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First-year Level Courses in Botany

There are two first-year courses in Botany. CEL 101 is normally held in the first semester and BOT 102 in the second semester. Credit may be obtained in each course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course BOT 1, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum (45%) in each component. However, students wishing to major in Botany must normally obtain credit in both components separately. Both theory and practical examinations are held. Supplementary examinations may be awarded in either course, provided that a candidate achieves 35% in semester 1 and 45% in semester 2. Practical reports, essays and class tests collectively comprise the class mark, which forms part of the final mark.

Adequate performance (in the form of at least a DP) for CEL 101 is required before a student may register for BOT 102.

Each course is comprised of modules of two to four weeks, with 5 lectures and 1 practical per week. Additional tutorial sessions may be given in some modules.

Cellbiology 101 (CEL 101)

The aim of this semester is to introduce students to essential topics in cell biology. An understanding of how cells have evolved underpins our understanding of how they were formed and have changed in response to the environment and how they function.  This provides a foundation for other areas of zoology and botany such as physiology, genetics and evolution, and even some aspects of ecology. In this course we aim to provide you with a framework that will allow you to fully appreciate how unicellular and multicellular organisms function.  Although matric biology is useful background to this course, students without it will be able to cope as long as they are prepared to read the text book and, if necessary, get help from the ADP tutor.

Botany 102 (BOT 102)

This course examines the mechanisms of evolution through natural selection and the resultant plant diversity. Whole plant function and adaptation is then used to introduce plant ecology, which deals with the interactions between plants and their environment at different levels of organisation from the individual to the biosphere. The course ends with an introduction to the biomes of South Africa, highlighting the diversity in ecological processes that have shaped the vegetation in different parts of the country. A field trip to the coast provides an introduction to field ecology.  Specific outcomes are given at the start of each module.

 

Second-year level courses in Botany

There are two independent second-year courses in Botany. BOT 201 is normally held in the first semester and BOT 202 in the second semester. Credit may be obtained in each course separately, and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course BOT 2, provided that a candidate obtains the required subminimum in each semester. No supplementary examinations will be offered for either course.

When the intention is to major in Botany, credit in Botany (CEL 101, BOT 102), Zoology (ZOO 102) and Chemistry (CHE 1) is required before a student may register for BOT 201 or BOT 202. Permission may be granted to repeat CHE 1 or ZOO 101 concurrently with BOT 201 and BOT 202. Adequate performance (at least 40%) in the first semester is required before a student may register for the second semester.

These courses each comprise several modules and weekly practicals. Students registered for BOT 201 will also be required to assemble a plant collection, and students will participate in field trips in BOT 201 or BOT 202.

Second year Botany consists of two semester courses, Botany 201 and Botany 202. Each semester can be taken separately or in combination. Students wishing to major in Botany are required to pass both Botany 201 and Botany 202.

Botany 201 (BOT 201)

This course commences with an introduction to the assessment of botanical diversity through plant collection and identification, where students are introduced to the variety of botanical resources that are available to field botanists.  The module on Botanical Inventories and Plant Taxonomy will offer students a sound grounding in the role and value of herbaria as a source of data for a variety of purposes, and also to link the practise of plant taxonomy to the functioning and existence of herbaria.  This is followed by a module on population and conservation biology which lays the foundation for assessing populations. Many of the practicals in Botany 201 will consist of field excursions to gather data, followed by laboratory work or statistical and other analyses.

Botany 202 (BOT 202)

This course commences with a course on carbon and nitrogen metabolism which explores pathways of energy production and utilisation, and the regulation of metabolism. A module on herbivory explores the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of plant-herbivore interactions. This is followed by a module on plant reproduction examining asexual and sexual reproduction in plants, which focuses on the intimate relationship between plants and their animal pollinators.

 

Third-year level courses in Botany

Third year level Botany at Rhodes consists of two semester courses: Botany 301 and Botany 302 as well as a research project. Each semester can be taken separately or in combination. Students wishing to major in Botany are required to pass both Botany 301 and Botany 302, the prerequisite of which is Botany 2 (Botany 201 & Botany 202). During the second semester students continue and finalise their research projects. More information on assessment criteria and deadlines can be found in this guide after the module descriptions.

Botany 301 (BOT 301)

BOT 301 consists of five modules. The first module is a one-week module on project development where you will be given lectures and tutorials to help you develop your research project. This is followed by a module on ecophysiology, which explores the relationship between plant physiology and the environment, looking in particular at the physiological consequences of stress and exploring plant response to climate change. A one-week module introduces statistical analyses, which will be useful for both practical assignments and research projects. This is followed by a module on ecology which examines the evolution of different plant life histories in relation to biotic and abiotic conditions, as well as competition and coexistence in plant communities. The final two week module of the semester aims to wrap up the plant-climate change theme of the semester with a screening of the three-part series “How to Build a Green Planet” accompanied by a series of tutorials around the role of plants in shaping our planet’s atmosphere, climate and evolutionary history.

Botany 302 (BOT 302)

BOT 302 consists of three modules.   Applied marine botany (AMB) explores botanical communities of aquatic ecosystems and how they respond to the variability of environmental conditions as well as their role within these habitats.  This is followed by a module on evolution which considers the possibility of sexual selection in plants as well discussing in detail the emerging idea of evolution being a constant, unrelenting process. The final module is Biogeography and Systematics.

Last Modified :Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:43:03 SAST