Ecology is the study of how living organisms interact with each other and their environments. Studies in ecology examine biological interactions at micro- to regional scale and rely on diverse approaches including biological surveys, manipulative experimentation, molecular genetics, and mathematical modelling. Ecological research also has important implications and applications to Conservation Biology, Climate Change Science, Environmental Planning, and Environmental Policy.
The undergraduate, masters and postgraduate degree programs available at the University of Queensland provide exposure to these and other ecology approaches. For more information, see our Undergraduate Coursework Programs, Master of Conservation Biology and Postgraduate Research in Ecology pages.
Workshops in Advanced Skills in Ecology
As part of the Ecology Centre’s mission to advance ecological research at The University of Queensland, we periodically run half day to full day courses on a range of advanced skills in ecology. In the past these have involved workshops on GIS tools available in R, grass identification skills and an introduction to projection models. Courses are run by UQ academics, postdocs, and senior PhD students and are free to Ecology Centre affiliates. If you are outside the UQ community you are still welcome to attend for a small fee, depending on the course being offered. Each course is advertised in advance with information about how to signup but keep an eye on our Workshops page for information on upcoming courses.
We are always looking for new course topics, so if you have an idea for a course that you would like to see run or you would like to run please e-mail Dr Margie Mayfield.
Postgraduate Research in Ecology
Postgraduate degrees (PhD) in ecology will most commonly be granted by the Faculty of Science. Official requirements for applying to the postgraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland are posted on the following website:
Though there are official requirements for applying and being accepted into a postgraduate program involving ecological research (such as Science or Environmental Management) at UQ the first step for any potential applicant is to identify and acquire support from a currently active academic member of the Ecology Centre. To do this, please visit the “People” page of the Ecology Centre website and identify individual academic members whose research interests you. Once you have selected one or several such academics, contact each of these individuals with the following information:
- A simple cover letter introducing yourself and explaining specifically why you are interested in pursuing your PhD with them. The more specific you can be about what aspects of their research interests you, the more likely you are to get a positive response. The cover letter can be in the body of an e-mail, it need not be a separate file.
- A copy of your academic CV. This CV should make it clear what degrees you have completed, your average grade point for your entire degree, relevant work or volunteer experience, publications you are an author on and any conferences you have attended.
At this initial contact stage refrain from sending lengthy proposals, transcripts or other details, if the person is interested in you they will ask for these things later.
TIPS: You are unlikely to receive a positive response if you send a very general form letter to people that shows that you have not specifically investigated their research. Specific knowledge of the work done by your potential supervisor is the best way to show how serious you are about working in a given lab group and with a particular supervisor.
Once you have received a positive response from a potential supervisor, that person will help direct you through the official application process. You can read through the details of this official process on the official UQ Graduate School website.
NOTE: the official graduate school process includes submitting an “expression of interest” form. Please contact potential supervisors with the above information in addition to this form.
Undergraduate Coursework Programs
The University of Queensland offers two undergraduate degrees in the field of ecology. Both degree programs also have the option of a fourth year Honours degree for students who achieve adequate marks during their degree.
The first option is to pursue a degree in Biological Sciences with a major in Ecology. A more applied option is to pursue a degree in Environmental Management with a major in Ecology.
For more information about earning a Bachelor of Environmental Science with a major in Ecology, please see the Ecology and Conservation Major.
Visit Undergraduate to learn about all the study options in The University of Queensland's Faculty of Science.