Free Online Course on Global Biodiversity, Biology and Conservation

Cornell University, University of Queensland is offering free online course on Sharks Global Biodiversity, Biology and Conservation. In this biology course, students will learn how scientists study sharks.

In four week course, applicants will learn about most fascinating animals on Earth, their sophisticated senses and how sharks and their relatives have impacted human history and culture. This course will start on July 25, 2017.

Course At A Glance 

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 4-6 hours pw
Subject: Biology & Life Sciences
Institution: Cornell University, University of Queensland and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on July 25, 2017

Providers’ Details

University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, is one of the world’s premier teaching and research institutions. Striving for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge UQ ranks in the top 50 Universities as measured by the QS World University Rankings.

Cornell University

Cornell University, a world renowned and diverse Ivy League institution, is a community of scholars known for intellectual rigor and engaged in deep and broad research, teaching tomorrow’s thought leaders to think otherwise, care for others, and create and disseminate knowledge with a public purpose.

About This Course

In this activity rich course, you’ll track movements of a wild shark, observe shark habitats and behavior, and dig deep into the fossil record. You will also examine topics in the functional anatomy, sensory biology, reproduction, behavior, and ecology of many of the 1,200 living species.

Why Take This Course?

This is an exciting time to be a shark biologist. An explosion of new research methods and technologies are leading to a surprising world of discovery. We’ll introduce new, as well as traditional techniques, for classifying sharks, understanding behavior, and unraveling the mysteries of shark evolution. You’ll be invited to explore global shark populations and consider shark-human interactions and their impacts on history and culture.

Learning Outcomes

  • Habitats and distributions of sharks from around the world.
  • Evolutionary history and relationships of sharks and allies.
  • Functional anatomy of swimming, breathing, and eating.
  • Aspects of sensory biology, reproduction, and behavior.
  • Ecological roles of sharks.
  • Historical and cultural aspects of shark-human interactions.
  • The impacts of human behavior on shark populations.
  • How biology can inform conservation efforts.


Joshua Moyer

Research technician in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University

Elizabeth Balko

Senior Lecturer of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University

Betty McGuire

Senior Lecturer of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University

Ian Tibbetts

Associate Professor of Biology

University of Queensland

Warren D. Allmon

Director of Paleontological Research Institution and Hunter R. Rawlings III professor of paleontology

Cornell University

William E. Bemis

Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Secondary School (high school) biology

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
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