• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Evolution and Ecology, Biology
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof John Keogh
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

Australia is famous for its unique and diverse vertebrate animals. This course will provide an introduction to global vertebrate diversity, put Australian vertebrates in an evolutionary context, and consider recent research advances in Australian vertebrate biology through lectures, lab practicals and tutorials. Groups covered will include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Lab practicals will focus on morphological and taxonomic diversity and tutorials and discussions will focus on topical research questions.  Research themes will include natural history, ecology, evolution, genetics, behaviour and conservation. The course takes advantage of staff and guest expertise so topics will vary from year to year.

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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Critically examine the origin and diversification history of vertebrate animals, with a particular focus on Australian vertebrates, through lectures and practicals.
  2. Critically examine and differentiate the taxonomic diversity and major patterns of morphological diversity of vertebrate animals, with a particular focus on Australian vertebrates, through lectures and practicals.
  3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding and appreciation of how detailed natural history knowledge facilitates research and apply and demonstrate this knowledge through the design or evaluation of relevant hypotheses.
  4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the diversity of ANU's research on Australian vertebrate animals and apply this knowledge through a group presentation.
  5. Critically review a research area covered in the course which complements your own research interests.

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:

    • Exam 1 on lecture & practical component of course (25%: LO 1-2)
    • Exam 2 on lecture & discussion component of course (25%: LO 3-4)
    • Group presentation (25%: LO 4)
    • Major essay (25%: LO 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.


    Two lectures per week and a combination of practical work, tutorials and discussions.

    Requisite and Incompatibility

    This course is incompatible with BIOL2111 Australian Vertebrates or BIOL3114 Vertebrate Biology.

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


    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:
    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
    2018 $3660
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2018 $5160
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

    ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

    The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
    Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

    Second Semester

    Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
    7625 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person N/A

    Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions