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Undergraduate Zoology 2020-2021

ZO25F1: LITTORAL AND SUBLITTORAL MARINE BIOLOGY FIELD COURSE

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This is a marine biological field course to the Millport Field Centre on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde. The centre, run by the Field Studies Council, is located on an island which is a ten-minute ferry crossing from the mainland terminal at Largs. The island and has a variety of types of shore and depths offshore ranging to over 100 m within a few kilometres of the field centre. The marine biota is correspondingly varied. Being within the enclosed waters of the Firth of Clyde it is comparatively sheltered and safe. The centre provides modern accommodation and classrooms for lectures/seminars and labwork to process field samples. The centre also has a small research vessel, which provides an opportunity for students to experience working at sea in the sheltered waters around the island, and to see oceanographic and navigational instruments and sublittoral sampling devices first hand. There is a long history of marine biological research and teaching at Millport (a marine station was first established in 1885) and students will follow in the footsteps of generations of marine biologists in learning about littoral (shore) and sublittoral marine organisms and the methods used to study them in the field.

 

Details of the course content may be affected by weather and tides, but it is expected that the course will include profiling and semi-quantitative biological survey of two rocky shores of contrasting degree of wave exposure; profiling, quantitative biological survey and basic granulometric analysis of a sandy shore; sampling and examination of sublittoral benthos from a research vessel with a beam trawl and Day grab; plankton sampling by different methods; and a short group project run over one and half days.

 

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

ZO3306: MARINE ECOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEMS

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

• This course will give you a deeper understanding of vital processes in the sea.
• Consideration of key aspects of biological production will provide essential knowledge about how marine ecosystems are fuelled.
• Exploration of the structure and function of marine food webs will give you an appreciation of important differences from terrestrial food webs and how they respond to natural and anthropogenic influences.
• Practical sessions will develop your skills in collecting and using marine ecological data.
• An introduction to the ‘ecosystem-based approach’ will show you how knowledge of marine ecosystem functioning can be applied to managing human activities in the sea.

ZO3307: ANIMAL POPULATION ECOLOGY

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The students will learn about the basic ecological theory and modelling approaches required to understand population dynamics, and which are great importance for the successful management of animal populations to meet conservation or sustainable exploitation objectives. Students will have the opportunity to apply the theory learned in a series of field- and computer-based exercises. The course will provide the students with valuable analytical skills and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of population dynamics of animals.

ZO3309: ANIMAL MANAGEMENT AND WELFARE

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course considers the physiology, development and nutrition of domestic, companion and exhibition animals in relation to animal husbandry and care.

You will apply your knowledge of biology and zoology to the improvement of management practices and to the enhancement of animal welfare.

By researching and presenting a seminar on ethical issues related to animals in captivity, you will develop critical thinking skills and build experience in constructing and evidencing an argument, and also gain skills in group working and oral communication.

ZO3513: ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

By exploring how animals adapt to their environments you learn the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organisms. Learning is rooted in staff’s research interests. You explore aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work. In groups, you research animal adaptations to extreme environments- present a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work. In an assessed practical you perform PCR and gel electrophoresis, a keystone life sciences method.  You develop communication skills in (i) concise scientific writing through short essays developed around reading primary research papers and (ii) a pop-sci article for a general audience. By exploring how animals adapt to their environments you learn the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organisms. Learning is rooted in staff’s research interests. You explore aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work. In groups, you research animal adaptations to extreme environments- present a scientific poster, developing skills in communication and team work. In an assessed practical you perform PCR and gel electrophoresis, a keystone life sciences method.  You develop communication skills in (i) concise scientific writing through short essays developed around reading primary research papers and (ii) a pop-sci article for a general audience. 

ZO35F1: BIODIVERSITY OF TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS IN SOUTH AFRICA

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Residential field course based on Ngala Training Camp, Balule Game Reserve, and the Greater Kruger Ecosystem in South Africa, structured to provide you with training in animal tracking and the interpretation of ecological data in the field.

Local experts teach tracking skills and provide lessons related to natural history, palaeontology, vegetation, and the complexities of implementing conservation in the local context.

Visits to a variety of local habitats will reinforce taxonomic and species identification skills.

By maintaining a field notebook, completing a project and passing a test will allow you to demonstrate achievement of the course learning outcomes.

 

Please note that the information provided is subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 government guidelines

ZO3808: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The variety of infections and pathologies seems almost limitless, and although some of the commonest infections have been studied intensely, it's fair to say that the biological and environmental processes relating to infections are often poorly-understood. We are also living through a time when some deadly diseases are on the increase – this is for a host of reasons including overuse of antibiotics or misinformation about common therapies such as vaccination. Infectious disease isn’t going away.

