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BIO3001 : Animal Ecophysiology (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Bevan
  • Lecturer: Dr Timothy Boswell
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


How animals have adapted to survive and thrive in their environmental niches is one of the most fascinating aspects of biology. BIO3001 Animal Ecophysiology aims to illustrate, with examples, how animals (mainly vertebrates) are adapted, both physiologically and behaviourally, to occupy a wide range of environments and to show how these mechanisms are integrated to ensure the survival of the animal. The information will be drawn mainly from field-based studies but backed up by laboratory observations. In this module, students will learn about the processes that allow, for example, an elephant seal to dive to 1500m or a bar-headed goose to fly over the Himalayas. The module will also provide students with the opportunity to study in depth how an animal has adapted to a particular environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Syllabus will cover:

•       Animal energetics.
•       Endocrine function and the influence of environmental factors.
•       Migration.
•       Thermoregulation
•       Hypometabolism
o Torpor
o Hibernation
•       Adaptations to hostile environments

In addition, there will be 4 research seminars (voluntary attendance), in which 'hot' topics in Animal Ecophysiology will be discussed.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:3011:00Exam revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Poster preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork19:009:00Field visit and worksheet completion
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study42:008:00Preparation for research seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study220:4516:30Lecture follow up
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study112:3012:30Consolidating lecture notes
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures provide a theoretical understanding of the principles of Animal Ecophysiology. These lectures are supplemented by reading relevant scientific literature to support these ideas, and provide students with fundamental knowledge of the subject area. The field visit provides an opportunity to apply some of the concepts learnt in the lectures.
The research seminars and poster preparation will provide students with an opportunity to discuss current issues in Animal Ecophysiology and use what they have learned in the lectures. Seminars will be based upon a variety of topics and approaches and will ensure students' fluency with interpreting data within a theoretical framework.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M5Edinburgh Zoo worksheet
Poster1M20Group poster
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the subject area and the ability to integrate information from lectures and additional reading. The poster presentation assesses the student's ability to carry out an in depth literature search, to assimilate relevant information and present it clearly in poster format. The questionnaire assesses the student's ability to apply the knowledge gained in the lectures to animals seen at Edinburgh Zoo.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists