Skip to main content


Animal Ecophysiology

Module titleAnimal Ecophysiology
Module codeBIO2082
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Rod Wilson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In this module you will discuss the major physiological processes in animals, ranging from temperature regulation, respiration and osmoregulation to the endocrine control of these and other key processes, such as maintaining homeostasis, stress response and reproductive development. The lectures will be accompanied by practicals looking at various aspects of physiology, including the thermal acclimation of invertebrates and reproductive function in fish.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to build on the background provided in Stage 1 (BIO1331 Animals) by exploring various aspects and the integration of major physiological processes in animals (metabolism, respiration, endocrinology, reproduction, osmoregulation) and how these relate to adaptation to ecological niches.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the various physiological systems in animals that respond to environmental and endogenous variables
  • 2. Describe and distinguish between various examples of acclimation and adaptation in animals
  • 3. Demonstrate competence in a range of standard practical procedures for investigating physiological processes in the laboratory

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Describe and evaluate approaches to our understanding of organismal biology (with some cell and molecular components) from an ecological point of view with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles
  • 5. Describe in some detail essential facts and theory across a subdiscipline of the biosciences
  • 6. Identify critical questions from the literature and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 7. With some guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation and enquiry within the biosciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently by written means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. Develop, with some guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with valid conclusions
  • 10. Collect and interpret appropriate data, drawing on a range of sources, with limited guidance
  • 11. Work in a small team during laboratory practicals and deal proficiently with the issues that teamwork requires (i.e. communication, motivation, decision-making, awareness, responsibility, and management skills, including setting and working to deadlines)

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

16 x 1 hour lectures covering: metabolism; temperature; respiration; endocrinology; reproduction; osmoregulation.

4 x 1 hour lectures on lab data analysis.

2 x 1 hour interactive Questions/Answers sessions.

4 x 3 hour practicals will include: metabolism, temperature, reproductive physiology and endocrinology.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Laboratory practicals (4 x 3 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Group data sheets (4 x 30 minutes)
Guided Independent Study114Independent reading and revision


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
4 x Laboratory group data sheets1 page submitted at end of practicals4-5, 7-11Written and class data discussion in lecture

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay examination601 hour1-10Written
Course assessment test 12060 minutes1-8, 10Written
Course assessment test 22060 minutes1-8, 10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay examinationEssay examination1-10August Ref/Def
Course assessment test 1Essay examination1-10August Ref/Def
Course assessment test 2Essay examination1-10August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Recommended textbook:

  • Hill, R.W., Wyse, G.A. and Anderson, M. (2008). Animal Physiology. Sinauer Associates. ISBN 9780878933174.

A previous recommended textbook (which is still useful) is:

  • Randall D, Burggren W and French K (2001). Eckert Animal Physiology: Mechanisms and Adaptations. Freeman ISBN 0­7167­2414­6.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Ecophysiology, physiological processes, animals and plants, respiration, homeostasis

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BIO1331 Animals

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date