Fall 2019 - GEOG 215 D100

Biogeography (3)

Class Number: 4273

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 3159, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 13, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    BLU 9660, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111.



An introduction to the planetary biosphere, its living organisms, and their interactions with each other and the Earth system.


Biogeography is the study of spatial patterns and underlying drivers of biological diversity, including the past and modern-day.

Biogeographers integrate information from a broad range of fields including ecology, physiology, evo-lution, geology, paleontology, and climatology to understand where we see different species and why. Iconic thinkers in the field of biogeography include Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, E.O. Wilson, and R.H Whittaker. In class, we’ll ask how the influence of physical environment (e.g. climate, soils), biotic factors (e.g. competition, movement potential), people (e.g. hunting, farming, habitat fragmen-tation), and geological activity (e.g. continental changes) affect local, regional, and global distributions of species. This course will provide you with a foundation for asking critical questions about why we see species where we do. By the end of semester, students are be able to:
• Evaluate factors underlying the distribution of species, communities, and ecosystems.
• Consider how human activities have altered biogeographic patterns in the past and might continue to do so in the future.
• Pose hypotheses about driving factors of biodiversity and biogeographic pattern.
• Propose scientific tools that could be used to test biogeographic hypotheses, including data analy-sis, mapping, and surveys.
• Recognize and critique biogeographic themes in the media.

Course organization:
The course will be comprised of two consecutive 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab per week (no labs in the first week of classes).


  • Lab Assignments 30%
  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Final Exam 40%



Krebs, C.J. 2009. Ecology: The Experimental Analysis of Distribution and Abundance. 6th Edition. Pearson Education, Inc. 655 p. ISBN-10: 0321507436.  

MacDonald, G. 2002. Biogeography: Space, Time and Life. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html