• Class Number 4392
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Alison Behie
    • AsPr Alison Behie
    • Dr Geoff Kushnick
    • Dr Katharine Balolia
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

All primates (non-human and human) have the capacity for flexible biological responses to environmental change. Due to the wide range of environments in which primate species are found this flexibility often results in extreme adaptability in diet and food intake. This course looks at this dietary flexibility and how it may impact or limit nutritional intake across time and space and in turn how this may impact issues of health and population viability. Using both cross-species and cross-cultural comparative approaches this course will specifically explore how nutrition relates to disease dynamics and health in various physical environments across all primates, both extinct and extant. The main sections of the course will include exploring the adequacy of different diets, issues of both malnutrition and overnutrition, and the impact of nutrition for reproduction and growth in both juvenile and adolescent periods. It will also consider how changing environments alter nutritional intakes to potentially impact population health in new ways. Finally, it will consider the methodological challenges of studying nutrition in living or dead primates (human and non- human) to highlight how this may affect our interpretations of the relationships we discuss throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify key facts and commonalities between concepts relating to nutrition and disease;
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental concepts in nutrition, epidemiology and  adaptability through the use of cross species and cross cultural comparisons;
  3. Understand basic principals from current research papers in subjects relevant to nutrition and disease and evaluate the effectiveness of the methods and theories used;
  4. Use a selective case study approach to explain a topic or argument in the field orally, in a clear, concise, analytical and evidence-based manner; and
  5. Draw together material from a range of scholarly sources relevant to a topic in the field, to form a unified text which sets out an independent and, where appropriate, critical assessment of that material.

Required Resources

Course readings will be uploaded onto Wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written feedback on both essay proposal (within 1 week of submission) and final essay (within 3 weeks of submission)
  • Written comment on tests (can be viewed in office hours in week following the exam)
  • Written comments on tutorial presentations (within 1 week of presenting - on Wattle)
  • All numerical grades will be recorded in the wattle gradebook

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.

Other Information

Referencing for all assignments should follow the format of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Darwinian medicine
2 Primate models
3 Human evolution and diet
4 Diet choice
5 Malnutrition Essay proposal due Friday
6 Physical adaptations to environment in extinct hominins part 1 Test #1 online due Friday
7 Break
8 Break
9 Physical adaptations to environment in extinct hominins part 2 Tutorial portfolio #1 due Friday
10 Habitat change and disease risk
11 Parasite-host co-evolution
12 Nutrition and brain size evolution Essay due Friday
13 Parent-offspring conflict and maternal investment Tutorial portfolio #2 due Friday
14 early life condition and later life health risks Test #2 due Friday

Tutorial Registration

registration on my timetable

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Essay proposal 10 % 1,2,3,5
Tutorial presentation 10 % 3,4,5
Tutorial portfolio x 2 20 % 1,2,3,5
Online tests x 2 30 % 1,2,3,5
Final Essay 30 % 1,2,3,5

* 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.


Two examinations for this class is to be held online. Exams will be multiple choice or short answer based on lecture material, lecture readings and any guest lectures or films seen during lecture times.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Essay proposal

The term paper for this course is comprised of 2 parts – the proposal and the term paper (see assessment task 5). The proposal should be 300 words (not including references) and explains what the student has chosen for a term paper topic. The proposal should include the paper topic as well as what the main focus of the paper will be. It should also include a list of at least 3 academic references that will be used in the paper.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4,5

Tutorial presentation

 From weeks 4 - 9 students will do a presentation - topics will be decided in week 1 of tutorial. Presentations will either be completed alone or in pairs depending on student numbers and interests. Presentations should be 12-15 minute long and can either be done live in the class room or pre-recorded to show in tutorial. e This presentation should include information from the assigned readings as well as extra information from your own literature search – it should not just be a detailed look at the papers but using them as a jumping off point to explore the topic.

Assessment Task 3

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

Tutorial portfolio x 2

Students are responsible for writing a 300 word reflection on one of the tutorial readings from earlier in the semester. TThis assignment is designed to illustrate not only that you have completed the reading, but that you have understood them in the context of the course material and are able to put them in the context of your own experience or other real world examples. You are not able to choose a reading from the tutorial presentation topic.

Word limit: 500 each

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Online tests x 2

There will be two tests held during semester (15% each). These tests will be held online on Fridays in week 6 and 12 and will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. All tests are based on lecture notes (posted material as well as additional information given during class), readings and videos as well as any guest lectures. Tests will not be cumulative.

Deferred exams are possible only for serious reasons (and the demand needs to be made before the exam). A missed examination automatically receives a score of zero if the instructor is not notified before the exam.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Final Essay

The term paper must be 2000 words (not including references). The final essay topic will be posted on wattle.

Word limit: 2000

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

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

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. No hard copy submissions are required, with the exception of the tutorial portfolios which will only be accepted in hard copy.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Midterms: If you are unable to sit a midterm exam due to illness you must notify the lecturer before the exam so alternate arrangements can be made. No makeup exam will be given to students who do not notify the lecturer before the stated exam date.

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

Written assignments will be uploaded back onto wattle once graded. Presentation grades and midterm exams will be available for viewing during office hours (in the week following the assessment) where students can discuss grades with the lecturer. You can also make an appointment to review this material outside office hours.

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

Resubmission of assignments is not permitted.

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).

AsPr Alison Behie

Research Interests

prenatal stress, climate change adaptation, primates

AsPr Alison Behie

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Alison Behie

Research Interests

AsPr Alison Behie

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Geoff Kushnick

Research Interests

Dr Geoff Kushnick

By Appointment
Dr Katharine Balolia

Research Interests

Dr Katharine Balolia

By Appointment

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