Modules for course C302 | MZOOL/AB
MZool Zoology with Animal Behaviour

These were the modules for this course in the 2018–19 academic year.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2019–20.

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Year 1 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BNS-1002: Organismal Diversity (20)
    All major groups of living organisms will be reviewed, from viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi and higher plants to invertebrate and vertebrate animals. General taxonomy, body form, physiology and life history will be studied to give an appreciation of the multiple aspects of biodiversity.
  • BNS-1004: Principles of Life 1 (20)
    The Chemistry of Life. (17 lectures) Metabolites in the service of man. From vitalism to the metabolome. The molecular origin of life. Molecular building blocks and their properties. Metabolic networks and key metabolic pathways. Enzyme thermodynamics. Protein properties and functions. The Molecular Basis of Inheritance. (13 lectures) Nucleic Acids: Structure and Function. DNA and RNA as molecules of heredity: Structure of the double helix; Base pairing rules. Genomic and in vitro DNA replication. Transcription. Synthesis of mRNA. Promoters and Terminators. Post-transcriptional processing and regulation. Translation: Overview of protein synthesis: Ribosomes as "protein factories". Post-translational processing and targeting. Principles of Genetic Engineering. An introduction to recombinant DNA technology. Topics covered include cloning, strategies; the use of plasmid and bacteriophage vectors, transformation of cells with foreign DNA, construction and screening of gene libraries and the polymerase chain reaction. The lectures will end with an examination of two well known examples of plant and animal genetic engineering. The Cell (8 lectures) The Cell Concept; cell types and variety; membrane systems structure and function; membrane transport and receptor systems; cytoskeleton, cell junctions and extracellular matrix; cell cycles and apoptosis.
  • BSX-1028: Tutorials Year 1 (20) or
    BSC-1028: Tiwtorialau Blwyddyn 1 (20)
  • BSX-1030: Practical Skills 1 (20)

Semester 2

  • DNS-1003: Ecology & Evolution (20)
  • BNS-1004: Principles of Life 1
    The Chemistry of Life. (17 lectures) Metabolites in the service of man. From vitalism to the metabolome. The molecular origin of life. Molecular building blocks and their properties. Metabolic networks and key metabolic pathways. Enzyme thermodynamics. Protein properties and functions. The Molecular Basis of Inheritance. (13 lectures) Nucleic Acids: Structure and Function. DNA and RNA as molecules of heredity: Structure of the double helix; Base pairing rules. Genomic and in vitro DNA replication. Transcription. Synthesis of mRNA. Promoters and Terminators. Post-transcriptional processing and regulation. Translation: Overview of protein synthesis: Ribosomes as "protein factories". Post-translational processing and targeting. Principles of Genetic Engineering. An introduction to recombinant DNA technology. Topics covered include cloning, strategies; the use of plasmid and bacteriophage vectors, transformation of cells with foreign DNA, construction and screening of gene libraries and the polymerase chain reaction. The lectures will end with an examination of two well known examples of plant and animal genetic engineering. The Cell (8 lectures) The Cell Concept; cell types and variety; membrane systems structure and function; membrane transport and receptor systems; cytoskeleton, cell junctions and extracellular matrix; cell cycles and apoptosis.
  • BSX-1028: Tutorials Year 1 or
    BSC-1028: Tiwtorialau Blwyddyn 1
  • BSX-1031: Practical Skills 2 (20) or
    BSC-1031: Practical Skills 2 (20)

Year 2 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BNS-2002: Evolution & Genetics (20)
    Evolution by natural selection, heredity, genetic variation, the Hardy Weinberg model, gene flow, random genetic drift and selective processes, population differentiation, taxonomy and biodiversity, micro- and macro-evolutionary processes. Specific attention is paid to the design of field and experimental studies using a range of case studies to elucidate the drivers of evolutionary change.
  • BSX-2021: BioScience Skills (20)
    The module will be delivered in four key components: 1. Public understanding of Science (critical thinking). Studies will undertake a range of exercises, including computer-based learning, where they will critically review scientific articles from a variety of sources (TV, media, scientific journals, blogs). Students will consider; errors in scientific literature; scientific methodology; experimental design; use and abuse of statistical results; erroneous and misleading presentation of results; the quality of different sources of information. Topics may include climate change, alternative medicine, creationism, health and disease. Students will also take part in group discussions, debates and write scientific blogs. 2. Scientific writing (literacy skills) Students will attend a 1-hour introductory lecture on scientific writing. A list of degree programme and subject-specific essay titles will be made available on Blackboard. Students will choose one essay title to complete. Computer assisted learning (CAL) - a comprehensive suite of supporting materials will be made available for students on the Blackboard site (e.g. tips on how to write essays, grammar and comprehension, referencing and example essays). 3. Problem-based learning (creative thinking) Delivered as 2 x 1-hour workshops (in groups of ca. 8) with a member of academic staff or trained postgraduate demonstrator and a 2-hour mini conference in which 5 groups will convene to provide a 10 minute oral presentation (with questions) on their project. Students will be provided with a real-life scenario (degree programme and subject-specific) ahead of the first workshop. Students will be asked to; consider interesting research questions; frame hypotheses; design appropriate tests for hypotheses; consider data collection and analysis; consider possible interpretations and future research avenues. These will be discussed in the workshops. 4. Planning for 3rd year project (practical/planning skills) Interaction between student and academic project supervisor in up to 3 x tutorial sessions. Tutorial sessions will identify the specific aim and objectives of the project and develop a project plan.

