Australian Landscapes and Biota

Unit code: NPU2110 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park


This unit introduces students to both the range of environments and landscapes present across the Australian continent and the nature of the plants and animals that inhabit these landscapes. This will be achieved by: 1) discussing the factors that have shaped the various Australian environments, including geomorphological and climatic processes, and historical factors; 2) introducing the distinctive flora and fauna of Australia and the evolutionary pressures that have shaped the Australian biota; and 3) reviewing relationships between the biota and the environment. The unit also provides foundational knowledge on the Australian environment for students not continuing in the biological sciences.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Infer how various factors, including geomorphological, climatic, historical and evolutionary, have shaped present Australian landscapes and the various environments contained within, through field-based investigations and computer-based tools;
  2. Review and interpret the relationships between biotic (living) elements in the Australian environment and how these interact with various abiotic (non-living) elements;
  3. Analyse a range of environmental data with practical and computer-based tools;
  4. Communicate individually and collectively, in written, oral and visual forms, complex inter-relationships between organisms and their environments; and
  5. Contextualise the influence of humans and various 'cultures' to the Australian landscape and biota from both historical and present day perspectives.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 20%
Written assignment
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 30%
Field Portfolio
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 30%
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 20%
Oral and written presentation

Required reading

Ecology: An Australian Perspective
Attiwill, P.M and Wilson, B.A. (2006)| Oxford University Press

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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