Have you ever wondered about the history of life on earth? When and where did a species originate? How did it evolve? How do populations of one species become different species? What controls where a species is found and how abundant it is?

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology seeks to answer such questions and its applications make significant contributions to society.

Delve into the many intriguing problems in evolution, ecology and biodiversity. The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major integrates knowledge from a range of exciting and interesting disciplines, from genetics (through organismal biology) to ecosystem science. You will develop skills in the survey, experimentation and modelling of ecological and evolutionary processes, and discover how evolutionary ecology can be applied to solve current problems in evolution, ecology and biodiversity.

You can choose to specialise in Ecology, Conservation Ecology, or Evolution and Biodiversity.

Emily McColl-Gausden

"I loved the outdoors and environment growing up (fueled I think by a love of David Attenborough documentaries) so I always knew the general science direction I was heading in. A highlight in my third year was the field trips, as I found these not only cemented the concepts we were learning about in lectures but also provided a way to get to know fellow students and staff members."


  • Career Outcomes

    You can pursue careers or research in the areas of ecology, conservation biology, animal behaviour, evolutionary biology, systematics and biodiversity, and environmental consulting.

    Earnings for life scientists, which includes Cell and Developmental Biology, are above average and employment for this occupation is expected to grow moderately to 2019.

    Helen Lawrence

    "I would love to become an integral part of an ecological consultancy firm. It would be extremely fulfilling for me to be able to educate people about ecology, environmental science and conservation, whilst undertaking projects of my own."

  • Graduate Pathways

    Bachelor of Science graduates with a major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology are well-placed to apply for:

    • Professionally focused graduate degrees in the sciences and technology, including biotechnology, environmental systems, informatics and nanotechnology;
    • Graduate degrees preparing for a wide range of professions including engineering, law, medicine and other health sciences, and teaching;
    • Masters and Honours pathways to research higher degrees in the sciences and technology within the Faculty of Science, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Melbourne School of Engineering, Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Sample Course Plans
Majoring in  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The flexibility of the BSc means you can adapt your study plan to your situation, or combine your major with another study area of interest. See some examples below.

Major Core Prerequisite
Major core
Complementary / Recommended
Major Selective Prerequisite
Major Selective
Breadth subject / Science Elective