Skip to main content

Unit information: Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology 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 Mammalian Ecology and Sociobiology
Unit code BIOL31117
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Andy Wakefield
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None, but we strongly advise that students should previously have studied BIOL20104 Behavioural Ecology. If you have not taken this unit, consult the Unit Director for suggested background reading.

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

This unit will examine in detail the evolution and radiation of the mammals, and in particular their diversity and specialisations, from a socioecological view point. The main theme of the unit will be to look at the evolution of complex social behaviour patterns and group living in the mammals and their ecological consequences. Examples will be drawn from all the major mammalian taxa. Topics to be given special consideration will be a review of mammalian social systems, the evolution of parental care systems, social odours and other forms of communication in mammals, resource partitioning in selected mammalian groups, the evolution of group living and social cohesion in mammals, and primate ecology.

Aims:

  • To give students an understanding of the ecological and behavioural concepts underpinning the evolution of mammalian social systems
  • To give students an understanding of impact of habitat and other changes on the viability of mammal populations.
  • To enable students to design work programmes

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ecological and behavioural concepts underpinning the evolution of mammalian social systems. In addition they will be able to design work programmes that will enable them to undertake their own studies of mammalian socioecology and will be aware of the impact of habitat and other changes on the viability of mammal populations. They will also have learnt how to use this information in an applied manner to manage mammal populations.

Teaching details

Lectures, interactive seminars/workshops and independent study.

Assessment Details

End of year exam (100%)

Reading and References

Most of the lecture material for the specific subjects considered in the Unit is taken from research papers and is not covered in any one text book. For each lecture, you will receive a recently updated reading list.

Feedback