What will you achieve?

​ Mediterranean coastal habitats at the border of Greece and Albania. ©Zoltan Barina

Biodiversity and Climate Change module
By the end of this course, you will have the knowledge, skills and competences in order to:

Define biodiversity and list its key elements.
Explain what factors determine the distribution of biodiversity.
Identify biodiversity hotspots, summarising their criteria and distribution on Earth.
Define what a species is.
Differentiate the principle methods of taxonomy and systematics.
List the type of relationships between organisms.
Explain trophic pyramids and foodwebs.
Describe how large scale or local ecological processes maintain diversity.
Argue for the importance of scientific collections.
Explain how organisms may affect human health.
Relate biodiversity to the many ways it underlies economic activities.
Evaluate how ecosystem services contribute to all levels of the economy.
Identify the main causes of biodiversity loss.
Define climate change and list the factors causing it.
Explain how climate change drives range shifts of organisms, causes extinctions or re-colonisations.
Illustrate the ways biota reacts to climate change, using the Pleistocene glaciations and the subsequent Holocene warming and climatic stability as an example.

 European tree frog (Hyla arborea) ©Gergely Babocsay

Herpetofauna module
By the end of this course, you will have the knowledge, skills and competences in order to:

Illustrate the richness of the amphibian and reptile fauna of the world.
Identify the main inventions amphibians and reptiles made over the course of evolution.
List the main groups and most common species of the European herpetofauna and explain their distribution in the light of past climate changes.
Give examples of adaptations of amphibians and reptiles to a wide range of environments.
Recognise the many possibilities the herpetofauna offers in addressing questions in an array of disciplines.
Illustrate how the herpetofauna copes or coped with the environmental changes imposed by recent and today’s changes in climate.
Specify the threatening factors for amphibians and reptiles and describe how they cause decline of the populations.
Give examples on how climate change threatens amphibians and reptiles.
Exemplify what species of the herpetofauna can give us in the future.

 Showy medinilla (Medinilla magnifica) ©Zoltan Barina

Medicinal Plants module
By the end of this course, you will have the knowledge, skills and competences in order to:

Illustrate the richness of the world flora.
Describe how adaptations of plants determine the dispersal and distribution of plants.
Illustrate how plants react to climate change.
List the way plants are useful for humans.
Give examples of plants responding to a wide range of environments.
Illustrate the changes of flora in the Anthropocene.
List the factors threatening the diversity of plants.
Outline that many plant species in our environment have medicinal properties.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith