This unit aims to introduce the students to various regional and global concerns regarding the environment, including the natural challenges, various types of environmental pollutants and their effects, the changing environment, and the developments of diverse technologies to detect, study and address these concerns. The subject aims to introduce specific examples and cases, and explain how chemical, biological and molecular sciences can be applied to identify and address issues of environmental concerns.


BIO60006 Environmental Biotechnology

Assumed Knowledge
Background in basic biology and/or chemistry

Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Consider and appraise the significance of native biodiversity and need for its conservation, including describing diversity of life forms and their interactions in ecosystems
  • Explore Indigenous knowledges of caring for Country and apply learnings to contemporary environmental biology studies
  • Recognise and discuss diverse types of environmental pollutants and their impacts on health and the environment, including the impact of human activities.
  • Research the challenges of and propose solutions for emerging environmental concerns, including the application new technologies for addressing these
  • Discern and report on the scientific, ethical and/or social issues associated with certain applications of biotechnology for addressing environmental concerns
  • Conduct appropriate and scholarly literature searches in undertaking an in-depth case study of an environmental issue, and presenting a critical appraisal

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Live Online
3.00 12 weeks 36
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
1.50 12 weeks 18
Unspecified Activities
Independent Learning
8.00 12 weeks 96


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Online QuizzesIndividual 10 - 15% 1,2,3,4,5 
Online TestsIndividual 30 - 45% 1,3,4,5 
Online TestsIndividual 15 - 30% 1,3,4,5 
Written AssignmentIndividual 20 - 35% 1,2,3,4,5,6 


Content will vary according to new issues and trends and is expected to include:

  • Life forms and their interactions, biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Contemporary studies of organisms and ecosystems and exploring their potential convergence with aspects of
    Indigenous knowledge
  • Issues of environmental concerns, e.g., diverse types of pollutants from industrial, mining or agricultural activities and/or health care practices; case studies
  • The effects of pollutants on living organisms; case studies
  • Environmental stress factors and their impacts on plant life, sustainability and biodiversity; case studies
  • Natural sources of pharmaceuticals, industrially useful organisms, applications
  • Emerging or developing areas such as biopolymers, biodegradable materials, biofuels, environmental modelling studies
  • Applications of biology, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and/or biotechnology in environmental sciences
  • Ethical, scientific and/or social considerations of the various issues
  • Risk assessments and regulatory frameworks in environmental management related issues

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.