Animal Behaviour

Description

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.

Availability

Ourimbah

  • Semester 1 - 2017

Callaghan

  • Semester 1 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able 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.

Content

Proximate causes and ultimate function of behaviour Measuring behaviour Experimental design Sampling techniques Physiological basis of behaviour Molecular biology and genetic influences Neurobiology Endocrine systems The development of behaviour Ontogeny, experience and learning The adaptive nature of behaviour Antipredator behaviour Spatial orientation Communication Foraging 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

Requisite

This course replaces BIOL3350. If you have successfully completed BIOL3350 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

STAT1070

Assessment Items

Report: Zoo Report

Presentation: Presentation

Written Assignment: Draft and Final Scientific Paper; Peer Reviews

Written Assignment: Content Summaries

Contact Hours

Callaghan and Ourimbah

Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 30 hour(s) per Term

Lecture

Online 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Workshop

Face to Face On Campus 30 hour(s) per Term

Workshop will involve 4 x 8hr workshops; Students will also be required to complete some self directed field based study for a Student Project.