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ZOOL313 Environmental Physiology

Environment and reproduction; how animals survive extreme environmental conditions; cell communication and stress physiology.

Environmental physiology embraces many disciplines of animal physiology and the effect of environmental variables on animal functions. This paper focuses on the physiological and endocrine mechanisms that permit animals to survive in different environments. Topics covered include environmental influences on reproduction and growth, including some potential effects of climate change; ways through which cells can communicate with one another; and metamorphosis and stress. The paper draws examples from a wide variety of taxa to emphasise the principles that unify environmental and evolutionary physiology at all levels, from molecular to whole organism.

Paper title Environmental Physiology
Paper code ZOOL313
Subject Zoology
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,038.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,492.80

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54 200-level points from Science Schedule C
Recommended Preparation
CHEM 191
Schedule C
Suitable for students of all academic backgrounds.
Teaching staff
Professor Alison Cree
Associate Professor Mark Lokman
Paper Structure
The paper consists of a lecture and a laboratory component, including a group research project.

Topics covered include:
  • Environmental influences on reproduction and growth
  • The physiology of metamorphosis and stress
This paper is dependent on a collection of readings that are not covered by a single text. However, the most-consulted textbook is:

Willmer P, Stone G, Johnston I, 2005. Environmental physiology of animals. 2nd edn. Blackwell Science, Ltd, Oxford.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will develop an understanding of the physiological adaptations that have evolved in animals that enable them to survive, grow and reproduce in a wide variety of environments.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22
Friday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
P1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 9-13, 15-22