submission dates and arrangements for each assignment will be clearly communicated for each course. The current (2011) School policy does NOT allow any extensions*. LATE submissions will not be received by staff, and the assignment receives zero.

    *The exception to this Policy occurs when students have in-place Medical, Compassionate or Extenuating Circumstances approved by the Course Coordinator on official School documentation. Please see below and the School's Handbook 2009 for details.

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All physical submissions of individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet
        which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold student’s
        results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. All physical submissions of group assignments must be attached to a Group Assignment Cover Sheet
        which must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are
        expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.
    4. Markers can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the
        University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism below).
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.