Biology Online Module Handbook

BL2308 Vertebrate Zoology

(BL2308 online module handbook version 23)

cover image

image: A group of meerkats (Suricata suricatta), one of the most cooperative vertebrates with a complex social structure and highly developed parental care (AnetaPics/Shutterstock)

This module will explore the diversity of vertebrate animals, beginning with the closest relatives of vertebrates and the evolutionary origins of the group. A detailed look at the defining characteristics of the body plans and lifestyles of the key vertebrate groups will illustrate how they carry out basic animal functions in similar or different ways. This will be put in an evolutionary context to reveal the patterns and trends in the vertebrates as a whole, while also highlighting current phylogenetic controversies. The module will then explore some common themes across the key groups, starting with the developmental biology of some vertebrate model systems and the lessons we can learn from these. We will also see how the highly developed brains of vertebrates have allowed the evolution of astonishing sensory capacities and of complex behaviours, and how these are different (or not) from invertebrates.*

Credits: 15*

Semester: 2

Module Organiser
Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff
vdb@st-andrews.ac.uk
01334 464812
Pre-requisite Modules:
Before taking this module you must pass BL1101 and pass BL1102*
Anti-requisite Modules:
You cannot take this module if you take BL2102*
Post-requisite Modules:
*
Additional Module Information:
Please check MMS regularly for additional module information


Biology Teaching Office:
The Biology Hive, New Technology Centre, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SR

Email: bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk      Tel: 01334  463602

BL2308: Timetable

No details are currently available for BL2308 Timetable

Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL2308: Assessment

2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%*

(MMS assessment data cached: 15 November 2018 23:20:10.)


The following related information applies to all Biology modules:

School of Biology Marking Criteria: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
Late submission of continuous assessment work:

All late submissions of coursework that do not require electronic submission should be made via the late submissions box in the Biomolecular Science Building (beside the Teaching Office)
Exam details: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
Exam timetable: see http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/academic/examinations/examtimetablescurrent/
Expected attendance: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook for detailed attendance requirements.
Good Academic Practice & Avoiding Academic Misconduct: See School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook
University Student Handbook: University Student Handbook
School and University regulations in the School and University Undergraduate Handbook relating to absence reporting, penalties and rules for late submission of work, extensions for coursework, return of coursework, S-coding, good academic practice and Academic Alerts.: School of Biology Undergraduate Handbook University Student Handbook
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

Who to ask

(Information in this section applies to all Biology Modules)

Questions about different aspects of the module should be directed to different people:

Questions about Contact
General teaching matters Biology Teaching Office ( bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk )
Rescheduled or cancelled events Check your University email
Lecture or practical content The lecturer who presented the material
Completing assessed practical assignments The lecturer who set the assignment
Completing assessments Module Organiser (Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff vdb@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on continuous assessment The Demonstrator or Module Organiser (Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff vdb@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on exams Module Organiser (Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff vdb@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Rearranging practical days Grant Brown
Absence and/or extensions Module Organiser (Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff vdb@st-andrews.ac.uk) and the Biology Teaching Office ( bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk )

Difficulties with academic progress which impact more than one module:

Year Coordinator

See School of Biology Undergraduate student handbook for list: http://biology.st-andrews.ac.uk/documents/UndergraduateHandbook.pdf

Overall performance, progress or future directions:

Advisor of Studies

Disability:

Disability Coordinator (Dr Jacqueline Nairn jn37@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Biology Teaching Office:

The Biology Hive, New Technology Centre, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SR

Email: bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk

Tel: 01334 463602

BL2308: Contributing Staff

Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff

Dr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff
(Module Organiser)

Teaching Fellowvdb@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Marcus BischoffDr Marcus BischoffLecturermb273@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Verena Dietrich-BischoffDr Verena Dietrich-Bischoff
(Module Organiser)
Teaching Fellowvdb@st-andrews.ac.uk
Prof Susan HealyProf Susan HealyProfessorsdh11@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Iain MatthewsDr Iain MatthewsSenior Teaching Fellow & Pro-Dean for the Faculty of Scienceimm7@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Charles PaxtonDr Charles PaxtonResearch Fellowcgp2@st-andrews.ac.uk
Prof Graeme RuxtonProf Graeme RuxtonProfessorgr41@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr V Anne SmithDr V Anne SmithSenior Lecturervas1@st-andrews.ac.uk
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL2308: Learning Outcomes

Students completing module BL2308 successfully should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an overview of vertebrate phylogeny
  • Appreciate the controversies involved in phylogenetic reconstruction
  • Identify the defining features of the key vertebrate groups
  • Appreciate how representatives from the key vertebrate groups carry out basic animal functions in similar or different ways
  • Discuss sensory and behavioural capacities of vertebrates
  • Discuss the use of vertebrates in research and the ethical implications
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

BL2308: Acquired Skills

Practical Skills

  • Biological drawing and photography
  • Purpose and practice of dissection
  • Stereomicroscopy

Transferable Skills

  • Group discussion - leading
  • Group discussion - participating
  • Long group presentation on given topic (>15 min)
  • Short informal presentation (using PowerPoint or not)
  • "Short" practical write-up (e.g. completed worksheet)
  • Critically evaluating sources/information
  • Finding information on the web
  • Finding literature
  • Referencing
  • Searching databases
  • Sourcing figures/tables
  • Ethical considerations
  • Peer assessment
  • Problem-solving questions
  • Data analysis
  • Data presentation
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Produce graphs/figures
  • Produce tables
  • Use Excel
  • Use R or R Studio
  • Lab or field notebook
  • Generate class dataset
  • Managing a team
  • Organising group work
  • Working in pairs/small groups
Data Sources: information in this online module handbook is gathered from several sources.
Small footnote marks beside content, or by section titles indicate the source.
* University of St Andrews Module Catalogue
School of Biology Symbiosis Database (module organisers only)
University of St Andrews MMS (St Andrews users only)

Policies

(Information in this section applies to all Biology Modules)