Understanding the role organisms, and communities of organisms, play in providing valuable ecosystem services is crucial to humanity, and important in addressing many global challenges in biology.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of these services and key organisms associated with these services, underpinned by critical concepts in biodiversity, theoretical and functional ecology. We extend the content covered in this course to provide you with a holistic understanding of how ecosystem services integrate with research, ecology, conservation, and management. It is delivered through classroom, laboratory, and field-based learning, with a large focus on contemporary insect science.

This course aims to provide you with knowledge of the key principles and theories of ecosystem services and contemporary insect science, and to equip you with the laboratory, field, and analytical skills to apply them to increase your understanding of ecological processes. We teach these general concepts while taking advantage of the close proximity to South-East Queensland’s unique plants, animals, and ecosystems. 

Your facilitators

Dr Gurion AngDr Gurion Ang
School of Biological Sciences

Gurion is a teaching and engagement-focussed academic interested in optimising student learning and performance through modern active learning pedagogues. The overarching theme of his research is insect-plant interactions – intricate relationships between insects and their host plants enable better understanding of ecosystem services that these interactions may provide. In some cases, this understanding can reduce our reliance on insecticides to improve the way we manage insect pests.

Dr Tobias SmithDr Tobias Smith
Mayfield Lab

Tobias is a bee researcher, educator and pollination consultant who works with a great diversity of bee species and pollination systems. Presently, his research is focussed on stingless bee biology, ecology and evolution, the role of native bees in crop pollination and the development of identification resources for bees. In addition to working as a researcher and lecturer at The University of Queensland Tobias is the Founder and Director of Bee Aware Brisbane (BeeAwareBrisbane.org). Tobias also owns and operates an education business (Bee Aware Kids), which teaches entomology, ecology, and conservation to school students, with a native bee and pollination focus.

Course snapshot


Pending; July 2021

Contact hours

45 academic contact hours


Concepts and practical quiz, oral presentation, final exam

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