Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The process of sexual reproduction is a critical driver of population genetics, facilitating trait variations that shape our biosphere. This course will establish knowledge of animal physiology and reproduction by examining the tissues, organs and cells that govern the life cycle. The course will uncover the biological processes that drive the formation of the female and male gametes, how these cells form a new body and factors that may disrupt these critical processes. Indeed, the programing, founded in the gametes, provides the trajectory for embryo development and the establishment of a new individual. This course will also focus on the development and physiology of some key organs including the circulatory and nervous systems, as well as the organs that provides reproductive capacity, completing the reproductive life cycle. Animal Physiology, Reproduction and Development focuses on mammalian systems but also uses other animal systems as models to advance our understanding. During the course, we will also discuss the technologies currently used and the latest scientific inroads into assisted reproduction or ‘IVF’ for mammals, including livestock.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Summarise the processes of spermatogenesis and oogenesis and justify the importance of sperm post-testicular maturation events required for fertilisation;

2. Link the molecular mechanisms of early embryo development and explain the mechanisms involved in embryo development, sexual differentiation and organogenesis;

3. Differentiate the reproductive hormones and describe how reproductive processes are regulated by the endocrine system;

4. Outline the basic structure and control processes of the nervous systems and explain the molecular processes of how muscle movement is achieved;

5. Integrate and explain the basic operations of the nervous and circulatory systems as well as the nutritional requirements of animals;

6. Interpret experimental data, assimilate research articles, prepare figures and tables and communicate an understanding of animal reproduction and physiology via the production of scientific reports.


  1. Gamete development
  2. Fertilisation
  3. Molecular mechanisms of early development
  4. Amphibian, chicken and mammalian early development
  5. Sex differentiation and gonad development
  6. Reproductive hormones and regulation of testicular and ovarian function
  7. The nervous system (Brain and Spinal Cord)
  8. Muscle structure and movement
  9. Gas exchange, circulation, metabolism and energetic activities

Assumed knowledge

BIOL1001, BIOL1002 and BIOL2050.

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Examination: Formal

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Workshop Exercises & Reports

Quiz: Progress Quiz

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.