ZO3812: APPLIED MARINE BIOLOGY, FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The course covers a diverse set of topics from fish diversity, through reproductive strategies and fisheries science to perspectives on sustainable aquaculture and marine environmental issues. Guest speakers from Marine Scotland Science and the Scottish fisherman’s association along with field visits to a freshwater fishery and Peterhead fish market will exemplify applied science in action and give you an appreciation of the industry view of fisheries management. Field work on rocky shores around Aberdeen will give you firsthand experience of fisheries data collection and analysis in the unusual context of a commercial invertebrate fishery.

ZO4028: TOPICS IN ANIMAL WELFARE

15 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Site visits, guest lecturers and self-directed study provide a framework for building and synthesizing knowledge in scientific areas of animal welfare.

Student-led activities promote the development of transferable skills such as time management, project planning and reporting.

 

ZO4526: ADVANCES IN VECTOR BIOLOGY

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will provide you with in-depth appreciation of four themes in diseases transmitted by invertebrate vectors all delivered by active researchers in this area.
Four weekly tutorials support the lecture topics in various formats including for and against debates, Dragon’s Den pitches and contingency plans for disease invasion control and suppression.
The mixture of a theoretical background, group discussion and examination of modern issues gives you a good grounding in vector-borne disease for future careers in this area while also developing your critical analysis and communication skills.

ZO4539: ADVANCED BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will give you the opportunity to explore, for example, why some individuals behave differently from others within the same species, and how insights on behaviours can improve the implementation of conservation plans.

Academics working at the cutting edge of behavioural research will report on the state-of-art in their field.

Directed learnings will encourage further exploration of core topics through discussion of research papers and construction of computer-based models to illustrate concepts.

A continuous assessment where you will produce a grant proposal for research into behavioural ecology will introduce you to the process of research planning.

ZO4540: SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Students explore science, policy and management issues relevant to the sustainable management of marine resources through individual- and group-based research.

The course uses a problem-based learning approach which increases enthusiasm, promotes deeper learning and improves abilities in team working.

Students enhance critical thinking skills by analysing quantitative data relevant to managing the impacts of human activities on marine resources.

Guest lectures provide opportunities to network with professionals working with marine resources.

Assessment is based on oral presentations, a briefing note and final report, all of which help students to develop communication skills relevant to the workplace.

ZO4541: WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT: CONCEPTS AND PRACTICE

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course develops your knowledge and skills in analysing field data on changes in the distribution, abundance and survival of animal populations.

Practical work applying quantitative tools used in modern wildlife management will give you analytical and critical analysis skills valued by employers.

Guest speakers present case studies illustrating the application of these tools to current conservation and wildlife management problems.

You debate controversial issues that are informed by scientific evidence.

Each practical contributes a clue to solving an ecological problem and you will assemble these clues to formulate a management plan aimed at a conservation/wildlife management issue.

ZO4811: SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Lectures by research staff working in aquaculture provide you with specialised knowledge in a range of current issues, including growth, nutrition, health and disease resistance, genetics and environmental interactions.

Preparation for seminars and the essay allow you to direct your own learning and explore methods and current advances in your chosen topic.

Participation in the seminars helps you to develop your communication skills and provides you with feedback on your understanding of the issues.

ZO4816: PARASITOLOGY

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course covers human, livestock and wildlife parasitisms. The topics of host-parasite interactions, control of disease in humans and livestock, and impacts in wildlife are approached at the level of cell biology, immunology, epidemiology and health (veterinary and public).

Teaching combines lectures, research seminar style sessions, and student/group led exercises. A critical review essay provides an opportunity for independent study. Coursework is supported by individual and group tutorials.

The production of short technical reports and journalistic pieces offers opportunities to develop group working, presentation and writing skills.

ZO4820: MARINE BIODIVERSITY

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will introduce you to the vibrant marine life in tropical, temperate and polar ecosystems on our planet, from both an evolutionary and ecological perspective. It gives you the opportunity to describe and identify biodiversity, discover how species are adapted to the marine environment, and investigate the impacts of climate change on marine organisms. This course focuses on coral reefs, soft bottom habitats, open ocean, polar systems, rocky intertidal, sponge gardens, and deep sea.

The course uses a team-based learning approach that promotes the development of your research, communication, and teamwork skills. Students will gain hands-on experience in computing, wet lab practice, and fieldwork.

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