This course provides students with a broad background in the principles of ecology. It covers ecology at different levels of organization including behavioral, physiological, evolutionary, population & community, and ecosystem ecology. Some other specialized topics are also discussed.
Lectures generally follow the textbook (the reference is given below), but materials not covered in the textbook are also discussed in lectures. Students are responsible for everything covered in lectures — attendance is essential for the satisfactory completion of the course.
Lectures do not cover all the topics in the textbook. Materials that are not covered in lectures but described in the textbook are not likely tested in exams (unless such topics can be dealt by applying the materials discussed in lectures). However, students are encouraged to read the entire textbook, especially when they are preparing for standardized exams (e.g., GRE subject test in biology, graduate school entrance exams, 高普考).
Lectures are mostly done using PowerPoint slides. The PowerPoint file of a lecture may be available on this website prior to the lecture. Slides are not necessarily self-explanatory and may not contain all necessary information. Some concepts are only orally explained, or the blackboard may also be used. Studying the PowerPoint slides is not sufficient preparation for the exams.
There are three exams. These exams account for 100% of the course grade. Exam scores will not be curved regardless of the average score.
Attendance (including class participation) will affect bonus points. By asking questions and expressing ideas in class, students may gain bonus points. Poor attendance (e.g., absence and tardiness), as well as poor participation (e.g., sleeping, chatting, playing with an electronic device), will reduce bonus points. Poor participation is equivalent to missing a lecture (or worse). At the end of the semester, accumulated bonus points may become negative, but the minimum bonus-point a student can get is 0. No bonus points will be given to students who missed three lectures or more, no matter how well they performed on other parts (e.g., quizzes).
There will be unannounced quizzes. Quizzes and assignments (if any are given — no assignments were given last year) count as bonus points. There is no direct penalty for missing classes. At an extreme case, students who never attended lectures can still get 100% in the course if they get 100% in the three exams. Because of this, even if a student misses a quiz with a legitimate reason, no make-up quiz will be given. Students do not need to ask for permission for missing classes with or without a legitimate reason. Quizzes and assignments count as bonus points only when attendance and participation are satisfactory. For example, students who are sleeping in class or come to class late may receive 0 bonus points regardless of their quiz scores.
The maximum possible bonus points are 10% of the final grade. Students who get 100% on the three exams and the maximum bonus points will attain 110% in the course, but final grades with 90% or above all get the same letter grade (A+).
When the grade based on the three exams is less than 60%, the maximum obtainable grade (with bonus points) is 60% (C-). Master's students whose grade is less than 70% based on the three exams can get at most 70% with bonus points. Doctoral students will not receive bonus points — exam scores completely determine the grade.
The detail about how bonus points affect the final grade may change. If it changes, the change will not negatively influence grades (e.g., each student would receive 0 or positive increase). For example, a constant greater than 1 may be multiplied to increase bonus points. Regardless of the detail, students with 0 bonus points without a change will get 0 bonus points even if a change is made.
If any questions, including potential grading errors, arise for your grade on an exam, an assignment or a quiz, submit a written request with your rationale for a regrade. Requests must be made within one week of the return of a graded material, otherwise the grade is final. This one week starts from the day an exam is first returned in a class even if a student does not receive it by missing the class.
When a student misses a class and does not receive a graded material, the student can pick it up at the instructor's office. The instructor will not bring it to a class again unless an arrangement is made.
The schedule (described in the content section of this website) is subject to change throughout the semester. The dates on which the exams are scheduled can also change.
It is uncertain how the situation regarding COVID-19 is going to be during the semester. The syllabus may be modified in some cases.
Calculus and general biology are prerequisite for this course.
Course related information and announcements may be sent to students' NTU email accounts (@ntu.edu.tw). Students should regularly check their NTU email accounts.
Office hours are by appointment only.