Subject Descriptions - Subject Information


Calendar: 2017 Undergraduate
Faculty: Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
Department: School of Biological Sciences



Subject Information
Subject Code BIOL252
Subject Name Evolution and Behaviour
Credit Points 6
Pre-Requisites BIOL103, BIOL104, BIOL105
Co-Requisites Nil
Restrictions Nil
Equivalence BIOL852
Assessment Computer Simulation 10%, Analysing behaviour Assessment 10%; Group project seminar 10%; Group project report 20%; Final exam 50%.
General Subject No.

Subject Description
Students will investigate the key concepts of evolutionary theory, selection, drift, mutation, gene expression and inheritance, plasticity and canalization, factors changing frequencies, mating systems, sexual selection, mate choice, sociality, life history strategies and trade-offs.


Subject Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students will be able to:
1. Describe differences among individual organisms in populations are underpinned by the processes of mutation, gene expression and plasticity;
2. Described the patterns of inheritance of genetic characteristics, and use appropriate data to infer patterns of inheritance;
3. Explain how breeding experiments can be used to confirm the principles of Mendelian inheritance;
4. Explain how changes in the genetic structures of populations are associated with population size, breeding system, and the process of selection;
5. Apply computer-based mathematical models to make predictions and test hypotheses about genetic changes in populations;
6. Demonstrate appreciation of the diversity of behaviours displayed by animals, and appreciate the difference between innate and learned behaviour;
7. Describe the proximate causes of behaviour, including the genetic basis of behaviour, the neural and hormonal control of behaviour, and the organization of behaviour;
8. Describe how behaviour develops over an animalís lifetime, and recognise that these changes are the outcomes of an individualís genes and experience;
9. Grasp the concept that selective pressures resulting from challenging social and physical environments drive the evolution of animal behaviour;
10. Demonstrate appreciation of the existence of various types of behaviour, including movement and migration behaviour, anti-predatory behaviour, parental-care behaviour, communication behaviour and sexual behaviour;
11. Design experiments to test whether behaviour is adaptive.

Extra Information
Generic Extra Information:
NOTE: The use of animals, animal tissues or animal-derived products (such as sera) is inherent and unavoidable, in order to achieve specific learning objectives. Students with conscientious objections to that use should not enrol in this subject.