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BZ5808 - Adapting to Environmental Challenges

Credit points: 3
Year: 2015
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Marine & Environmental Sciences

Postgraduate Diploma of Research Methods, Master of Applied Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Graduate Certificate of Science, Master of Science, Graduate Certificate of Research Methods, Bachelor of Science (Advanced), Graduate Certificate of Development Practice and Graduate Diploma of Development Practice.

This subject considers the ways that animals and plants interact and adapt to the physical aspects of their environment. We examine the morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations that arise from environmental challenges faced by species across a range of spatial and temporal scales. In the practical component of this subject, students get to manage a scientific project from beginning to end. Working in small groups, students are able to design two research experiments that examine adaptations of a non-protected plant and invertebrate species, conduct those experiments, manage the project logistics and budgets, analyse the results, and are trained to report their findings in two formats: delivering a seminar and writing peer-reviewed written reports. Students also learn to constructively critique the work of others and gain experience in the peer review process.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and describe the morphological, physiological and behavioural mechanisms by which animals and plants accommodate physical limitations of specific environments;
  • Evaluate evidence of adaptation across different taxa and ecosystems, and describe the trends observed;
  • Collect and critically evaluate primary, peer reviewed scientific knowledge about two areas of research, and determine the quality and quantity of information relevant to the proposed studies;
  • Work in a small team to design and run two scientific projects, with compliance to national, state and local government legislation, WH&S guidelines, financial constraints, assessment objectives and project deadlines;
  • Communicate the results of two scientific research projects in both oral and written forms, via a presentation to an open forum, and with a scientific paper outlining each study;
  • Critique others work, by participating in the peer review of other BZ5808 and BZ2808 scientific studies, and provide constructive feedback to the authors.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of chemistry, zoology and botany. (CH1011 AND (BZ1005 OR BZ1004 OR BZ1003)) or equivalent.
BZ5008 ZL2008 ZL5008 BZ2008 BZ2808


Cairns, Internal, Study Period 2
Census Date 27-Aug-2015
Coordinator: <Person not found>
Lecturers: <Person not found>, Assoc. Professor Lucas Cernusak, Dr Alex Cheesman.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 15 hours fieldwork
Assessment: on-course assessment; (50%); centrally-administered final exam (50%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.