Conservation Practice: Genes to Ecosystems


The course examines the scientific basis for conservation, its genetic foundation, why population size is critical and how biodiversity is maintained either in nature or at a backup location. The relevance of key areas of biology, such as genetics and ecology, to conservation practice are emphasised using case study examples for primate, bird, carnivore and plant genetic resource, as well as freshwater and upland peat habitat, conservation. A practical approach to conservation is further illustrated by a review of environmental ethics, ecosystem services, ecological restoration and how conservation action can be enhanced by working with local communities.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Have gained an understanding of key scientific, political, economic and ethical issues associated with conservation biology, both globally and locally.
  • Be able to discuss the strategies and practical techniques used to conserve biodiversity at the genetic, species and habitat levels, and set practical conservation in the local community development context.
  • Have an understanding of how the basic principles of conservation biology are applied to major groups of taxa and specific habitats, which provides the ability and confidence to formulate effective management policies and conservation strategies.
  • Have acquired general skills in acquisition of knowledge, problem solving and the presentation of ideas. 


  • Coursework and Exam