Ecology and Biodiversity

In studying Ecology and Biodiversity you’ll learn about the distribution, abundance, and biology of organisms and their role in New Zealand’s most important ecosystems.

Ecology and Biodiversity

The University of Waikato has a particularly strong reputation for our research program in lake and river ecology and restoration, taking advantage of our close proximity to the Rotorua Lakes District, the Waikato River, and peat lakes and wetlands within the Waikato Region. Other areas of research include estuarine and coastal marine biology, urban ecology, Antarctic terrestrial ecology, and agricultural sustainability and productivity.

Our location provides quick access to coastal marine research, and the University maintains a coastal marine field station in nearby Tauranga.  Our location also gives ready access to a broad range of terrestrial environments, including pastoral agriculture and lowland to montane forests.

You’ll gain knowledge of ecological and biological theory, and the practical skills for field identification, surveying, and experimentation with plants, animals and microbes across a broad range of ecosystems. You’ll gain understanding of the principles of biological classification and be able to name and classify common organisms found in New Zealand ecosystems.

Your skills will be gained through a combination of hands on laboratory experience, practical field courses, and teaching from leading ecologists and biologists.


We have extensive laboratory facilities, including

 Career opportunities

  • Biodiversity Management
  • Biodiversity Advisor
  • Biodiversity Surveyor
  • Biosecurity and Customs Officer
  • Conservation Ranger
  • Policy Analyst
  • Research Associate
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Resource Manager
  • Resource Planner
  • Weed Management Advisor
  • Pest Management Advisor
  • Field Researcher
  • Technical Officer
  • Ecological Consultant
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Agricultural Technician
  • Museum Collections Technician
  • Museum Curator
  • Taxonomist
  • Land Management Officer
  • Zoo Keeper


Study Ecology and Biodiversity in any of these qualifications

100 Level

Concepts of BiologyBIOEB10115.0 Points
Introduction to Ecology and BiodiversityBIOEB10215.0 Points

200 Level

Principles of EvolutionBIOEB20115.0 Points
Principles of EcologyBIOEB20215.0 Points
Animal Structure and FunctionBIOEB20315.0 Points
Plant Structure and FunctionBIOEB20415.0 Points

300 Level

Advanced Animal BehaviourBIOEB30115.0 Points
Advanced ZoologyBIOEB30215.0 Points
Terrestrial EcologyBIOEB30315.0 Points
Freshwater EcologyBIOEB30415.0 Points
Marine EcologyBIOEB30515.0 Points
Molecular Ecology and BiodiversityBIOEB30615.0 Points
Advanced Plant BiologyBIOEB30715.0 Points

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Eco&Biod), PGDip(Eco&Biod), BSc(Hons), MSc, MSc (Res) and MSc(Tech)

Students in masters degrees are normally required to take a thesis and a selection of papers. Enrolment in papers towards the BSc(Hons) is only by invitation of the Graduate Convenor. Candidates for these graduate qualifications should select their papers in consultation with the Graduate Convenor.

To complete a BSc(Hons) in Ecology and Biodiversity, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 60 points from the papers listed for Ecology and Biodiversity, of which at least 30 points must be in research (normally BIOL591).

Data Analysis and Experimental DesignBIOL50315.0 Points
Freshwater EcologyBIOL56015.0 Points
Aquatic Ecosystem ModellingBIOL56115.0 Points
Marine and Estuarine EcologyBIOL56215.0 Points
Aquatic Field MethodsBIOL56315.0 Points
Restoration EcologyBIOL56415.0 Points
Molecular EcologyBIOL56515.0 Points
Plant EcologyBIOL57015.0 Points
Plant FunctionBIOL57115.0 Points
Animal BehaviourBIOL57215.0 Points
Conservation BiologyBIOL57315.0 Points
Mammalian PhysiologyBIOL57415.0 Points
Applied Topics in PhysiologyBIOL57515.0 Points
Animal EcophysiologyBIOL57615.0 Points
Aquatic ToxicologyBIOL57715.0 Points
Microbial EcologyBIOL58115.0 Points
Special TopicBIOL58815.0 Points
Directed StudyBIOL59030.0 Points
DissertationBIOL59130.0 Points
DissertationBIOL59260.0 Points
Biological Sciences ThesisBIOL59390.0 Points
Biological Sciences ThesisBIOL594120.0 Points
Biological Sciences ThesisBIOL595150.0 Points
Research Methods in the SciencesSCIE50115.0 Points

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-05-31 23:59:00

Hamilton Zoo - University of Waikato Science & Engineering Scholarship

For students who are enrolled full-time and have completed the second year of the Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree. The scholarship will have a value of $14,000 and a one year placement with the Hamilton Zoo.

Closing Date: 2017-09-01 23:59:00

Lakes Doctoral Scholarship

Open to students who have completed a BSc(Hons) or MSc in freshwater ecology, demonstrating experience in sampling freshwater ecosystems, sound understanding of food-web dynamics, and expertise in quantitative analysis. The successful applicant must be eligible to register for doctoral studies at the University of Waikato.

Closing Date: 2016-05-30 23:59:00

Science Admission Fees Scholarship

For school leavers who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science(Technology) in the Faculty of Science & Engineering and are performing well academically in their final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000.

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254