Invertebrate Zoology (BIOS2040)
More than 99% of animals are invertebrates and due to their key role in all ecosystems, renowned biologist E. O. Wilson famously described them as the 'little things that run the world'. Besides their ecological importance, many invertebrates are useful to humans, whereas others are harmful to agriculture, human and veterinary health. This subject introduces invertebrate diversity in the context of their ecological and economic importance. It also develops skills necessary to classify and distinguish between the major invertebrate taxa. This subject includes fundamental hands-on laboratory and field studies skills for students with broad career pathways in science (e.g. animal, environmental, forensic and medical sciences) as well as agriculture, environmental management, and education.
We live in a society where environmental problems dominate public debate. Ecology is one of the sciences required to find solutions to such problems; terms and ideas that came originally from ecology are used in public discussions, and in legislation. This subject will introduce students to ecology: what is studied, how it is studied, what are the strengths and limitations of ecology. Current ecological thinking will be covered, from the scale of individual organisms, through populations, and up to communities and ecosystems. Methods of study will be highlighted using evidence from molecular ecology through to field investigations.