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.


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 Plant Science|Zoology
Coordinator Doctor Ashley Edwards
Teaching staff Professor Elissa Cameron|Doctor Scott Carver
Available as student 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 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* 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 (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2021 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2021 will be available from the 1st October 2020.

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.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010915 $993.00 $993.00 not applicable $2,354.00
  • Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
  • HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
  • FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for 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 this page to get an indicative course cost.



Admission into a Masters course OR KZA212 Functional Biology of Animals


Teaching Pattern

1 x 2-hour lecture and 1 x 3-hour practical each week

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



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

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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