Semester 2

  • BSX-2018: Behavioural Ecology (20)
    The module will cover key aspects of animal behaviour and will include: Theory on the development of animal behaviour, learning and cognition, social behaviour, economic decision making, sexual selection, mating systems, sexual conflict and parental care. A considerable emphasis will also be placed on practical observation of animal behaviour and how this can be used to frame and test hypotheses to enhance our understanding of the field.
  • BSX-2021: BioScience Skills
    The module will be delivered in four key components: 1. Public understanding of Science (critical thinking). Studies will undertake a range of exercises, including computer-based learning, where they will critically review scientific articles from a variety of sources (TV, media, scientific journals, blogs). Students will consider; errors in scientific literature; scientific methodology; experimental design; use and abuse of statistical results; erroneous and misleading presentation of results; the quality of different sources of information. Topics may include climate change, alternative medicine, creationism, health and disease. Students will also take part in group discussions, debates and write scientific blogs. 2. Scientific writing (literacy skills) Students will attend a 1-hour introductory lecture on scientific writing. A list of degree programme and subject-specific essay titles will be made available on Blackboard. Students will choose one essay title to complete. Computer assisted learning (CAL) - a comprehensive suite of supporting materials will be made available for students on the Blackboard site (e.g. tips on how to write essays, grammar and comprehension, referencing and example essays). 3. Problem-based learning (creative thinking) Delivered as 2 x 1-hour workshops (in groups of ca. 8) with a member of academic staff or trained postgraduate demonstrator and a 2-hour mini conference in which 5 groups will convene to provide a 10 minute oral presentation (with questions) on their project. Students will be provided with a real-life scenario (degree programme and subject-specific) ahead of the first workshop. Students will be asked to; consider interesting research questions; frame hypotheses; design appropriate tests for hypotheses; consider data collection and analysis; consider possible interpretations and future research avenues. These will be discussed in the workshops. 4. Planning for 3rd year project (practical/planning skills) Interaction between student and academic project supervisor in up to 3 x tutorial sessions. Tutorial sessions will identify the specific aim and objectives of the project and develop a project plan.

Optional Modules

40 to 60 credits from:

