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Course Description

Mountain side lake with single tree under blue skies.

This course discusses the ecology of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria as individual organisms, interacting populations, communities and ecosystems. Lectures and discussion groups are used to demonstrate the difficulty of interpreting ecological data derived from field studies. The value of laboratory-based research in ecology will also be discussed. The course will be important for anyone who wishes to understand what we know and need to know about the way ecological systems work.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Explain patterns observed in nature by applying the scientific method and fundamental ecological theories.
  2. Communicate clearly about ecological systems and processes by applying appropriate ecological terminology.
  3. Appreciate the historical development of the discipline and the contributions of influential scientists to our understanding of contemporary issues.
  4. Begin to formulate investigations of conservation and management issues related to the distribution and abundance of species by applying ecological theory.
  5. Develop and present a case study research proposal (including a review of literature, statement of hypothesis and predictions, appropriate research methodology) on an ecological topic selected from recent Canadian news articles.
  6. Critically evaluate and synthesize a set of selected primary ecological literature, in the context of ecological principles and practices described in this course.

Course Topics

  • Science of Ecology
  • Natural History and Evolutionary Ecology
  • Individual Ecology
  • Population Ecology
  • Community Ecology
  • Ecosystem+ Ecology

Additional Requirements

Course Prerequisite(s): 4.00 credits including BIOL*1070


Assessment Item Weight
Online Unit Quizzes 30%
Tutorials 20%
Case Study Project 20%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%


Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
May 11, 2023 to August 04, 2023
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
Domestic Tuition Fee - Non-Ontario (0.5 units) $713.81 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $3,106.72 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
Reading List / Textbook

Note: The required course resource is Molles and Laursen's Ecology: Concepts & Applications. There are different purchase options. You must ensure that you have access to the required textbook, but you are not required to have access to the supplementary online materials available through the Connect learning platform.

You may choose to purchase the textbook as a standalone printed product, as a printed product with access to the Connect e-book and online courseware, or as the Connect eBook and online supplementary materials.


Section Notes

Note:  If you are in a degree program at the University of Guelph, please DO NOT register using the link above.  You must register through WebAdvisor.


Section Materials
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Mandatory) Ecology: Concepts & Applications by Manuel C. Molles and Andrew Lawson © 2020 McGraw-Hill 5th edition
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Optional) Required: Print Textbook ISBN 9781260065817
  • e-book (Unconfirmed) (Optional) Alternate: Connect eBook and online courseware ISBN 9781260328684
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