BIOL425-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Freshwater Ecology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Aims to develop students as professional freshwater ecologists. Students will advance their knowledge of current issues and approaches in freshwater ecology, particularly the concepts that underpin understanding of freshwater ecosystems and the application of research to management and conservation issues in New Zealand. Has a focus on the skills needed by professionals working in freshwater-related areas of research, consultancy and management.

Recommended preparatory course(s): BIOL375

Learning Outcomes

  • As a student in this course, I will develop the ability to:
  • Acquire an in-depth appreciation of important concepts in freshwater ecology (assessment: online posts, Trends paper and final test; GP1, GP5)
  • Evaluate the processes that control the structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems at a variety of scales ranging from individuals to ecosystems and landscapes, and including the role(s) of abiotic factors and processes (assessment: online posts and final test; GP1, GP5)
  • Apply ecological knowledge to solve problems in freshwater ecosystems (assessment: online posts and final exam; GP1, GP2, GP3, GP4)
  • Synthesize scientific literature to provide appropriate background, context and interpretation for issues in freshwater ecosystems (assessment: online posts, trends paper and final test; GP1, GP5)
  • Critique and develop research and biomonitoring methodologies used by freshwater ecologists (assessment: field trip long report; GP1, GP2)
  • Be a professional freshwater ecologist including knowledge of the roles of scientists, consultants, managers, and stakeholders groups (GP2, GP4).
    Transferable Skills Register
    As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
  • Synthesis & interpretation of information. Research findings will be discussed in all sessions, and implementing this skill will be important in all course assessment. GP1, GP5.
  • Formation of hypotheses & explanations. Developing explanations for patterns and observations is important to developing an understanding of concepts. We will encourage this through discussions online and in seminars and feedback online posts. GP1
  • A broad understanding and appreciation of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand as it applies to freshwater species as taonga and mahinga kai. GP3.
  • Develop a high level of communication skills appropriate for a number of audiences. Through online posts, seminar discussions and the writing of a modern synthesis article with an emphasis on informative graphics you will learn to communicate to a variety of audience. GP2.
    2 of 6
    GP1, GP2, etc, refer to Graduate Profile attributes: (1) Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their degree; (2) employable, innovative and enterprising; (3) biculturally competent and confident; (4) engaged with the community; and (5) globally aware.


Subject to approval of the Head of School.



Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 14:30 Meremere 526
26 Feb - 3 Mar
11 Mar - 17 Mar
25 Mar - 31 Mar
29 Apr - 5 May
13 May - 19 May
27 May - 2 Jun
Tutorial B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 Meremere 526
19 Feb - 25 Feb
4 Mar - 10 Mar
Tutorial C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 15:00 Meremere 526
18 Mar - 24 Mar

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Tadeu Siqueira


Angus McIntosh and Jonathan Tonkin


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Online forum contributions 24% Before and after each seminar
Final Exam 40%
Trends/Frontiers article 10 May 2023 36%

Online forum contributions – to gain the 4% for a seminar you need to make insightful online postings on Learn as part of the preparation for the seminar, you need to attend the seminar and participate in discussion, and you need to contribute to online summary postings after the seminar. See information below for what we are looking for.
Trends/Frontiers article –production of an article in the style of either Trends in Ecology and Evolution or Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment on a freshwater ecology topic. These publications contain short reviews of current research that through synthesis and interpretation coupled with colour graphics, identify important concepts, applications and insights originating from recent research.
Final Test – essay questions covering material discussed during seminars. The date of the final exam will be announced by the 4th year Co-ordinator later in the year.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL425 Occurrences

  • BIOL425-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024