  • BSX-2017: Invertebrates (20) (Semester 2)
    Formative feedback Lectures: four sessions (4 x 1 hour) one each led by Braig, Malhotra, Malham and Wüster Practical reports: one session involving peer review and feedback led by Wüster and Braig
  • BSX-2019: Principles of Life 2 (20) (Semester 1)
    The lectures build on the 1st year "Cellular and Molecular Biology" module. They discuss DNA, RNA, proteins (including enzymes), metabolism and valuable metabolites in more detail. Subjects covered are: DNA replication, stability and inheritance; transcription and translation; post-translational modification of proteins; genome organisation; techniques utilised for the study of DNA, RNA and proteins. Biochemical topics include structure/function relationships, enzyme mechanisms, bioenergetics, metabolism and valuable metabolic products. The applied molecular biology practicals are designed to give experience in applied molecular methodologies covering a range of key technologies (isolation of human DNA from cheek cells, restriction enzyme digestion of DNA, agarose gel electrophoresis, the polymerase chain reaction, and the use of PCR to identify introns). The applied biochemistry practicals consist of two 3 hour practicals on enzyme kinetics, and will include a replication of the Jacob-Monod experiment, time courses to demonstrate vo = f[E] and replication of the Michaelis-Menten experiment.
  • BSX-2022: Vertebrate Biology (20) (Semester 1)
    This module traces the origins of vertebrates and follows the subsequent major advances in the evolution of aquatic, terrestrial and aerial groups. Themes given particular emphasis include: evolution, diversity, feeding, respiration (aquatic and aerial), locomotion (aquatic, terrestrial and flight) and reproduction. This module should be of general interest to all animal biologists but with an emphasis on terrestrial groups. The module will include 5 practical classes, comprising 3 on animal diversity (herpetology, birds and mammals, based on the museum collection), 1 chicken dissection (looking at locomotor, reproductive and digestive adaptations) and 1 on fish diversity in form and function.
  • BSX-2025: Field Courses (20) (Semester 1 + 2)
    Prepare for field courses by background reading (generally including preparing, presenting and attending peer-group presentations under the supervision of staff). Carry out field excursions to habitats normally including both managed and unmanaged environments. Learn about flora, fauna and conservation issues by a variety of means, normally including personal observations, talks by BU and local staff, signage and local interpretative centres and leaflets. Observe and record animal behaviour and habitat by various means including photography, video, audio recording and sketching. Where permitted and directed by staff, collect material for preservation and identification, including living plant and animal specimens, remains (e.g. shells, seed pods, tracks), photographs etc. Carry out species identification using field guides and keys. In some cases, quantitative ecological or ethological sampling may be carried out and data analysed quantitatively. Following excursions, there will normally be a review session, sharing experiences and summarising observations. At the end of the fieldwork, an assignment will be set which will include data, observations or material collected from the field.
  • BSX-2028: Introduction to Herpetology (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-2030: Integrated Zoology (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-2022 is a pre-requisite for BSX-3144.

0 to 20 credits from:

  • DXX-2003: Principles of Conservation (20) (Semester 1)
    • The need for nature conservation and the nature of conservation • Patterns of global biodiversity • Extinction crisis and habitat loss • Small population biology • Harvesting theory • Invasive species control •Strategies for Ex situ conservation • Species reintroductions • The need for habitat conservation • Island biogeography • Selecting sites for protection • Managing protected areas • Integrating social and economic factors in conservation • Responding to climate change and pollution
  • DXX-2009: Conservation Practice (20) (Semester 2)
    Understanding conservation responses Community-conservation Efficacy of agri-environment schemes The role of international NGOs International agreements (CBD, Ramsar, EU Habitats and birds directive), To provide training in some of the skills used by professional conservationists Conservation monitoring (some theory eg type I and type I errors, the concept of power) and introduction to some UK based and international schemes. Study design and experimental design for conservation biology and ecology (stratification, precision and bias); Estimating population size (quadrats, mark and recapture, distance sampling, territory mapping); Measuring biodiversity across scales (diversity indices); Management planning and measurable indicators of conservation state including, including common standards monitoring and compliance monitoring.

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

Semester 2

Optional Modules

40 credits from:

  • BNS-3003: Freshwater Ecosystems 2 (20) (Semester 1)
    Introduction to freshwater ecosystems. Habitat type: Plants & algae, physical & chemical characteristics, geomorphology/hydrology & structure of freshwater ecosystems. Classification of lakes, rivers & wetlands. Freshwater communities & relationships Human impacts on freshwaters & approaches to conservation & restoration. Fisheries ecology, life assessment and management & fisheries economics Ecosystem services and their management
  • BSX-3139: Molecular Ecology & Evolution (20) (Semester 1)
    In the past few decades, molecular genetics has become one of the fastest growing fields in the life sciences. The application of molecular methods has spread to virtually all fields of modern biology, including ecology, conservation, breeding and natural resource management, leading to the establishment of Molecular Ecology. With the expansion of the application of molecular tools, it has become crucial that all biologists have a basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology, and the application of molecular tools to the detection of kin, the identification of isolated populations, the ability of populations to adapt to environmental change, and conservation genetics. The course takes advantage of the considerable research activity and expertise in molecular ecology and evolution within the School of Biological Sciences at Bangor. The focus will be on how recent advances in primarily DNA-based tools can be used at the population and species level to explore the dynamics of biodiversity in a changing world, including a consideration of the range of molecular tools available, the analysis of population structure and adaptation in the wild, genomic approaches to the analysis of species and community diversity, aspects of behavioural ecology, conservation genetics and the management of exploited species. Although the course requires grounding in basic principles of genetics and evolutionary biology, the course aims to explain how molecular tools can assist in our understanding of whole-organism biology (e.g. behaviour, life history, dispersal), and the strategies that are available for conservation and management of taxa in the wild.
  • BSX-3144: Animal Survival Strategies (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will concentrate on the behavioural and physiological strategies shown by animals to either avoid or survive extreme environments. Consideration will be given to those organisms that are able to survive extremes of environmental temperature and dehydration stress as well as reductions in oxygen levels. The module will describe ways in which animals avoid the extremes of environmental variation by showing rhythmic behaviour patterns, either on a daily, annual, or lunar basis. Avoidance strategies, such as torpor, hibernation and migration will also be covered. Case studies will be used throughout and include both invertebrate and vertebrate examples from a diversity of habitats.
  • BSX-3150: Life in a Changing Climate (20) (Semester 2)
    The course will cover how climate change and aspects of zoology and biodiversity are connected and how they interact. Social implications of these factors will also be covered, along with potential ecosystem conservation and management practises needed to cope with a changing climate. Wetlands will be used as climate change case study.
  • BSX-3152: Life in Wetlands (20) (Semester 2)
    Wetland determination and delineation will be covered in detail, along with global wetland classifications. The wildlife of wetlands, with particular emphasis on animal species, will be a key part in many of the lectures and sessions. This area will also include specific zoological adaptations to cope with the stresses created by wetland conditions. Crucial wetland-biogeochemical cycles will be explained and the importance of wetlands, in terms of the ecosystem services they provide will be covered in-depth.
  • BSX-3153: Primatology (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3154: Attack and Defence in Plants (20) (Semester 2)
  • BSX-3157: Ornithology (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3159: Parasites & Pathogens (Yr3) (20) (Semester 1)
  • BSX-3161: Human Evolutionary Biology (20) (Semester 2)

