Biology Concentration for Major Program

 

Ecology

Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and environment that affect distribution, abundance, and other characteristics of the organisms.


A strong analytical and quantitative orientation is common to all areas of ecology, and thus students wishing to specialize in these areas are strongly encouraged to develop their background in statistical analysis, computing, and mathematical modeling (eg. BIOL 373, COMP 202). Many of our ecology courses feature a strong analytical component, and students will find that background preparation in this area is very useful, if not essential. Ecology depends heavily on field courses, which should be considered as vital to all concentrations in this area.

Concentrations available within the area of Ecology

General and Applied Ecology


The concentration in General and Applied Ecology is designed to introduce the breadth of contemporary ecology, at the levels of the ecosystem, communities and populations, and at the level of the individual organism, with an accent on the application of this material to the practical problems of environmental biology, including the management of natural resources and pests. The concentration focuses on ecology courses dealing with general principles and with particular groups of organisms, combined with field courses in ecology and courses in statistics and computing. Students are encouraged to supplement courses listed as part of this concentration with allied subjects from aquatic ecology, behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, marine biology, and other concentrations in Biology and from other sciences. Such selections should be made with the help of the academic advisor. By appropriate selection of courses, students can complement these courses with a minor in Environmental Studies.

The group of ecologists available at McGill is among the largest, most diverse, and most active in Canada. There is ample opportunity through independent study and summer employment for involvement in a wide range of contemporary research, including terrestrial, aquatic, theoretical, evolutionary and behavioural ecology.

KEY COURSES:
Credits
Department
Courses Course Title
3
Biology
BIOL 305
Animal Diversity
3
 
BIOL 308
Ecological Dynamics
3
 
BIOL 331
Ecology/Behaviour Field Course
3
OR BIOL 334 D1/D2
Applied Tropical Ecology
3
  BIOL 342 Contemporary Topics in Aquatic Ecology
3
 
BIOL 350
Insect Biology and Control
3
 
BIOL 373
Biometry
3
Computer Sci.
COMP 202
Foundations of Programming
3
 
COMP 273
Introduction to Computer Systems
       
OTHER SUGGESTED COURSES:
for rules and restrictions of courses taken outside Arts & Science, please consult:
http://www.mcgill.ca/science/student/continuingstudents/bsc/outside
3
Biology
BIOL 307
Behavioural Ecology
3
 
BIOL 324
Ecological Genetics
3
 
BIOL 377
Independent Reading Project
3
 
BIOL 418
Freshwater Invertebrate Ecology
3
 
BIOL 427
Herpetology
3
 
BIOL 428
Biological Diversity in Africa
3
 
BIOL 429
East African Ecology
3
 
BIOL 432
Limnology
3
 
BIOL 434
Theoretical Ecology
3
 
BIOL 441
Biological Oceanography
3
 
BIOL 465
Conservation Biology
3
 
BIOL 466
Independent Research Project 1
3
 
BIOL 467
Independent Research Project 2
6
 
BIOL 468D1/D2
Independent Research Project 3
9
 
BIOL 469D1/D2
Independent Research Project 4
3
 
BIOL 510
Advances in Community Ecology
3
 
BIOL 515
Advances in Aquatic Ecology
3
 
BIOL 540
Ecology of Species Invasions
3
 
BIOL 594
Advanced Evolutionary Ecology
3
Geography
GEOG 302
Environmental Management
3
Plant Science
PLNT 460
Plant Ecology (Macdonald Campus)
3
Redpath Museum
REDM 405
East African Natural History


Aquatic Ecology


This concentration is designed to introduce the principles of ecology as they pertain to aquatic biota and more broadly aquatic ecosystems. Since it is essential to know how knowledge is obtained, as well as what has been learned, one of the courses (Limnology) places an emphasis on field work and one of the courses (Biological Oceanography) concentrates on the techniques used in the laboratory. To give students an opportunity to work through all of the steps involved in initiating a project of their own design, we also offer a research methods course (Advances in Aquatic Ecology). There is also a variety of courses in aquatic disciplines offered in other departments that complement the aquatic ecology courses offered in Biology. By appropriate selection of courses in consultation with advisors, it is possible to complement this concentration with a minor in Environmental Studies.

