Biology Online Module Handbook

BL4232 Neuroethology

(BL4232 online module handbook version 12)

cover image

image: Snake showing thermosensitive pit organ between eye and nostril (photo: Steve Kharmawphlang, CC-BY-2 licence)

Neuroethology is the study of the neural control of natural animal behaviour from a comparative biological perspective. In this module we focus mainly on behaviours arising from the interactions between predators and their prey. Predators and prey are locked in an evolutionary arms race which continuously refines and improves the abilities of predators to locate and capture prey, and of prey to detect and evade predators. This strong selective pressure has produced some spectacular adaptations in both the nervous systems and the overall anatomy of the animals concerned. This, combined with the usually unambiguous motivation of the animals involved in predator-prey interactions (eat or starve, escape or be eaten) has made such adaptations favoured targets for study by neuroscientists, behavioural scientists, and biomechanicists. Students on this module will undertake a series of guided case studies researching the primary literature, and the module will also include some hands-on laboratory work. The aim is both to uncover some general principles of neural and biomechanical organisation, and also to reveal the variety and ingenuity with which evolution has found different solutions to shared problems.*

Credits: 15*

Semester: 1

Module Organiser
Dr Bill Heitler
wjh@st-andrews.ac.uk
01334 463490
Pre-requisite Modules:
BEFORE TAKING THIS MODULE YOU MUST PASS BL2101. BEFORE TAKING THIS MODULE YOU SHOULD PASS BL2101*
Anti-requisite Modules:
None*
Post-requisite Modules:
*
Additional Module Information:
Please check MMS regularly for additional module information


Biology Teaching Office:
Room 1.17, Biomolecular Sciences Building, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9ST

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

BL4232: Timetable

Legend (not all modules have every event type):
lecture
tutorial
workshop
practical
other

Semester 1: Week 1

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
22-09-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Lecture L1: Introduction
2017-8_BL4232_L1

Semester 1: Week 2

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Thursday
28-09-2017
11:00 to 13:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Lecture L2: TBA
2017-8_BL4232_L2

Semester 1: Week 3

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
06-10-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C28
Prof Keith Sillar

Lecture L3: TBA
2017-8_BL4232_L3

Semester 1: Week 4

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
13-10-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C26
Prof Keith Sillar

Workshop W1: student led journal club
2017-8_BL4232_W1

Semester 1: Week 5

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
20-10-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Other
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Workshop W2: student led journal club
2017-8_BL4232_W2

Semester 1: Week 7

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
03-11-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C26
Dr Bill Heitler

Workshop W3: student led journal club
2017-8_BL4232_W3

Semester 1: Week 8

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Thursday
09-11-2017
14:00 to 17:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Practical P1: Motor programmes
2017-8_BL4232_P1

Semester 1: Week 9

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
17-11-2017
14:00 to 17:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Practical P2: Motor programmes
2017-8_BL4232_P2

Semester 1: Week 10

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
24-11-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Workshop W4: student led journal club
2017-8_BL4232_W4

Semester 1: Week 11

DATE & TIMEVENUESTAFFEVENT
Friday
01-12-2017
14:00 to 16:00
Bute Building
C28
Dr Bill Heitler

Workshop W5: student led journal club
2017-8_BL4232_W5
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)

BL4232: Reading List

Click for BL4232 reading list

BL4232: Assessment

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

Assessment:
powerpoint
Due by:
Feedback due by:
Type:
Single Upload
Weight:
0%
Assessment:
Essay
Due by:
30/10/2017 23:59
Feedback due by:
20/11/2017 23:59
Type:
Single Upload
Weight:
50%
Assessment:
Practical report
Due by:
29/11/2017 23:59
Feedback due by:
20/12/2017 23:59
Type:
Single Upload
Weight:
50%

(MMS assessment data cached: 17 November 2017 23:20:14.)


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 Bill Heitler wjh@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on continuous assessment The Demonstrator or Module Organiser (Dr Bill Heitler wjh@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Marking on exams Module Organiser (Dr Bill Heitler wjh@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Rearranging practical days Grant Brown
Absence and/or extensions Module Organiser (Dr Bill Heitler wjh@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:

Room 1.17, Biomolecular Sciences Building, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9ST

Email: bioteach@st-andrews.ac.uk

Tel: 01334 463602

BL4232: Contributing Staff

Dr Bill Heitler

Dr Bill Heitler
(Module Organiser)

Readerwjh@st-andrews.ac.uk
Dr Bill HeitlerDr Bill Heitler
(Module Organiser)
Readerwjh@st-andrews.ac.uk
Prof Keith SillarProf Keith SillarProfessor of Neurosciencekts1@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)

BL4232: Learning Outcomes

Neuroethology is the study of the neural control of natural animal behaviour from an evolutionary and comparative biology perspective. The module concentrates on the interactions between predators and prey.

Students completing module BL4232 successfully should be able to:

  • appreciate how animals detect the presence of other animals, using senses such as vision, hearing, olfaction and special senses such as electric fields
  • understand the neural basis of cost-benefit analyses regarding whether to attack or ignore (predators) or escape or freeze (prey)
  • know specific examples of how motor output is controlled to achieve attack or escape in an appropriate direction
  • understand the neural and biomechanical mechanisms underlying the generation of extremely rapid responses
  • appreciate the role of neurotoxins in predation and defence against predators
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)

BL4232: Acquired Skills

Practical Skills

    Transferable Skills

    • Group discussion - participating
    • Long individual presentation on given topic (>15 min)
    • "Short" practical write-up (e.g. completed worksheet)
    • Review article on given topic
    • Finding literature
    • Produce graphs/figures
    • Produce tables
    • Use other data analysis software
    • Lab or field notebook
    • 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)