Year 4 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • BSM-4000: Masters Research Project (100)
    The research project MBiol/Zoology will allow students to develop their experimental skills to a high level and it will enable students to plan, execute and analyse hypothesis-bases research in the field or laboratory. Before the first month of the course, students have to plan the research project in collaboration with the supervisor. The written research plan is expected to be submitted in the first month and cover (i) underlying rationale, (ii) specific objectives of the project, (iii) methodology and approach, (iv) management of the project and resources, (v) programme of research and (vi) justification of resources. In the first few weeks students are expected to make an oral presentation of the planned project to explain background and rationale, overall methodology and hypotheses and anticipated outcomes of the project. For the dissertation, data collection in the field or in the laboratory or by in silico methods would generally be done between October and March. Depending on the type of project, data collection could start earlier after the end of the third year and after having submitted the research plan. The experimental work would be generally followed by two months of data analysis and writing up. The final results would be presented in a written dissertation, which should follow the format of a research publication, and the final oral presentation.
  • ONS-4004: Advanced Research Skills (20)
    The course will cover the duties of employees and employers under relevant Health and Safety and environmental legislation and consider strategies of waste reduction and management. Training will be given in identifying a wide range of biological, chemical and physical hazards and hierarchical strategies of risk control. Students will consider a number of relevant case studies to enhance their ability to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments. Work related upper limb disorders, associated with improper use of DSE , will be described and training given in how to carry out DSE assessments. All students will follow a core program of lectures that will provide training in techniques of experimental design and analysis that are applicable to a wide variety of situations. In addition, students will consider specialised techniques of data analysis relevant to their chosen field of study; Oceanography students – advanced mathematics, MATLAB and modelling Biology students – Parametric, non-parametric, univariate and multivariate statistics. Students will work in groups to plan and implement a field survey, taking into account experimental design, logistics and Health and Safety. They will present a written scientific paper to report the review of literature, development of hypotheses, analysis of results and conclusions drawn.

Semester 2

  • BSM-4000: Masters Research Project
    The research project MBiol/Zoology will allow students to develop their experimental skills to a high level and it will enable students to plan, execute and analyse hypothesis-bases research in the field or laboratory. Before the first month of the course, students have to plan the research project in collaboration with the supervisor. The written research plan is expected to be submitted in the first month and cover (i) underlying rationale, (ii) specific objectives of the project, (iii) methodology and approach, (iv) management of the project and resources, (v) programme of research and (vi) justification of resources. In the first few weeks students are expected to make an oral presentation of the planned project to explain background and rationale, overall methodology and hypotheses and anticipated outcomes of the project. For the dissertation, data collection in the field or in the laboratory or by in silico methods would generally be done between October and March. Depending on the type of project, data collection could start earlier after the end of the third year and after having submitted the research plan. The experimental work would be generally followed by two months of data analysis and writing up. The final results would be presented in a written dissertation, which should follow the format of a research publication, and the final oral presentation.