by Roger Abrantes

Course Description

Ecology is a branch of biology studying the interactions among organisms and their environment. In this course, we’ll review: ecosystems hierarchy, biodiversity, habitat, biotope, the environment, niche, niche construction, biome, biosphere, population ecology, migration, food webs, trophic levels, keystone species, and the fauna and flora of Singapore. 

  • Lesson 1: Introduction, history, sub-disciplines.
  • Lesson 2: Ecosystems hierarchy, biodiversity, habitat, biotope.
  • Lesson 3: Energy Budgets: the environment, radiation, heat, temperature, light, photosynthesis, aquatic ecosystems, gravity, pressure, wind, soils.
  • Lesson 4: Niche, niche construction, biome, biosphere, population ecology, migration.
  • Lesson 5: Food webs, trophic levels, keystone species.
  • Lesson 6: The ecology of Singapore, the impacts of dogs on the environment.

Course Level

Beginner/Medium. This course is an introduction to ecology and essential to the understanding of ecosystems and their development.

Course Textbook

There is no mandatory textbook for this course as all material in included in this online course. However, we recommend Odum, E. P.; Barrett, G. W. 2005. Fundamentals of Ecology. Brooks Cole, as primary literature.


Book contents

  • Preface. Eugene P. Odum and Gary W. Barrett.
  • 1. The Scope of Ecology.
  • 2. The Ecosystem.
  • 3. Energy in Ecological Systems.
  • 4. Biogeochemical Cycles.
  • 5. Limiting and Regulatory Factors.
  • 6. Population Ecology.
  • 7. Community Ecology.
  • 8. Ecosystem Development.
  • 9. Landscape Ecology.
  • 10. Regional Ecology: Major Ecosystem Types and Biomes.
  • 11. Global Ecology.
  • 12. Statistical Thinking for Students of Ecology.
  • Glossary. References. Index.
Fundamentals Of Ecology

Supplementary Literature

Although not mandatory, we recommend that you supplement your readings with:

Online Studying and Tutoring

Watch the movie(s) and read the book(s). Join the course forum where you can read our tutors’ answers to questions previously posed by your colleagues. If you have a new question, do not hesitate in posting it.

The course forum is solely for academic questions. For administrative matters or difficulties accessing the functionality of the site, please submit a ticket.

Once you’re ready for it, take the quizzes. You may take a quiz as many times as you like. We recommend you re-take quizzes once a year as a self-imposed quality control.

Course Materials

Included in the course

Roger Abrantes

Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology, BA in Philosophy. Author to 27 books, speaks seven languages. Retired in 2016, lectured on Ethology, Evolutionary Biology, and Epistemology. Currently writing articles and blogs and occasionally sailing and diving in Thailand.

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Ethology Institute