Online course in Nature & Environment

Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

Discover ecology and how we can protect wildlife and conserve the natural world.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $44 Find out more

Do you worry about the effects of climate change on nature?

This course will show you how the work of conservation biologists and study of ecosystems can help with conserving the world’s biodiversity. You’ll explore the impact that the presence of wind farms on populations of seabirds and understand how the use of advanced techniques can be used to study different populations. In Week 2, you’ll learn about ecosystems and how they are influenced by human activity. Case studies will explore the reasons behind the bee decline across the world, and examine fish species in tropical seas to see at first-hand how climate change damages coral reefs.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsMy name is Chris Hassall, and I'm a lecturer at the University of Leeds. I'm passionate about global ecology, climate change and conserving the natural world. This course will help you understand concepts of ecology and wildlife conservation, and give you a taste of what it's like to study at the University of Leeds for relevant degrees, such as ecology and conservation biology. I've always liked animals and nature, and I'm not happy with what's happening to our planet. So I want to learn more about conservation and discover how I can help. My teacher told me about this online course by the University of Leeds on ecology and wildlife conservation. Let's check it out. Wow.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 secondsYou get to see how conservation biologists help to reduce the effects of human activity by really understanding the threats faced by species, like coral reefs and bees, and learn how brand new technology helps us to understand the impact of wind farms on different populations, like seabirds. You get to understand what ecosystems are and how they might respond to change through interactive case studies on bee decline across the world and on how climate change affects coral reefs. There's also a chance to take part in a science project by applying what I've learned to my own environment. I'll definitely use this course as part of my university application.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsThis course will introduce you to all the basic concepts explored by degree courses in ecology, biology and zoology at the University of Leeds. If you're interested in studying ecology at university, or you just have an interest in wildlife conservation, then this course is for you. Join ecology and wildlife conservation today.

What topics will you cover?

  • The moral and economic arguments for nature conservation.
  • The impact of human activity on the natural environment.
  • Why the conservation of populations and communities are essential for human life.
  • How conservation biologists are helping to protect seabirds from offshore wind turbines.
  • The impact of climate change on coral reef ecosystems.
  • How the loss of coral can lead to ecosystem collapse.
  • How large-scale studies are used to understand environmental issues.
  • The impact of bee decline across the world.
  • How new technology is helping to conserve nature and biodiversity.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 25 Nov 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify, through research, the key threats faced by seabirds, pollinators, and coral reefs.
  • Explore the impact of global environmental change on two key species and two key ecosystems.
  • Evaluate real data taken from a field study to investigate the conservation of a group of animals or plants.
  • Investigate the advanced techniques and technology which are used to study and conserve biodiversity by conservation scientists.

Who is the course for?

The course is for anyone with a general interest in ecology and wildlife conservation but it will be particularly useful for students at high school who want to study conservation biology, zoology or biology at university level. The course is part of the Going to University collection and completing it can help improve your university application by broadening your understanding of wildlife conservation and developing your independent learning skills. The course can also be used as a teachers’ classroom enrichment resource.

Who will you learn with?

Christopher Hassall

Christopher Hassall

I am an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Leeds, specialising in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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