BIOEB504-22A (HAM)

Freshwater Ecology

15 Points

Edit Header Content
Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Ecology, Biodiversity and Animal Behaviour


Edit Staff Content




Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)



You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
Edit Staff Content

Paper Description

Edit Paper Description Content

This paper aims to build on students' understanding of freshwater ecology by further exploring how advances in ecological theory and scientific methods can deliver new insights into the structure and functioning of freshwater ecosystems. We will also consider how this knowledge can improve our understanding of environmental problems and help guide freshwater management.

The aim of the Freshwater Ecology paper (BIOEB504-22A) is to develop a well-rounded freshwater ecologist who understands both fundamental and applied aspects of freshwater science, in addition to recognising where links can be made with general ecological concepts and theories.

We will consider scientific literature from local (Aotearoa New Zealand) and international research. Topics will include issues of scale (spatial, temporal) and complexity (individual organisms to ecosystems). We will consider examples from lakes and rivers, and will cover major organismal groups including phytoplankton, macroinvertebrates, fish, and birds.

The paper will focus on key skills needed for a career in freshwater science, including literature searching, critical review of scientific papers, synthesis of scientific knowledge, application of concepts to solve problems, audio-visual presentation, writing a research proposal, and written communication of scientific information.

Edit Paper Description Content

Paper Structure

Edit Paper Structure Content

This paper will feature 12 lectures (Thu). The material will be taught in seminar form with an emphasis on interactive discussion. Several published research papers will be assigned each week as reading material. These research papers will be made available online along with supporting materials where relevant.

Students will be rostered so they either (a) present a brief audio-visual talk outlining key points from one of the selected papers, or (b) write a brief synthesis of the week's topic. Each of these tasks are to be performed once by an individual student for the participation component contributing to the final grade. Students are expected to actively take part in all seminars because the participation component of the final grade is also weighted on attendance and contribution to the discussions.

The internal assessment also includes writing a mini-review of scientific literature on an predetermined topic and preparing a short research proposal to address a pressing issue in freshwater science. There will be a final exam.

Edit Paper Structure Content

Learning Outcomes

Edit Learning Outcomes Content

Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Further develop their understanding of important concepts in freshwater ecology.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Show an appreciation for fundamental and applied aspects of freshwater science.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Identify where links can be made between freshwater science and general ecological theory and concepts.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Identify when and why organismal traits can improve our understanding of ecological communities.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Apply ecological theory to understand how species interactions can alter community composition and ecosystem functioning.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the consequences of land use change on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand the scientific basis for management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Appreciate the threats posed by invasive freshwater species and understand what management actions can be taken.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Propose research grounded in fundamental concepts to address an applied ecological problem.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Be able to objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of published scientific research.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Perform synthesis by integrating different sources of information to produce a wider understanding of an ecological topic.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Interpret and communicate results from ecological research.
    Linked to the following assessments:
Edit Learning Outcomes Content
Edit Learning Outcomes Content


Edit Assessments Content

The dates indicated for assessment procedures will normally be adhered to. Any changes to the dates will be made in consultation with the class at least one week prior to the original date. Individuals handing in work late must gain approval from the appropriate lecturer otherwise they will be penalised at 5 % per day.

Because we take issues relating to academic honesty and plagiarism seriously, we expect students in this paper to submit all major pieces of internal assessment (i.e. field trip reports) in hard copy and via Turnitin (accessed through Moodle), a programme that identifies similarities between an individual's work and the papers, books and websites in the Turnitin database. Turnitin results may show where students need extra learning support, as well as sometimes providing the evidence for any disciplinary action. A hard copy of all assignments must also be deposited at the locations described below.

Edit Additional Assessment Information Content

Assessment Components

Edit Assessments Content

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 40% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 40% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Participation
  • In Class: In Lecture
2. Literature Review
4 May 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Research Proposal
10 Jun 2022
11:30 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
Edit Assessments Content

Required and Recommended Readings

Edit Required Readings Content

Required Readings

Edit Required Readings Content
Reading material for each seminar will be provided approximately 1 week before the seminar via Moodle
Edit Required Readings Content

Online Support

Edit Online Support Content
This paper has a Moodle page ( where you will be able to access pdfs of lecture notes and powerpoints, lecture recordings, and reading material. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.

Edit Online Support Content


Edit Workload Content

156 hours in total (approximately)

Seminar attendance 24 hours - 12 seminars at 2 hours each

Readings and seminar preparation - 72 hours - 6 hours per seminar

Literature Review - 40 hours

Research Proposal - 20 hours

Edit Workload Content

Linkages to Other Papers

Edit Linkages Content


Prerequisite papers: BIOEB304




Restricted papers: BIOL560

Edit Linkages Content