Dr. Vicki Friesen
Office: 4443 Biosciences Complex
Phone: 613-533-6156
email: vlf@queensu.ca

Teaching Assistants:

Drew Sauve 0as69@queensu.ca

Alyson Van Natto 17avn2@queensu.ca


Conservation Biology applies the theory and methodology of biology to investigate the impacts that humans exert on species, communities and ecosystems, and develops practical approaches to maintaining biological diversity and the evolutionary and ecological processes that generate it.

This course is designed to explore biological patterns and processes in a conservation context. However, this exploration will not be limited to ideas contained within the biological sciences but rather will explicitly articulate the interplay between academic inquiry in these areas and a wide variety of human activities and values. We hope the course will also challenge participants to view the phenomenon of nature from perspectives beyond simply the number, distribution, classification or function of organisms on Earth.

Textbook: Richard Primack, Essentials of Conservation Biology, 6th edition, Sinauer.


Lectures are Tuesdays 11:30, Wednesdays 1:30 and Fridays 12:30 in Dunning 12

In two formal lectures per week we will explore some of the theoretical foundations and key issues in conservation biology, as well as how they intersect with such disciplines as ecology, evolutionary biology, sociology, economics and policy studies. Core topics will include measurement, origin and maintenance of biodiversity, genetics and demographic factors affecting populations, patterns and processes shaping communities, ecosystems and whole landscapes, ethics and valuation of biodiversity, patterns and factors involved in extinctions, management principles and reserve design, sociopolitical perspectives in conservation, and the role of scientists (and particularly conservation biologists) in conservation initiatives. The topics will roughly follow the text with occassional digressions on other linked topics. In the third lecture slot each week we will provide opportunities for explicit comprehensive case studies and for guest lectures from people working in different aspects of conservation.

It is important that you read the appropriate sections in your text before coming to lecture.

Tutorials are Thursdays 8:30-11:30, Thursdays 11:30-2:30 and Fridays 8:30-11:30 in MacCory D405.You should already be assigned to a section.

Tutorial sessions will involve group discussions and student presentations to introduce issues not presented in lecture and to develop a stronger feeling for the complexities involved in translating conservation biology into action.


Tutorials 25%
Major Project 25%
Midterm 15%
Final Exam 35%