- Code BIOL6113
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Biology
- Areas of interest Zoology, Marine Biology, Biology, Environmental Science , Biodiversity Conservation
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
Of the 20 major animal phyla, 19 consist of invertebrates, including many familiar animals such as insects and snails, and more unusual ones including vampire squids and sea cucumbers. This course examines the “the small things that matter” in the context of their evolution and systematics. It looks at the origin of life in the sea and the enormous diversification following terrestrialisation. The focus is on major radiations and key evolutionary innovations including the transition from radial to bilateral symmetry and the development of a mesoderm and complex organs, that have occurred in the transition from simple to complex organisms. A 3 day field trip will give students a solid grounding in the marine and terrestrial invertebrate fauna of south-eastern Australia and the microhabitats they occupy. The practical component of the course will teach students techniques of specimen preservation and the use of biological keys in species identification.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand and communicate the major evolutionary innovations in invertebrate groups, and describe the functional significance of associated morphologies and behaviours..
- Analyse invertebrates in laboratory and field conditions, and use taxonomic keys for identification.
- Understand the requirements for collection and short-term maintenance of invertebrate species for photographic and scientific observation.
- Interpret formal taxonomic descriptions and understand principles of taxonomic precedence, synonymy, revision, and type specimen designation.
- Construct phylogenies from suites of taxonomic characters, and critically evaluate groupings on the basis of monophyly and the principles of phylogenetic systematics.
- Evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the mathematical techniques used in phylogenetic reconstruction, both on the basis of the underlying priciples employed, and the nature of the data sets analysed.
Field Trip: The cost of the fieldtrip in Kioloa will be around $200
- Specimen collection and preparation (20%) LO1, 2, 3 (20) [LO null]
- Written 10 page research report on taxon of choice (40%) LO1, 4 (40) [LO null]
- 15 minute oral presentation to class on research project (15%) LO1, 4, 6 (15) [LO null]
- Final exam (25%) LO 1, 4, 5, 6 (25) [LO null]
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Workload60 contact hours, 50 non-contact hours and a weekend field trip to Kioloa during March.
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Prescribed TextsNone. However, Campbell, Reece and Meyers: Biology 8th Edition Australian Version will be a valuable reference
Assumed KnowledgeAn understanding of the principles of taxonomic classification and phylogenetic reconstruction
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- 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.