• Class Number 6233
  • Term Code 3270
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Alexander Maier
    • Prof Alexander Maier
    • Dr Alexander Gofton
    • Dr Sasha Mikheyev
    • Dr Benjamin Schwessinger
    • David Jenkins
    • Dr Haylee Weaver
    • Dr Megan Head
    • Prof Michael Jennions
    • Prof Saul Cunningham
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/11/2022
  • Class End Date 12/12/2022
  • Census Date 25/11/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 21/11/2022
    • Sam Shea
SELT Survey Results

 “What would the world be like without parasites?” – this is the guiding question for this 2-week intensive course based at the ANU Kioloa Coastal campus. During the course we will look into the role, history, lifestyle, evolution, ecology and diversity of parasites in the biosphere. Through lectures, workshops and practical experiments we will explore the terrestrial and aquatic parasites found in the local environment and contemplate on the challenges parasites face, the bases for their survival and their impact on the environment.

Through adopting a big picture biological inquiry of parasites the course considers:

  • parasites in their environment;
  • their evolutionary past;
  • the complex flow that is the organism/s;
  • forms of communicating and interaction that occur at the organismal and population levels; and
  • the dynamic complexity and yet specificity of host-parasite interactions.

This is a multi-disciplinary course that ranges from molecular sequencing to evolutionary ecology. Since the course is designed to be a collaborative learning journey, we value a diverse background of the participants. A willingness to contribute and the ability to work in a team are a requirement for participation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain the interaction and diversity of parasite and host populations within the Kioloa environment.
  2. Analyse and relate the evolutionary trajectories of specific/local parasite and host populations to their habitats.
  3. Apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary frameworks in a systems level appraisal of parasite/host ecology.
  4. Design and apply relevant experimental techniques to a cycle of collaborative research.
  5. Evaluate how interdisciplinary research can deepen complex life sciences research inquiry and personal learning.

Research-Led Teaching

The activities in this course are underpinned by the scientific method and based on current research. Some of the activities have unknown outcomes and reflect the real-world practice of scientists.

Field Trips

This is an intensive course taking place at the ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus

Additional Course Costs

$800 cost associated with field trip (transport, accommodation and food)

Required Resources

lab coat

lab book

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Parasite Intro
2 Parasites and Evolution
3 Parasites and Genomes
4 Parasites and Plants
5 Parasites and Oceans
6 Parasites and Ecosystems
7 Parasites and Culture
8 Parasites Diversity

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Field/lab book 15 % 1,2,3,4,5
Blog postings 10 % 1,2,3
Comments on other blogs 5 % 1,2,3
Group Oral Presentation "Evolution" 10 % 1,2,3
Group Oral Presentation "Sequencing" 10 % 1,2,3
Group Oral Presentation "Different Aspects of Parasites" 10 % 1,2,3
Web based citizen science report 20 % 1,2,3
Host-Parasite Research Report 20 % 1,2,3,5,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Field/lab book

Documentation and reflection on practical hands-on activities

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Blog postings

Post two blog's reflecting on a topic that is associated with parasites

Assessment Task 3

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Comments on other blogs

Provide 2 substantial comments on other blogs

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group Oral Presentation "Evolution"

Group presentation on Host-parasite coevolution

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group Oral Presentation "Sequencing"

Group presentation on results obtained from sequening

Assessment Task 6

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Group Oral Presentation "Different Aspects of Parasites"

Group presentation on the influence of parasites on popular culture and history

Assessment Task 7

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Web based citizen science report

Write a report on “what parasites mean for Kioloa”

Group exercise (groups of 2), minimum 600 words

Assessment Task 8

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,5

Host-Parasite Research Report

Individual assessment

Pick two practicals and outline what you have found in terms of host-parasite interactions

1,200 words

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via Wattle or email.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments


Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Alexander Maier

Research Interests

Parasitology; Molecular Mechanisms of Malaria Pathogenesis

Prof Alexander Maier

By Appointment
Prof Alexander Maier
6125 0832

Research Interests

Prof Alexander Maier

By Appointment
Dr Alexander Gofton
6246 4724

Research Interests

Dr Alexander Gofton

Dr Sasha Mikheyev
6125 2467

Research Interests

Dr Sasha Mikheyev

Dr Benjamin Schwessinger
6125 7794

Research Interests

Dr Benjamin Schwessinger

David Jenkins
02 6933 4179

Research Interests

David Jenkins

Dr Haylee Weaver
6250 9434

Research Interests

Dr Haylee Weaver

Dr Megan Head
6125 8436

Research Interests

Dr Megan Head

Prof Michael Jennions
6125 3540

Research Interests

Prof Michael Jennions

Prof Saul Cunningham
6125 4588-Ext1

Research Interests

Prof Saul Cunningham

Sam Shea

Research Interests

Sam Shea

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