UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ANIM3363 Environmental Physiology

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Zoology major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 3 elective
Content This unit builds on fundamental aspects of structure and function to examine how animals work across the diversity of environments, from deserts to rainforests and polar regions, and from ponds to salt lakes. It examines the physical environment in which animals live, and the fundamental importance of physiological processes in integrating animal systems with respect to especially energy, thermal and water balance. There is a strong comparative approach for both vertebrate and invertebrate animals. These essential physiological processes are studied using homeostasis as an organising principle, and the actions of the nervous system and hormones in controlling and modulating them. An historical approach is taken in some areas and examples are used to show the workings of the scientific method. A quantitative approach is taken to these physiological adaptations to the environment, and a rigorous comparative phylogenetic methods perspective is provided to the interpretation of physiological adaptation. The laboratory project is a mini-research project that introduces students to important skills including experimental design, animal welfare considerations, animal husbandry, laboratory techniques, data collection and reduction, statistical analyses, report writing and bibliographic assemblage, and literature searching.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) have knowledge of the nature of physiological environments; (2) understand the fundamental importance of homeostasis as a physiological function; (3) identify the roles of neural and hormonal control systems; (4) know the nature of the interaction of animals with their natural environment; (5) understand the comparative method and its role in examining adaptations of animals; and (6) develop experimental design, data analysis and report preparation.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) a laboratory report (10 per cent); (2) a research project report (20 per cent); (3) a student group seminar (10 per cent); (4) an essay (10 per cent); and (5) a theory examination (50 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Professor Phil Withers
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 2 ANIM unit
Incompatibility: ANIM3303 Zoophysiology, ANIM8303 Zoophysiology
Contact hours lectures: 2–3 hours per week; practical classes: 3 hours per week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/ANIM3363/SEM-2/2017

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