701-0328-00L  Advanced Ecological Processes

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersJ. Levine
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentFor students of the following study programmes only:
Biology Master
Teaching certificate Biology
Environmental Sciences Master
UZH MNF Biology
UZH MNF Geography /Earth Sciences


701-0328-00 VAdvanced Ecological Processes2 hrs
Tue10:15-12:00CHN F 46 »
29.11.10:15-13:00CHN E 46 »
J. Levine

Catalogue data

AbstractThis course presents the theoretical and empirical approaches used to understand the ecological processes structuring communities. Central problems in community ecology including the dynamics of species interactions, the influence of spatial structure, the controls over species invasions, and community responses to environmental change will be explored from basic and applied perspectives.
ObjectiveStudents will understand how ecological processes operate in natural communities. They will appreciate how mathematical theory, field experimentation, and observational studies combine to generate a predictive science of ecological processes, and how this predictive science informs conservation and management decisions.

Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

Understand the factors determining the outcome of species interactions in communities, and how this information informs management.

Apply theoretical knowledge on species interactions to predict the potential outcomes of novel species introductions.

Understanding the role of spatial structure in mediating population dynamics and persistence, species interactions, and patterns of species diversity.

Use population and community models to predict the stability of interactions between predators and prey and between different competitors.

Understand the conceptual basis of predictions concerning how ecological communities will respond to climate change.

Discuss the types of conceptual advances ecology as a science can realistically achieve, and how these relate to the applications of the discipline.
ContentLectures supplemented with readings from the primary literature and occasional computer exercises will focus on understanding central processes in community ecology. Topics will include demographic and spatial structure, consumer resource interactions, food webs, competition, mutualism, invasion, the maintenance of species diversity, and species effects on ecosystem processes. Each of these more conceptual topics will be discussed in concert with their applications to the conservation and management of species and communities in a changing world.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersJ. Levine
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Written aidsonly calculator
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


PriorityRegistration for the course unit is only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupBiology MSc (562000)
UZH MNF Biology (573100)
Teaching Diploma in Biology (579000)
UZH MNF Geography/Earth System Sciences (674200)
Environmental Sciences MSc (736000)

Offered in

Biology MasterCompulsory Concept CoursesOInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterA. FundamentalsWInformation