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This lecture and laboratory-based subject aims to give students a solid foundation in basic physiological processes in animals, with a focus on the different ways in which animals are adapted to their environments. Particular emphasis will be placed on marine and desert animals, and the integrative mechanisms involved in the regulation of important organ systems. Topics include endocrine feedback, neural integration, water, food and salt balance, cardiorespiratory systems, thermoregulation, metabolism and reproduction.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- compare, with supporting evidence, the function of key physiological systems within, and between, animal groups and environments;
- justify how diverse environments have shaped physiological adaptations, and how acute environmental challenges affect the activity of these systems;
- use, interpret or evaluate scientific data to support a hypothesis or argument;
- communicate scientific methodologies, data and conclusions, including synthesis and critique of current literature and experimental design; and
- develop first-hand experience in animal handling, recording of accurate biological observations and animal welfare data, including an appreciation of how animal ethics and welfare is incorporated in scientific experimental design.
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- apply theories and principles to subject-specific content;
- develop scientific writing and research skills, including how to evaluate the quality of evidence and use this to construct written and verbal arguments;
- work constructively with colleagues to complete set tasks; and
- gain competency in standard laboratory procedures for working with animals.
Last updated: 2 December 2023