There are many ecologists at McGill with aquatic interests, and they are among the best and most active in Canada. Consequently, there is ample opportunity through independent study and Honours projects as well as summer employment for involvement in a wide range of contemporary research. Current research projects include: the cycling of nutrients and contaminants through aquatic ecosystems, the ecology of lake eutrophication, research on invasive species in the St. Lawrence system, and the ecology of foraging and respiration in fishes.

KEY COURSES:
Credits
Department
Courses Course Title
3
Biology
BIOL 305
Animal Diversity
3
BIOL 308
Ecological Dynamics
3
 
BIOL 331
Ecology/Behaviour Field Course
3
OR another Field Course
3
  BIOL 342 Contemporary Topics in Aquatic Ecology
3
 
BIOL 373
Biometry
3
 
BIOL 418
Freshwater Invertebrate Ecology
3
  BIOL 427 Herpetology
3
 
BIOL 432
Limnology
3
Natural Res. Sci.
OR ENVB 315
Science of Inland Waters (Macdonald Campus)
3
Biology
BIOL 441
Biological Oceanography
3
 
BIOL 465
Conservation Biology
3
 
BIOL 515
Advances in Aquatic Ecology
3
Computer Science
COMP 202
Foundations of Programming
3
 
OR COMP 273
Introduction to Computer Systems
       
OTHER SUGGESTED COURSES:
3
Biology
BIOL 307
Behavioural Ecology
3
BIOL 429
East African Ecology
3
BIOL 434
Theoretical Ecology
3
 
BIOL 466
Independent Research Project 1
3
 
BIOL 467
Independent Research Project 2
6
 
BIOL 468D1/D2
Independent Research Project 3
9
 
BIOL 469D1/D2
Independent Research Project 4
3
BIOL 540
Ecology of Species Invasions
3
Geography
GEOG 305
Soils and Environment
3
 
GEOG 306
Raster Geo-Information Science
3
 
GEOG 308
Remote Sensing
3
 
GEOG 322
Environmental Hydrology
3
Redpath Museum
REDM 405
East African Natural History


Marine Biology


This concentration is designed to offer students a broad introduction to Marine Biology and Marine Ecology which will form the basis for graduate studies in these fields, or for employment in Aquatic Biology and Oceanography.

KEY COURSES:
Credits
Department
Courses
Course Title
3
Biology
BIOL 305
Animal Diversity
3
BIOL 308
Ecological Dynamics
3
 
BIOL 335
Marine mammals
3
  BIOL 342 Contemporary Issues in Aquatic Ecology
3
 
BIOL 373
Biometry
3
 
BIOL 441
Biological Oceanography
3
 
BIOL 515
Advances in Aquatic Ecology
       
OTHER SUGGESTED COURSES:
3
BIOL 331
Ecology/Behaviour Field Course
3
BIOL 334D1/D2
Applied Tropical Ecology
3
 
BIOL 418
Freshwater Invertebrate Ecology
3
BIOL 429
East African Ecology
3
 
BIOL 432
Limnology
3
 
BIOL 434
Theoretical Ecology
3
 
BIOL 465
Conservation Biology
3
 
BIOL 466
Independent Research Project 1
3
 
BIOL 467
Independent Research Project 2
6
 
BIOL 468D1/D2
Independent Research Project 3
9
 
BIOL 469D1/D2
Independent Research Project 4
3
 
BIOL 540
Ecology of Species Invasions
3
AOS
ATOC 512
Atmospheric & Oceanic Dynamics
3
ATOC 550
Special Topics in Meteorology & Oceanography
3
EPS
EPSC 542
Chemical Oceanography


For students intending to proceed to graduate work, one independent studies course (BIOL 466; BIOL 467 or BIOL 468) is recommended. Due to the importance of numerical analyses in all fields of Ecology, courses in biostatistical analysis (e.g., BIOL 373 - Biometry) and computer science (COMP 202 - Introduction to Computing 1) are highly recommended.


Animal Behaviour | Biological Diversity & Systematics | Conservation Biology
Evolutionary Biology| Human Genetics | Molecular Genetics & Development
Neurobiology | Ecology