Courses & Units

Conservation Physiology and Disease Ecology KPZ306


This unit will provide you with, first, a strong grounding in the physiology of reproduction, stress and disease ecology in higher vertebrates. You will develop your understanding of how knowledge of a species' physiology and behaviour, particularly in relation to reproduction, is critical to the implementation of sound conservation strategies and captive management. Retaining the theme of conservation management, you will gain an appreciation of the importance of understanding disease ecology and epidemiology for conservation. Fundamental topics covered will include: sexual differentiation; physiology of gestation and lactation in eutherian and marsupial mammals; comparative endocrinology of reproduction in birds and reptiles; adrenal physiology; the stress response; the transmission of infectious disease; causes of disease emergence in wildlife; and disease control. You will consider special topics including: ethical considerations in animal research: reproductive technologies; stress effects on reproduction; non-invasive hormone monitoring; endocrine disruptors; disease surveillance; exposure versus infection; and understanding disease dynamics. In practical classes you will gain hands-on experience in relevant laboratory and theoretical research techniques. Assignments will develop your ability to access primary literature and to critique and apply such information in relevant conservation scenarios, and will improve your understanding of experimental design and analysis, and your scientific communication skills. This unit is a requirement in the Zoology major.


Unit name Conservation Physiology and Disease Ecology
Unit code KPZ306
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Biological Sciences
Coordinator Doctor Ashley Edwards
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Advanced


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • explain the physiology, reproduction, stress and disease ecology of terrestrial vertebrates;
  • identify appropriate field and laboratory techniques for gathering information relevant to a range of conservation scenarios;
  • make and explain decisions regarding the conservation and captive breeding of terrestrial vertebrates by applying fundamental knowledge;
  • communicate effectively using a range of formats relevant to professional scientists;
  • justify the use of animals in research from an ethical perspective.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010915 $1,118.00 $1,118.00 not applicable $2,596.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KZA212 Functional Biology of Animals


Teaching Pattern

equivalent of 2 hours of lecture material (prerecorded and available in MyLO) plus 1 x 3 hr face to face practical session each week

AssessmentEthics lay summary (10%)|Discussion Paper (12.5%)|Poster Presentation (12.5%)|Critical Review (25%)|Final exam (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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