|Co-ordinator:||Professor Jane Stout|
|Course Type:||Optional (Plant Sciences), Optional (Environmental Sciences), Optional (Zoology)|
|Assessment:||50% Continual Assessment 50% Examination|
There are more species of insects on Earth than any other group of organisms and they are of massive ecological and economic importance. This module will address behavioural, social, ecological and applied aspects of entomology, including their role in delivering ecosystem services (such as biocontrol and pollination), invasive species (such as fire ants and harlequin ladybirds) and conservation (both in Ireland and internationally). The practicals will provide students with the skills for sampling and identification of insects, whcih will be further enhanced through small group and individual projects.
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
- Categorise insects according to their key features into the main order groups; know the distinction between insects and other arthropods.
- Describe some of the range of behaviours employed by insects for foraging, defending and reproducing.
- Develop understanding of the role of insects in ecosystem processes and their interactions with other organisms.
- Explain their value as providers of ''ecosystem services''
- Quantify the economic importance of insects (both positive and negative) to humans.
- Evaluate the conservation biology of insects at national and international levels.