APS 306 Tropical Biology Rain Forest Field Course

Level 3
Semester 1A (Summer Vacation)
Credits 10
Pre/Co Requisites Recommended - APS278
Restrictions Only available to Animal and Plant Science Students
Teaching Staff Dr David Edwards, Professor Rob Freckleton, Professor Julie Scholes
Co-ordinator Professor Julie Scholes


The aim of this field course is to provide an introduction to the tropical rain forest environment, community structure, composition, biodiversity and ecosystem function. It is designed to develop a broad range of practical and intellectual skills including; hypothesis testing, experimental design, collecting and analysing field data and collaborative/group work.


The course will take place in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo at the Danum Valley Field Centre. The field centre is located in the Danum Valley Conservation area by the banks of the Segama river. It is a well-equipped scientific research station that comprises, laboratories, conference room, library, computing room, dining area and hostel accommodation. On the first day of the field course students will attend a forest safety course. The following day students will go on a field excursion to primary and secondary forest, and visit a forest rehabilitation project (FACE nursery). The following five days will be spent carrying out small group projects (devised with the help of teaching staff). In the evenings students will be expected to carry out preliminary analyses of data, conduct small library-based projects and to present this work to the rest of the group. The final day will be spent in the laboratory analysing data, preparing and giving presentations.

Delivery Method: 8 day residential field course + associated 4 days travel, total of 13 days

Student Contact Hours: 64 hours

Assessment Method: Project report, presentation

Assessment Weighting: 80% Report, 12% Presentation, 8% field performance.

JISC Submission: None

Feedback: Students will receive feedback frequently during the Field Course and written feedback will be available on your Field Course Write Up.

Return to Level 3 modules |  Top of page