Vertebrate Biology

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Vertebrate Biology

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Zoology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Pre-requisites: 1602ENV Botany and Zoology AND 2204ENV Applied Statistics AND 2603ENV Ecology Incompatible: 3607EAS Vertebrate Biology

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

    10
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course covers biology of terrestrial vertebrates at the level of the whole organism and the population, with an emphasis on classification and ecology. The classification, structure, function, evolution and biogeography of each class is used as a starting point. Theoretical, applied and practical aspects of ecology and behaviour are also covered, pointing out differences in approach to these issues between the different classes. The focus throughout is on Australian taxa and issues. Assessment is by assignment, presentation, practical notebook and end of semester examination.
    Course Introduction
    Vertebrates are usually taken as the icon species in determining potential land uses of a site. This course provides grounding in whole-organism biology, biogeography, ecology, behaviour and field survey techniques applying to terrestrial vertebrates, with a focus on Australian taxon. It covers key theoretical concepts and practical techniques, and highlights applied issues relevant to prospective environmental scientists and managers. The field research project allows students to gain valuable field experience and formal training in analyzing and presenting research results.
    Course Aims
    Vertebrates are usually taken as the icon species in determining potential land uses of a site. This course
    provides grounding in whole-organism biology, ecology, behaviour and field survey techniques applying to
    terrestrial vertebrates. It covers key theoretical concepts and practical techniques, and highlights applied
    issues relevant to prospective environmental scientists and managers. The field research project allows
    students to gain valuable field experience and formal training in analyzing and presenting research results.
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 Know the key characteristics of the major Australian families of terrestrial vertebrates.
    2 Know the techniques used for identification of Australian terrestrial vertebrate species.
    3 Be familiar with the major techniques used for field surveys of terrestrial vertebrates.
    4 Know the basic features of structure and function of each class of terrestrial vertebrate.
    5 Know the major postulated evolutionary relationships and trends within terrestrial vertebrates.
    6 Understand the key theoretical concepts relating to terrestrial vertebrate ecology.
    7 Be aware of the major techniques used in studying the ecology of terrestrial vertebrates.
    8 Understand how knowledge of vertebrate ecology is relevant to environmental management.
    9 Be able to clearly explain a scientific issue or problem in a verbal presentation.
    10 Be able to write a scientific report involving a vertebrate survey.

    Assessment Task

    Weighting/Marked out of

    Assignment - Research-based Assignment
    Research Proposal (Group)

    5%/5

    Assignment - Laboratory/Laboratory Report
    Laboratory Reports

    10%/10

    Exam - selected and constructed responses
    Examination of the Biology Lecture Series

    40%/100

    Presentation - technical or professional
    Research Project Presentations (Group)

    10%/10

    Assignment - Research-based Assignment
    Field Research Project - Individual Report

    35%/100

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.