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Rhodes > Faculty of Science > Research - Old > Biodiversity and Conservation

Biodiversity and Conservation

This interdisciplinary course is offered jointly by the departments of Botany and Environmental Science at Rhodes University and is housed in the Botany Department. The course was developed in response to the increasing number of career opportunities in biodiversity conservation in South Africa and worldwide, and the accompanying demand for graduates with relevant training. The Biodiversity and Conservation Honours is an academically rigorous degree that may lead on to postgraduate study in conservation biology, environmental science or ecology. While the course is designed to address the requirements of the job market it can also form the basis of an academic career.

The Biodiversity and Conservation Honours course comprises a field trip, a statistics course, three core modules, one optional module and a research project. The coursework in different modules includes field work, practical exercises, discussions, seminars and essays. The emphasis is on linking theory to practice and building strong research and communication skills.

The core modules listed below are compulsory and in addition students choose one of the optional modules listed. Students can also discuss taking other optional modules offered by the Environmental Science and Botany departments. Some of the optional modules may be unavailable in a particular year.

Core modules

Optional modules

Geographical Information Systems

Urban Forestry (ES)

Systematic conservation planning

Ecology (Botany)

Diversity, rarity and endemism: theory and tools

Molecular ecology and conservation genetics (Botany)

Climate Change (Botany)


Biodiversity and rural livelihoods (ES)


Ecological modelling (ES)


Pollination biology (Botany)


Community-based natural resource management (ES)


Restoration ecology (Botany)

The research project should be on a topic relevant to biodiversity conservation and will be carried out under the supervision of a staff member from the Botany or Environmental Science department. A wide range of projects, from ethnobotany through plant ecology and conservation genetics to community based resource management is available and projects can have an ecological or more social focus. Projects in collaboration with other departments, for example Zoology or Entomology, may also be possible.

Last Modified: Thu, 02 May 2013 12:46:50 SAST