• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
    Specialist
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Biology
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Prof Robert Magrath
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course BIOL3131
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

Our aim in this course is to introduce you to the logic of thinking about the process of adaptation.  We will do this by addressing a number of key controversies in behavioural ecology, the study of how natural selection shapes the behaviour of animals.  Our lectures are organised into four modules: how can cooperative behaviour emerge and be maintained, how can the costs and benefits of behavioural and reproductive strategies be balanced, what are the underlying principles that govern animal communication, and the biology of sex: when is it advantageous to produce sons or daughters, what are the benefits of mate choice to females, why in some systems to males provide more care to offspring than females etc?  These areas cover research topics of interest to the strong behavioural ecology group at ANU.  However, the primary aim of the course is to develop a logical approach that can be applied to understanding any question in biology. 

Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

The aim of the course is to develop a logical approach that can be applied to thinking about the process of adaptation.  Although our focus will be on topics of interest to the strong behavioural ecology group at ANU, we will develop a logical approach that can be applied to understanding any question in biology. The generic skills we expect you to obtain in this course are the abilities to:1. recognise when behaviour poses difficulties for accepted wisdom and theory
2. think strategically on how to formulate and test hypotheses to further investigate such anomalies
3. communicate problems and their solutions to both an intelligent public and a community of informed scientists
4. read the literature critically to assimilate views on new findings and present these views in writing
5. develop a grant proposal to seek funds for a program of research on adaptation

Other Information

The Biology Teaching and Learning Centre is located in Building 116. Alternatively you can email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:
  • Two written exercises (50%; LO 1-4)
  • Final examination (50%; LO 1-3)
  • Grant proposal (LO 2, 3, 5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

3 hours of lectures per week and one 2-hour tutorial session per week

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have successfully completed BIOL3131

You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

BIOL6010 is strongly recommended

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
1795 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person

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