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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 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 solutions to conservation and management issues related to the distribution and abundance of species by applying ecological theory.
  5. Critically analyze primary scientific papers on a specific ecological topic.
  6. Critically evaluate primary ecological literature in the context of ecological theory.
  7. Develop and present a research proposal (including a review of literature, statement of hypothesis and predictions, appropriate research methodology, and anticipated results) on an ecological topic.

Course Topics

  • Individuals
  • Populations
  • Population Interactions
  • Communities
  • Large-Scale Ecology

Additional Requirements

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


Assessment Item Weight
Online Unit Quizzes 10%
Pre-Tutorials (8) 4%
Tutorials (8) 16%
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 20%
Take-Home  Final Exam 40%
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 13, 2021 to August 09, 2021
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Domestic Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $683.39 Click here to get more information
International Tuition Fee (0.5 units) $2,748.00 Click here to get more information
Available for Credit
0.5 units
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.

Three SimUText Electronic Chapters (Required)
Students will receive an email with instructions for purchasing SimUText. The instructions will also be posted on the course website.

Please Note: Students must have access to Microsoft Excel for this course.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Unconfirmed) (Mandatory) Ecology: Concepts & Applications by Manuel Molles and Anna Sher © 2019 McGraw-Hill Ryerson 8th Canadian edition ISBN 13: 9781259880056 - Print ISBN10: 1259880052
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