BIOL481-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Environmental Animal Physiology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


Physiological adaptations that allow animal life to survive in diverse environments. The course will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the comparative approach and its relationship to phylogeny. Topics that may be addressed include osmoregulatory physiology and water balance, thermoregulation, metabolic rates, exercise and cardiovascular physiology.

This is a course that explores current topics in comparative environmental animal physiology. It follows on from the 3rd year physiology courses and concentrates on animals in their environments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding and evaluation of experimental design, methodology and data in the field of environmental physiology (assessment tasks: seminar presentations)
  • Demonstrate how dogma shapes scientific thinking (assessment tasks: tutorials)
  • Use methodology designed for one purpose to develop universal hypotheses (assessment tasks: examination)
  • The ability to access and critically assess the scientific literature (assessment task: examination)
  • Develop and trial your own “teaching to learn” techniques (task: seminar presentations)

    Transferable Skills / Pūkenga Ngaio
    As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
  • Ability to manage team work. Most jobs require interactions with others to accomplish a task to a particular standard and on time.
  • Greater competence in evaluation and design of techniques relevant to physiology.
  • Engage in science and technology issues with a broader understanding of their social context.
  • The ability to develop methods and techniques for use in applied settings


Subject to approval of the Head of School. RP: BIOL354



Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 16:00 - 17:00 Jack Erskine 241
15 Jul - 21 Jul
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 10:00 - 12:00 Karl Popper 508
22 Jul - 11 Aug
19 Aug - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 15 Sep
23 Sep - 29 Sep
7 Oct - 13 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Elissa Cameron


Essie Rodgers


Course content / Hōtaka (subject to minor changes)
The course is designed around six teaching periods (seminars). Readings will be distributed for each seminar well before the class and we expect you to read them. The seminars are discussion based and we expect that all students in the class will participate.

Topics may include:
Metabolic cold adaptation
Living in the cold: survival in a changing environment
Diving in seals
Physiology and aquaculture
Living at altitude
Body size physiology
Stress physiology
Maternal physiological effects on offspring development

The final list of topics will be determined during the first teaching session when we are aware of who is in the class. There is also the potential to discuss topics outside of this list if there is student interest.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,145.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BIOL481 Occurrences

  • BIOL481-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024