Animal Behaviour

Course code ENVS3005Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Science and Information TechnologySchool of Environmental and Life Sciences

The course provides students with an introduction to the field of animal behaviour. Students will gain knowledge of the principles and current theoretical issues within the field. The course models the process of conducting scientific research in the field of animal behaviour from hypothesis formulation, to design, sampling, analysis and dissemination of findings. As such, the course encourages skill development in observing behaviour, formulating testable hypotheses, experimental design, data collection and analysis, and the presentation of findings in written scientific format. Further, theoretical instruction provides students with the requisite knowledge to be able to interpret and place their findings within the body of discipline-specific theory.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory component in the course outline provided by the school.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
OurimbahSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be equipped to:

1. Navigate and synthesise the scientific literature to gain a detailed knowledge of the sub-discipline area of animal behaviour.
2. Apply knowledge of behavioural theory to new situations.
3. Interpret, summarise, validate and critique data from the scientific literature.
4. Work independently to design, execute and report a scientific study in the discipline area.
5. Demonstrate skills in hypothesis formulation and experimental design.
6. Demonstrate skills in the collection of behavioural data in the field.
7. Demonstrate skills in the interpretation and statistical analysis of data.
8. Communicate findings to a scientific audience in written format.
9. Critically evaluate the work of peers.
ContentProximate causes and ultimate function of behaviour
Measuring behaviour
Experimental design
Sampling techniques
Physiological basis of behaviour
Molecular biology and genetic influences
Endocrine systems
The development of behaviour
Ontogeny, experience and learning
The adaptive nature of behaviour
Antipredator behaviour
Spatial orientation
Sociality and group living
Territoriality, dispersal, migration
Co-operation, altruism and kin selection
Sexual selection
Mating systems
Parental care strategies
The art of scientific writing
Peer review
Replacing Course(s)BIOL3350 Ecological Research
TransitionNot to count for credit with BIOL3350
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeSTAT1070
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsField Study
Student Projects
Computer Lab
Assessment Items
Examination: Formal
Reports- Individual scientific paper, draft and final. Peer review of drafts. Final academic assessment.
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Workshop: for 32 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Computer Lab: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for ENVS3005