BI5135 - Population Biology & Conservation

Undergraduate course, , 2018


The module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles of population biology such as how population sizes are determined and regulated and the drivers of population change. The theoretical perspectives are linked to current conservation issues. Students gain an understanding of some of the practical methods of performing population biology investigations and an appreciation of the importance of models in conservation biology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand and evaluate the impact of the various factors that determine population growth patterns.
  • Understand the structure of different populations and how this structure influences population growth.
  • Examine and analyse some of the main types of interactions between different populations such as predator-prey.
  • Discuss and evaluate the impacts of human activity on wildlife populations and the conservation relevance of population biology theory, to current conservation issues.
  • Apply population modelling skills to provide insight into conservation problems.

Module content

  • Population growth, density dependence and population regulation
  • Life-tables and structured populations
  • Metapopulations, migration and dispersal
  • Competition & Mutualism
  • Predator-prey and herbivore-plant interactions
  • Parasites and disease
  • Population viability analysis
  • Human impacts on animal populations such as hunting and habitat loss.