BIOL354-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Animal Ecophysiology

15 points
15 Jul 2019 - 10 Nov 2019

Description

Comparative aspects of physiological adaptation to aquatic and terrestrial environments. Topics include osmoregulation, excretion, respiration, circulation, temperature acclimation, using both vertebrate and invertebrate examples.

This course examines the physiological adaptations that permit survival of animals in the diverse range of environments they inhabit, and the regulatory mechanisms that ensure homeostasis in the face of environmental fluctuation. Aspects of human impacts on the environment and their consequences for the animals therein are also addressed (e.g. pollutants, climate change).

The approach taken is comparative, drawing on both vertebrate and invertebrate examples. A major emphasis of the course is on practical learning, with laboratories that provide hands-on experience with a number of physiological techniques, in a diverse group of animals, exposed to a wide range of environmental variables.

Course Goal
To develop an understanding of the physiological mechanisms that enable animals to withstand the various and complex challenges posed by nature and humans.

Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to:
  • Understand the challenges to animal life posed by different environments
  • Understand the physiological mechanisms animals have utilised in order to cope with these challenges
  • Understand the ‘real-world’ value of studying ecophysiology as a discipline
  • Expand practical experience of basic experimental techniques in animal physiology
  • Develop key skills in experimental design, physiological methodology, data analysis, data interpretation, literature assimilation, and scientific writing
  • Principles are presented in lectures and developed in laboratories. These learning outcomes will be assessed via the end-of-course test and laboratory reports.

    Transferable Skills
  • Practical operation of physiological equipment. Measuring physiological parameters is a critical tool in exercise, research, and hospital laboratories.
  • Analysing data. Condensing raw data into meaningful values and then assessing the resulting trends is a key skill in a number of vocations, both within science and in other areas.
  • Synthesising information. Assimilating presented knowledge, integrating this with your own research, then communicating it effectively in your own words is a valuable skill applicable across almost a range of fields.
  • Writing reports. Using scientific databases to find literature, integrating with your own findings, and then effectively communicating this in a written form is absolutely critical in science..
  • Working as a team. Many labs will require you to work in teams, a task that will involve effective organization, problem-solving, communication, co-ordination, and interpersonal attributes.

Pre-requisites

Timetable 2019

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 13:00 Ernest Rutherford 140 (16/7-30/7, 10/9-24/9)
Ernest Rutherford 465 (6/8-20/8)
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 29 Sep
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 F3 Lecture Theatre 15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 29 Sep
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 15:00 - 19:00 Ernest Rutherford 452 Biology Lab 15 Jul - 25 Aug
02 Thursday 14:00 - 18:00 Ernest Rutherford 452 Biology Lab 15 Jul - 25 Aug

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Elissa Cameron

Lecturer

Bill Davison

Guest Lecturer

Professor Meeghan Gray (Truckee Meadows College, Nevada)

Lab Technician

Jonathan Hill

Assessment

Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 60%
Laboratory assessments 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Willmer, Pat , Stone, G., Johnston, Ian A; Environmental physiology of animals; 2nd ed; Blackwell Pub, 2005.

Recommended Reading

Hill, Richard W. , Wyse, Gordon A., Anderson, Margaret; Animal physiology; [1st ed.]; Sinauer Associates, 2004.

Withers, Philip C; Comparative animal physiology; Saunders College Pub, 1992.

Notes

Feedback from course surveys
2008
Well organised course: 3.9
Course stimulated interest: 3.9
Course workload: 3.7*
Course difficulty: 3.4*
Helpful feedback: 3.7
Effective assessments: 3.6
Overall quality of course: 4.0

2009
Well organised course: 4.4
Course stimulated interest: 4.4
Course workload: 3.6*
Course difficulty: 3.3*
Helpful feedback: 4.6
Effective assessments: 4.4
Overall quality of course: 4.6

2010
Well organised course: 4.7
Course stimulated interest: 4.3
Course workload: 3.3*
Course difficulty: 3.1*
Helpful feedback: 4.2
Effective assessments: 4.1
Overall quality of course: 4.5

2011
Well organised course: 4.1
Course stimulated interest: 4.0
Course workload: 3.1*
Course difficulty: 3.3*
Helpful feedback: 4.1
Effective assessments: 3.9
Overall quality of course: 4.2

2012
Well organised course: 4.7
Course stimulated interest: 4.8
Course workload: 4.3#
Course difficulty: N/A
Helpful feedback: 4.7
Effective assessments: 4.4
Overall quality of course: 4.6

2013
Well organised course: 4.7
Course stimulated interest: 4.6
Course workload: 4.7#
Course difficulty: N/A
Helpful feedback: 4.4
Effective assessments: 3.9
Overall quality of course: 4.6

2014
Well organised course: 4.6
Course stimulated interest: 4.7
Course workload: 4.4#
Course difficulty: N/A
Helpful feedback: 4.6
Effective assessments: 4.4
Overall quality of course: 4.9

(*) score of 3 = reasonable, (#) score of 5 = reasonable, (N/A) this question removed from survey

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $883.00

International fee $4,000.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences.

All BIOL354 Occurrences

  • BIOL354-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019