ENV BIOL 3003 - Ecophysiology of Animals III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course covers the intersection between three biological fields - physiology, ecology and behaviour, and examines some of the ways animals are adapted to the environments in which they live. In many cases, these are adaptations to severe environments such as deserts, polar regions, high altitude and deep sea, where nature poses apparently insurmountable problems to survival. The primary approach is to examine the biophysical exchanges between the animal and its environment. Another approach is to look at the physiology of animals with different life styles, and examine their evolutionary strategies for locomotion, digestion, reproduction, thermoregulation, osmoregulation, circulation and respiration.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENV BIOL 3003
    Course Ecophysiology of Animals III
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Assumed Knowledge 6 units of Level II Environmental Biology courses, SACE Stage 2 Chemistry and/or Physics
    Course Description This course covers the intersection between three biological fields - physiology, ecology and behaviour, and examines some of the ways animals are adapted to the environments in which they live. In many cases, these are adaptations to severe environments such as deserts, polar regions, high altitude and deep sea, where nature poses apparently insurmountable problems to survival. The primary approach is to examine the biophysical exchanges between the animal and its environment. Another approach is to look at the physiology of animals with different life styles, and examine their evolutionary strategies for locomotion, digestion, reproduction, thermoregulation, osmoregulation, circulation and respiration.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Roger Seymour

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A succcessful student in this course should be able to:

    1 demonstrate knowledge in the field of ecological and evolutionary physiology;
    2 understand general ecophysiological concepts involving transfer between the environment and the animal;
    3 develop lateral thinking skills by applying concepts to different circumstances;
    4 develop quantitative thinking, including transfer of equations to imagination;
    5 demonstrate the laboratory skills of data acquisition and manipulation;
    6 demonstrate creativity by fabricating a ‘designer animal’ and applying course concepts to it.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3,4,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2,6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All course material will be provided online.
    Recommended Resources
    SCHMIDT-NIELSEN, K. Animal Physiology: Adaptation and Environment, 4th or 5th edition.  Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

    Other useful textbooks, somewhat heavy and packed with lots of information, are:

    WITHERS, P.C. 
    Comparative Animal Physiology.  Saunders.
     
    ECKERT  R. 
    Animal Physiology. 5th edition.  Freeman
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of:
    • 2 X 1-hours lectures per week
    • 1 X 4-hour practical per week
    • 1 X 1-hour tutorial per week


    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Lectures Tutorials Practicals
    (2 groups)
    Week 1 Climate and microclimate
    Thermorequlation I
    Biosphere energetics Temperature regulation 1
    No practical
    Week 2 Thermorequlation I
    Thermogentic plants and their pollinators
    Operative temperature humidity No practical
    Temperature regulation 1
    Week 3 Scaling I
    Scaling II
    Doing allometry (Scaling) Temperature requlation II
    Allometry
    Week 4 Gas laws
    Oxygen cascade-diffusion and convection
    Tutorial for quiz Allometry
    Temperature regulation II
    Week 5 Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide in blood
    Models of gas exchange organs
    QUIZ 1 (20%) Egg anatomy
    Egg anatomy
    Week 6 Design of gas exchangers
    Evolution of amphibian embryos
    Eggs of mound-building birds Egg respiration
    Egg respiration
    Week 7 Diving
    Buoyancy
    No tutorial Spreadsheet modelling
    Hb-O2 equilibrium curve
    Week 8 Respiration in air and water Tutorial for quiz Hb-O2 equilibrium curve
    Spreadsheet modelling
    Week 9 QUIZ 2 (20%) Circulation II Fun with rubber
    No practical
    Week 10 Osmosis and diffusion
    Water and solute regulation - fish
    Dinosaur Circulation No practical
    Fun with rubber
    Week 11 Water and solute regulation - amphibians
    Water and solute regulation-reptiles/birds
    Active Transport Active Transport
    No practical
    Week 12 Water and solute regulation - mammals
    Tutorial for quiz
    QUIZ 3 (20%) No practical
    Active transport
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The practicals consist of small groups that design experiments, carry them out and summarize the data.  However, the writeups are all independent.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment Task Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
    Yes/No
    Outcomes being assessed/achieved
    Due date
    Quizzes (x3) Formative and Summative

    60%
    (20% each)

    Yes
    (40%)

    1-4

    Week 2, 9, 12
    Essay Formative and Summative 15%
    No
    3,5,6
    Week 12

    Practical write ups
    Formative and Summative
    15%
    No
    1-5
    2 weeks after the practical

    Practical performance
    Formative and Summative 10% No 1-5

    Assessment Detail
    Quizzes:  (60% of total marks for the course)
    There are 3 X 50-min quizzes, spread after each 1/3 of the course and totalling 60% of the assessment.  The quizzes require the ability to apply concepts of the course to new problems as well as the ability to remember a few facts. The continuous assessment causes the students to keep up with the concepts of the course, which build upon each other.  The quizzes are held in weeks 5,9 and 12.

    Essay - Designer Animal Project:  (15% of total marks for the course)
    This aim of this project is to design an animal that has adapted physiologically to a particular environment. Students will write a paper that discusses the environmental and physiological aspects of an imaginary animal using real animals in real environments to design the evolutionary history and current adapations of choice. There is no requirement for a particular style or format. A common format is a report in essay or scientific paper format, approximately 2000-3000 words, incorporating figures (graphs, diagrams) as required.  However, use proper literature citation style to real or fictitious papers (it should be clear which are real and which are not).

    Practical Write Ups: (15% of total marks for the course)
    Practicals are performed in small groups and results can be collaborative but the discussion must be written up by individual students and submitted individually. The write-ups consist of concise accountsof the results and discussion of the exercise.They should not need to be more than about 1000words.  The guidelines and due-dates for write-ups will be given to you at the time of the practical.

    Practical Performance (10% of total marks for the course)
    This is judged during the practical periods according to how well the students are applying themselves to the tasks, how much they are apparently thinking about the problems, how easily the material is taken up and how much effort is put into the write-ups for the practicals.
    Submission
    All assessed material is submitted in electronic form to the instructor for marking.

    Late Submission

    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply.  A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.


    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.