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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 GoalTo develop an understanding of the physiological mechanisms that enable animals to withstand the various and complex challenges posed by nature and humans.
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 physiologyDevelop 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.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Professor Meeghan Gray (Truckee Meadows College, Nevada)
Willmer, Pat , Stone, G., Johnston, Ian A;
Environmental physiology of animals;
Blackwell Pub, 2005.
Hill, Richard W. , Wyse, Gordon A., Anderson, Margaret;
Sinauer Associates, 2004.
Withers, Philip C;
Comparative animal physiology;
Saunders College Pub, 1992.
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Feedback from course surveys2008Well organised course: 3.9Course stimulated interest: 3.9Course workload: 3.7*Course difficulty: 3.4*Helpful feedback: 3.7Effective assessments: 3.6Overall quality of course: 4.02009Well organised course: 4.4Course stimulated interest: 4.4Course workload: 3.6*Course difficulty: 3.3*Helpful feedback: 4.6Effective assessments: 4.4Overall quality of course: 4.62010Well organised course: 4.7Course stimulated interest: 4.3Course workload: 3.3*Course difficulty: 3.1*Helpful feedback: 4.2Effective assessments: 4.1Overall quality of course: 4.52011Well organised course: 4.1Course stimulated interest: 4.0Course workload: 3.1*Course difficulty: 3.3*Helpful feedback: 4.1Effective assessments: 3.9Overall quality of course: 4.22012Well organised course: 4.7Course stimulated interest: 4.8Course workload: 4.3#Course difficulty: N/AHelpful feedback: 4.7Effective assessments: 4.4Overall quality of course: 4.62013Well organised course: 4.7Course stimulated interest: 4.6Course workload: 4.7#Course difficulty: N/AHelpful feedback: 4.4Effective assessments: 3.9Overall quality of course: 4.62014Well organised course: 4.6Course stimulated interest: 4.7Course workload: 4.4#Course difficulty: N/AHelpful feedback: 4.6Effective assessments: 4.4Overall quality of course: 4.9(*) score of 3 = reasonable, (#) score of 5 = reasonable, (N/A) this question removed from survey
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.