Ecological Concepts and Plant Sciences

This module provides a broad overview of the key concepts of ecology and plant science. It is critically important to understand our ecosystems and their diversity in the face of environmental challenges. Most ecosystems on our planet are underpinned by plants. We will explore ecology, plant science and environmental challenges at both the global and cellular/molecular scale.

In terms of ecology, concepts covered include:
• the relationship between animals and their environment, some of their behavioural and physical adaptations and the methods used to study them.
• the diversity of the planet’s biome in light of how environments vary across the globe. techniques that have defined the field of molecular ecology.

In terms of plant science, concepts covered include:
• plant hormones, life cycles, reproduction and evolution, all of which are key to environmental stability and feeding the planet.
• crop plants, including crop domestication and methods for crop improvement
• physiological processes that are key to crop improvement. 

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

  • Describe the different types of natural environments and outline the major threats to this biodiversity, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of a range of sustainable solutions to environmental threats.
  • Explain how plant structure and function are interrelated in key physiological and developmental processes, and how this relates to climate change.
  • Work in groups to plan, carry out and analyse simple experiments in the laboratory.
  • Collect, analyse and present data addressing defined hypotheses, using qualitative and quantitative methods to assess environmental diversity and plant development/physiology.
  • Demonstrate skills in scientific writing.