Course Title: Environmental Biology

Course Code: ZOL-506

Credit Hours: 4 (3+1)


• Enable students to develop strong expertise in contemporaneous themes in ecological research

• Develop critical thinking and to discuss about advanced topics in population, community and ecosystem ecology as well as in biodiversity research.

• Develop expertise to update their knowledge continuously, and to design their own research in ecology

Learning Outcomes:

1.             Ability to discuss contemporary environment issues that cover local to global concerns.

2.             Explain the structure and impact of biogeochemical cycles.

3.             Describe energy transformations across trophic levels.

4.             Describe environmental hazards and risks and the social and economic ramifications.

5.             Describe ecological and statistical techniques and approaches used in the study of environmental biology.

Course Contents:

1. Energy: laws of thermodynamics, primary and secondary productions, trophic levels and energy variation with increasing trophic levels, energy flow, food chains and food webs. Biogeochemical cycle: nitrogen, phosphorus, Sulphur, water, carbon, nutrient. Limiting factors: basic concepts, temperature, soil, water and humidity, light, fire.

2. Global ecosystems: (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, ecosphere). An overview of ecosystem with special reference to ecological niche: basic concepts and types. Major ecosystem of world: Marine, Estuarine, Freshwater, Wetlands, Tundra, Forest, Grassland, Desert and Agricultural ecosystems.

3. Population ecology: basic population characters, growth and growth curves, population dynamics and regulations. Community ecology: basic concepts, community analysis, ecotones, inter-population interactions.

4. Applied Ecology: resources and their ecological management (mineral, agricultural desalination and weather modification, forest and range management, landscape and land use);

5. Pollution : (definition, types, cost, origin and management); water (sources, domestic and industrial pollution, heavy metals); air (Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, smog and PAN, MTBE & CFCs); land pollution (pesticides, bacterial toxins, synthetic hormones); noise pollution.

6. Radiation ecology: global environmental changes (ozone depletion, acid rain, greenhouse effect and global warming, Koyota protocol, desertification, deforestation, exotic and invasive species, radioactivity leakage, environmental laws).


1. Measurement of environmental factors on land, water and air.

2. Study of different ecosystems: pond, agricultural or grassland, forest.

3. Community analysis through different sampling techniques (quadrat, Transect),

4. Population studies mark and recapture method, statistical analysis of field data.

5. Adaptive features of animals in relation to food and environment.

6. Food chain studies through analysis of gut contents.

7. Analysis of polluted and fresh water for biotic and abiotic variations.

8. Field visits for study of selected terrestrial habitat and writing notes.

9. Experimental design and approaches in ecological research; writing a research project

10. Development of an ecological management plan of some selected area.

Books Recommended:

  1. Chapin III, F. S., Matson, P. A., &Vitousek, P. (2011). Principles of terrestrial ecosystem ecology. Springer Science & Business Media.
  2. Smith & Smith.(2015).Elements of Ecology. Pearson
  3. Odum, E. P., Odum, H. T., & Andrews, J. (1971). Fundamentals of Ecology(Vol. 3). Philadelphia: Saunders.
  4. Verhoef, Herman A., and Peter J. Morin. Community ecology: processes, models, and applications. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  5. Newman, E. I. (2008). Applied ecology and environmental management. John Wiley & Sons.
  6. Molles, M. C., & Cahill, J. F. (1999). Ecology: concepts and applications (p. 482). Boston, MA: WCB/McGraw-Hill.
  7. Roy M. Harrison(2006).An Introduction toPollution Science. RSC Publishing.
  8. Sokhi,S.Ranjeet.(2008).World Atlas of Atmospheric Pollution. Anthem Press.

Course Evaluation:

Term Paper: 25 Marks

Final: 50 Marks

Practical: 15 Marks

Sessional: 10 Marks( Attendance,presentation & assignment)



0 - 39


40 – 49         


50 -  64        


65 - 79




Time Table:

BS 6th S.S (Environmental Biology)

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  12-2 PM 12-1 PM 1-2 PM 10-11 AM


Course Material