Courses & Units

Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology KPZ303


This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of animal behaviour within an evolutionary and ecological framework. There is an emphasis on fundamental principles (e.g., the ways in which animals interact with their own and other species and the environment, mechanisms to maximise reproductive success, determinants of fitness of an individual). In lectures, these principles will be highlighted by presentation of the history and theory of behavioural ecology, recent examples and advances (primary literature and research within the School), and detailed case studies. The practical classes are designed to initially develop understanding of relevant research methodology (the process of science, research design, data analysis and synthesis) via group research projects. The group projects will emphasise experimental design and data collection in real situations (not always as easy as it may seem) framed within a theoretical framework. Scientific presentation skills are important to any budding scientist (or for that matter in most job situations); these skills will be developed through presentation of the research project to peers as a conference talk and in a written report in the form of a scientific manuscript. The forum assessments will develop your ability to access primary literature and to critique and apply this knowledge to address novel questions in Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology.


Unit name Behavioural and Evolutionary Ecology
Unit code KPZ303
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Biological Sciences
Coordinator Associate Professor Geoff While
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 22/7/2024 16/8/2024 9/9/2024 27/10/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the major concepts in behavioural and evolutionary ecology and their relevance to understanding biological diversity
  • Design a study in behavioural and evolutionary ecology
  • Collect, analyse, and interpret behavioural and evolutionary ecology data
  • Communicate scientific ideas and results in written, verbal and graphic forms to both a scientific and general audience

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010905 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,596.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KZA212 Functional Biology of Animals


Teaching Pattern

Lecture content provided each week, 13 x one hour weekly lectorial's and 13 x three hour weekly practical field or laboratory classes, as well as some online self-paced activities.

AssessmentResearch Project Grant Proposal (5%)|Forum Assignment 2 (10%)|Research Project Presentation (10%)|Forum Assignment 1 (15%)|Research Project Report (20%)|Examination (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.


Krebs, J.R., Davies, N.B. and West, S. A. (2012). An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology. Blackwell Science. ISBN: 0865427313

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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