• University of Leeds

Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

Discover ecology and learn how we can protect wildlife to conserve our natural world.

25,098 enrolled on this course

Ecology and Wildlife Conservation

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

On this course, you’ll learn you how the work of conservation biologists and study of ecosystems can help with conserving the world’s biodiversity. You’ll explore the impact 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’re influenced by human activity. You’ll use case studies to 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 seconds My 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 seconds You 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 seconds This 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.


  • Week 1

    Biological aspects of conservation

    • Welcome

      Take some time to introduce yourself and share your reasons for studying this course.

    • Conserving life on Earth

      Explore some of the different reasons for conserving the natural world, and consider the continuum of life on Earth.

    • Case study: Seabirds and windfarms

      Experiment with real data to analyse the impacts of offshore wind farms on seabirds.

    • Population biology and conservation

      Investigate and describe how a population’s biology is a factor in its need for conservation.

    • Summary

      Explore options for taking your studies further with the University of Leeds, and discover the topics covered next week.

  • Week 2

    Ecosystem resilience

    • About Week 2

      Explore how conservation biologists are working to preserve coral reef and pollinator communities.

    • What is an ecosystem?

      Study the characteristics of ecosystems to predict the resistance and resilience of coral reefs.

    • How do ecosystems respond to change?

      Experiment with a model ecosystem to discover how it responds to change and to the removal of different species.

    • Technology in conservation

      Consider how new technology can be used to develop scientific knowledge about ecosystems.

    • Summary

      Test your understanding, and consider some possible next steps in your learning.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

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?

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

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

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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$189.99 for one year

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Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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