9 x 1-hour lectures per semester
9 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
3 x 2-hour workshops per semester
4 x 3-hour practicals per semester
BIOL1101 - Evolution of Biological Diversity
Topic description
This topic will provide an overview of the diversity and interrelatedness of animal life. It emphasises the identification and taxonomy of animals, as well as the current diversity in animal form and function, within an evolutionary context. This topic incorporates an excursion to the S.A. museum to view the specimen reference collections and individual project work where students will develop their own marine or terrestrial invertebrate collections and identify species.
Educational aims
The aims of this topic are to provide:

  1. A working knowledge of animal diversity and evolution
  2. The ability to identify species from all the major animal phyla
  3. Experience in sampling techniques and the creation of an invertebrate reference collection
  4. Appreciation for the importance of taxonomy in biological research
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify the main stages in animal evolution that have lead to the current diversity of marine and terrestrial organisms
  2. Determine the taxonomic affinities of various animal groups and identify their key morphological, anatomical and physiological diagnostic features
  3. Identify animals from taxonomic keys and museum collections
  4. Create a suitably preserved and labelled specimen reference collection
  5. Apply suitable sampling techniques for assessing invertebrate diversity in one or more habitats
  6. Have gained an understanding of how ecosystems function and have a working knowledge of the relation among organisms in a variety of habitats
  7. Gain experience in scientific report writing