SLE348 - Freshwater Biology

Unit details


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Scheduled learning activities and assessments may have changed for T1, S1 and other study periods underway in 2020. Currently enrolled students, please check your unit sites from 27 March 2020 for updated information.

Last updated: 26 March 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:


EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Ty Matthews




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

2 x 1 hour classes per week, four self-directed learning tasks, 4 x 3 hour practicals per trimester and a 1-day field trip.


Practical activities for students enrolled at the Waurn Ponds (Geelong) campus will be conducted at the Deakin University Queenscliff Marine Science Centre.


This unit includes an overview of physical, biological, and ecological features of freshwater ecosystems (including rivers, lakes and wetlands from arid, temperate and tropical climates). It also provides insights into freshwater assemblages and community composition of plants and animals, life histories and functional roles of specific taxonomic groups (bacteria, algae, macrophytes, riparian vegetation, aquatic weeds, macroinvertebrates and vertebrates). The physical and ecological processes shaping freshwater ecosystems (climate, geology, primary productivity, microbial cycling, detrital food chains) are presented together with ecological consequences of human activity (e.g. salinisation, sedimentation, water extraction, riparian vegetation loss and nutrient enrichment). To counter these human impacts, some of the strategies used for effective environmental management (including restoration) are also provided


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit
At the completion of this unit successful students can:
Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes)


Compose a written report that assembles relevant literature, addresses a real-world management issue in freshwater biology, includes relevant data analyses and makes appropriate recommendations

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy


Use computer packages to analyse scientific data and draw appropriate conclusions from those analyses GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking


Characterise freshwater organisms based on their life-history characteristics and adaptations GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Apply basic knowledge and skills in freshwater biology and ecology to novel situations and draw appropriate inferences about likely outcomes GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
2 x in-class tests (25% each) Two 50-minute in-class tests 50% Weeks 6 and 11
Fieldtrip report Written consultancy report (3000 word maximum) 30% Week 10
2 x practical reports (10% each) Two written practical reports 20% Weeks 5 and 9

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

Prescribed text(s): Boulton et al, 2014, Australian Freshwater Ecology: Processes and Management, 2nd Edn, Wiley Blackwell.

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SLE348 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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