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BSc Biology with a Modern Language / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Advances in Palaeobiology

Unit code EART30882
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

The unit will draw upon the wide range of world experts at the University of Manchester; each week, a different expert will cover topics relating to their own research and cutting edge techniques in palaeobiology. As such, this unit will bring students right up to the state-of-the-art both in terms of understanding of current hot topics and practical skills. The format for each week will be a 1 hour lecture followed by an interactive seminar session (either directed discussion, hands-on practical, or some combination of the two). After the Easter break, students will give an assessed individual presentation on a topic of their choice from the course, in a half-day seminar.

 

Pre/co-requisites

Palaeobiology (EART20112) for Geologists

or Animal Diversity (BIOL21221) for Biologists/Zoologists/Plant Scientists

Aims

-To provide insight into cutting edge evolutionary palaeobiology and science-based archaeology through important current controversies and analytical techniques.

-Equip students with the necessary skills and awareness to tackle important evolutionary problems using techniques ranging from biomechanics and phylogenetics to tomography and taxonomy.

 

Learning outcomes

On the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse molecular and morphological character data from modern and fossil organisms to reconstruct evolutionary events
  2. Appraise two and three dimensional fossil reconstructions in the context of organismal form and function
  3. Discuss, critique, and compose oral and written arguments relating to current hot topics in modern palaeobiology
  4. Describe major events in the history of life on earth and their implications for understanding of evolutionary processes
  5. Use their knowledge to evaluate hypotheses relating to those major evolutionary events and evolutionary processes

Teaching and learning methods

The format for each week will be a 1 hour lecture followed by an interactive seminar session (either directed discussion, hands-on practical, or some combination of the two). After the Easter break, students will give an assessed individual presentation on a topic of their choice from the course, in a half-day seminar.

 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%
  • Written exam (2 hours) – 70%
  • Assessed individual presentation (10 minutes) – 30%

Feedback methods

  • Written exam (2 hours) – Standard feedback via written essay exams
  • Assessed individual presentation (10 minutes) – Written and scored feedback given within 7 days of presentation

Recommended reading

Each week reading will be provided for the relevant literature, mostly in the form original scientific papers and articles.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 10
Practical classes & workshops 8
Seminars 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Sansom Unit coordinator

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