Curriculum & Course Descriptions


AAB20D Ecology

Coordinator                          :        Norman T-Lon LIM (Email:

Academic Unit                      :        3 AU

Availability                            :         Semester 2

Pre-requisites                       :         BS1001 Introductory Biology
                                                        CY1001 Introductory Biology

Course Type                         :          BS-Major-PE, BMS-Major- PE 

Language of Instruction        :         English

Teaching Hours                      :          Lectures: 27 hours; Tutorials: 12 hours

Learning Objective

To learn concepts, techniques and mathematical assumptions involved in the study and sampling of natural populations. To learn the various special interaction mechanisms and regulatory processes in natural populations


This course covers concepts in population ecology, community ecology, and applied ecology.

1. Population ecology: demography, population growth and dynamics, life history strategies.

2. Community ecology: competition, predation, trophic interactions, community diversity, organisation over space and time.

3. Applied ecology: biological resource management and conservation.


Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1.  Describe the population parameters and construct a demographic life table;

2.  Estimate population densities using the capture-recapture method, and identify the various population growth forms;

3.  Describe ecological interactions (such as competition and predation) and explain distributions of natural populations in light of concepts like island biogeography and optimal foraging theory; and

4.  Discuss applied aspects of population and community ecology that are applicable to biological resource management and conservation.

Student Assessment

Students will be assessed by:

a.          Final 2-hour written examination (60%):

b.           Practical group oral presentation and written report (25%)

c.           Individual practical test (15%):



Reference text:

1.    Smith, T.M., and R.L. Smith. 2012. Elements of Ecology, 8th Edition. Pearson Education. (QH541.S662)

2.    Cain, M.L., W.D. Bowman, and S.D. Hacker. 2011. Ecology, 2nd Edition, Sinauer Associates. (QH541.E19EC 2011)