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Unit information: Green Planet in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Green Planet
Unit code BIOL20013
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2D (weeks 19 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Franklin
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None, but it is recommended that students should have 120 credit points of appropriate Level 1 units

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

The aim of the unit is to equip modern life science students with the essentials of plant biology so that they may build on this information by taking further units in year 3. The unit will illustrate how important plants are and have been to life on earth, and will demonstrate their importance to humanity. The unit will cover a wide range of plant biology from cell biology and genetics through whole plant biology and ecology, considering mechanisms that have played out over millions of years of evolution as well as issues that arise in our daily lives (e.g. environmental signalling, nutrient cycling, reproduction, plant –animal interactions, ecosystem function, crops and GM). Through a combination of lectures and hands-on practical sessions, students will learn about the frontiers of plant science and the potential of plant research to address global problems, including climate change and food security.

Intended learning outcomes

General: a broad grounding in plant biology: diversity, form, ecology, and importance to life on earth.

Specifically students will acquire an understanding of:

1. how plants harvest light energy and turn it into food for animals (ourselves included);

2. how plants obtain water via their roots and how roots interact with the soil and soil organisms;

3. the role of plants in making ecosystems and proving 'ecosystem services';

4.how plants reproduce and products of reproduction - seeds and fruits;

5.plants and human evolution - agriculture and the concept of 'food security';

6. products from plants and biotechnology.

Transferable skills: ability to work as part of a team via the practicals.

Teaching details

  • 3 x 1-hour weekly lectures
  • 2 x 3-hour laboratory-based practicals

Assessment Details

Continuous Assessment - 40% (consisting of two practicals).

End of year exam - 60%.

Reading and References

1. Plant Biology. Graham LE, Graham JM, Wilcox LW. (2nd Edition, 2006) Pearson.

2. Biology of Plants. Raven PH, Evert RF, Eichhorn SE. (7th Edition, 2005) Freeman.

3. Plant & Planet. Huxley AJ. (1978) Allen Lane, London.

4. Plant Biology. Smith AM. et al. (2008) Routledge.

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