Module 3

Biodiversity 1: Concepts

This module provides an in-depth understanding of biodiversity, starting from fundamental ecological principles. It includes :

  • global and temporal patterns
  • ecosystems
  • conservation biology
  • keystone species
  • genetics. 

The role that taxonomy plays in biodiversity assessment is considered from several points of view. The theory and practice of biodiversity assessment is explored in practicals. Major political issues, international initiatives, within-country monitoring and conservation programmes are considered. 

The role of biodiversity assessment in setting conservation policy is explored using various computer software packages such as WorldMap. 

We will also spend one week on the difficult problem of 'species' and the process of speciation. We will approach these issues both from a theoretical (how do we recognise species?) and a biological perspective (how do they come into being?).

Duration: 2 weeks

Module 4: Molecular systematics