• 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 2019
    See Future Offerings

Australia is famous the world over for its unique and biodiverse vertebrate animals. You can only see a wild weedy sea dragon, turtle frog, sand goanna, emu or platypus in Australia. 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 interactive lectures, lab practicals and workshops. Groups covered will include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Lab practicals will focus on biodiversity through hands-on learning about key features of structure and function. Workshops will focus on topical research questions on the ecology, evolution and conservation of vertebrate animals. The course is designed to complement the other whole-organism third year courses in evolution and ecology.

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 describe the major patterns of biodiversity 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 in workshops and through the evaluation of relevant hypotheses;
  4. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the diversity of ANU's research on Australian vertebrate animals through lectures and workshops 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.


    2 Lectures and up to three hours of practical or workshop each week.

    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
    2019 $3840
    International fee paying students
    Year Fee
    2019 $5460
    Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

    Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

    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
    7492 22 Jul 2019 29 Jul 2019 31 Aug 2019 25 Oct 2019 In Person View

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