ENV BIOL 3530 - Research Methods in Evolutionary Biology III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

An introduction to systematic methods of collection, analysis and reporting of field and laboratory ecological and evolutionary data, and basic experimental design in evolutionary biology. Lectures outline the quantitative nature of ecological and evolutionary research and the value of robust experimental methods. Some knowledge of basic statistics is required. Experimental design will be emphasised, and the elements of statistical tests, particularly linear modelling, will be considered in a variety of ecological and evolutionary contexts. Practical work involves use of computers and software, and will complement methods introduced in lectures. Workshops will be used to collect laboratory-type evolutionary data and provide specialised expertise in evolutionary techniques.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3530
    Course Research Methods in Evolutionary Biology III
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible ENV BIOL 3006, ENV BIOL 3510, ENV BIOL 3520, ENV BIOL 3540
    Assumed Knowledge 6 units of level 2 ENV BIOL courses, STATS 1000 or STATS 1003 or equivalent
    Course Description An introduction to systematic methods of collection, analysis and reporting of field and laboratory ecological and evolutionary data, and basic experimental design in evolutionary biology. Lectures outline the quantitative nature of ecological and evolutionary research and the value of robust experimental methods. Some knowledge of basic statistics is required. Experimental design will be emphasised, and the elements of statistical tests, particularly linear modelling, will be considered in a variety of ecological and evolutionary contexts. Practical work involves use of computers and software, and will complement methods introduced in lectures. Workshops will be used to collect laboratory-type evolutionary data and provide specialised expertise in evolutionary techniques.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Sean Connell

    DR MARC JONES
    Course Timetable

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

    Lectures
    Tuesdays 9 - 11 am, Lower Napier LG28


    Labs
    Wed OR Thursdays 9 am - 1 pm,


    Workshops 
    Wed and Thurs 9 am - 1 pm







  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes


    1.      
    Demonstrate
    scientifically based sampling and experimental skills in evolutionary biology
    and environmental science

    2.      
    Define
    logical observations, models and hypotheses to shape research questions in
    evolutionary biology, both orally and written

    3.      
    Demonstrate
    an understanding of different types of sampling, apply basic statistical
    techniques to real biological, environmental and evolutionary data and
    correctly interpret the outcomes

    4.      
    Develop
    rigorous sampling designs and apply them to real world evolutionary data problems

    5.      
    Demonstrate
    appropriate conventions in technical writing and graphical methods for
    presenting data in evolutionary biology





    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)
    2,3,4,5,
    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
    1,3,4,5
    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
    2,3,4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,5,
    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
    3,4,5,
    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
    1,2,5,
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures are supported by online material.  Some lecture material will seek to ‘flip the
    classroom’ where the lecture room is the forum for exploring ideas and
    creativity to problem solving, recognising alternate cultures have different
    perspectives of the generation of knowledge and the ethics of scientific
    discovery and quantitative analysis.  Simulations of field conditions and
    field work will build student knowledge and experience in action-based leaning
    to develop the application of theoretical knowledge to practical problems that
    face industry.













    Workload

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

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g.,
    reading and revision).



    Learning Activities Summary
    Teaching is through a combination of lectures (1 x 2 hours per week during semester), practicals
    (1 x 3 hours per week [8 weeks]), workshops (1 x 4 hours per week [4 weeks]), and tutorials (1 x 1 hour per week [8 weeks])




    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Simulations of field conditions and field work require individual interaction with individual based projects that are developed by
    personal interaction with lecturing staff that are participants in the industry of evolutionary biology. 
     

    Group size will vary but generally involve small groups of 3-4 students solving generic issues through to large groups of 10 students that need administrative support for issues such as learning Occupational Health and Safety procedures that are targeted to their project. 

    Most types of interactions involve verbal communication and pending the level of difficulty, some computational assistance using computer software.





  • 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



    Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading
    purposes
    Hurdle

     

    Yes
    or No

    Outcomes being assessed / achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment







    Quizzes Formative & Summative 30% No 1, 4 Weeks 3, 5, 7, 9
    Assignments Formative & Summative 40% No 1-5 Weeks 5 & 10
    Final Exam Summative 30% No 1, 3-5 Exam Period









    Assessment Detail
    Assessment Detail

    1. Lab Quizzes (30%) There will be four lab quizzesin practical sessions that will be worth 5% (x2) and 10% (x2) each. Quizzeswill be short-answer written quizzes of 20 minutes in duration. Writtenfeedback will be provided in the following practical. 

     2. Assignments (40%) There will be two assignments worth 15% and 25% respectively. Eachassignment will consist of several problem-based questions that will requiresome computing work for data analysis and short answer type responses (half toone page).

     3. Final Exam (30%)A 2 hour exam in the end of semester exam period that will draw onmaterial from both lectures and practicals. It will require simplecalculations, but it will not involve computing.
    Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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
  • 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.