Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Interactions between species are thought to have been critical for generating the diversity of species we see on earth today, but also pose particular challenges for conservation biologists. In this field course, we study animal-plant interactions in the species rich heath lands and forests of the north coast of NSW, with a strong emphasis on pollination by vertebrates. You will design and conduct ecological and behavioural studies of plants and animals in the field. This research will encompass both theoretical topics, such as the adaptation of flowers to particular groups of pollinators, and applied topics, such as the conservation issues associated with maintaining ecological interactions between organisms. In addition, there will be a focus on both developing the ability for you to identify elements of the Australian flora and avifauna, and increasing their exposure to a diversity of field techniques.

SchoolLife Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRyan Phillips

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyMerit based quota management

Quota-conditions or rulesCourse entrance by academic merit

Special conditionsStudents MUST check details of dates & costs of field trips with the department. This field course incurs additional costs.

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A


Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia

Resource TypeRecommended

Resource RequirementN/A

AuthorGraham Pizzey & Frank Knight



PublisherGibbon Multimedia


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Pollination and Floral Ecology

Resource TypeRecommended

Resource RequirementN/A

AuthorPat Willmer



PublisherPrinceton University Press


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Mangroves to Mountains: A Field Guide to the Plants of South-east Queensland

Resource TypeRecommended

Resource RequirementN/A

AuthorGlenn Leiper et al.



PublisherSociety for Growing Australian Native Plants, Logan Branch


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Define key terms and explain concepts in botany and ornithology.
02. Design scientific studies inspired by field observations, and manage data collection in the field.
03. Analyse ecological data, explain and illustrate results, and apply ecological theory of plant-pollinator interactions to interpret data.
04. Compose a research article that is grammatically correct, well-structured, coherent, methodologically accurate, and includes synthesis and evaluation of the current literature.
05. Apply knowledge of plant and bird traits to identify plants and birds.
06. Demonstrate practical skills associated with undertaking the study of plant-animal interactions, and undertaking research in the field.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Week 27-44, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size40

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRyan Phillips

Class requirements

Field Trip Week: 29 - 44
One 7.00 d field trip per study period on any day including weekend during the day from week 29 to week 44 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Intensive field course run at Hastings Point"

Lecture/Workshop Week: 28 - 28
One 6.00 h lecture/workshop per study period on weekdays during the day from week 28 to week 28 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Needs to be scheduled on Monday. Pre-field trip discipline-specific"

Tutorial Week: 30 - 44
One 1.00 h tutorial per study period on weekdays during the day from week 30 to week 44 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Tutorial on data analysis from field trip"


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Research paper (2500 words Due approximately 4 weeks after field tripN/AN/AN/ANo50 SILO2, SILO3, SILO4
Field notebook (800 words equivalent) Submitted at the end of the field trip.N/AN/AN/ANo20 SILO2
Field knowledge test (approximately 30 minutes, 500 words equivalent, written) Conducted at the end of the field trip.N/AN/AN/ANo20 SILO5, SILO6
Online quiz (approximately 20 minutes, 350 words equivalent, multiple choice) This assessment will take prior to the field trip.N/AN/AN/ANo10 SILO1