UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

BIOL5505 Marine Neuroecology and Behaviour

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Content This unit explores both the central and peripheral nervous systems of a range of aquatic animals (invertebrates, cartilaginous fishes, bony fishes and marine mammals) in the context of the neural bases of behaviour. Sensory, motor and integrative parts of the central nervous system are examined to challenge students about how animals communicate, navigate, orient themselves in the water column and how they find food and avoid predation. The physical characteristics of the environment and the neurobiological constraints placed on behaviour are investigated, drawing upon examples from both shallow water and the deep sea. Emphasis is placed on sensory ecology or the way in which animals see, smell, feel, hear, taste and electrically and magnetically sense their aquatic environment. Sensory systems of specific models are explored as an integrated whole and examined using the latest morphological, physiological and molecular techniques.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) gain an understanding of the physical environment in which marine animals live; (2) gain an understanding of the central and peripheral nervous systems of a range of marine vertebrates and invertebrates; (3) gain in-depth knowledge of the currently known senses—vision, audition, chemoreception, electroreception, magnetoreception and lateral line; (4) appreciate and understand the neural mechanisms underlying behaviour, adaptation and plasticity; (5) analyse complex behaviours; (6) gain a basic understanding of the morphological, physiological and molecular techniques currently used to explore neural processing; and (7) undertake hypothesis-driven research, work collaboratively, plan projects, gather and analyse data ethically.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) a practical book write-up; (2) a scientific report; and (3) a written theory end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Professor Shaun Collin
Unit rules
Prerequisites: enrolment in the Master of Biological Science (72520) or the Master of Science (70630) or the Master of Biomedical Science (71520) or the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Contact hours two weeks intensive delivery prior to the commencement of Semester 1. Classes run in week 7 (13.02.2017) and week 8 (20.02.2017) with a final exam scheduled to be held during semester one exam period.
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/BIOL5505/TS-H-1A/2017

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