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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 effect 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,and will improve your understanding of experimental design and analysis, and your scientific communication skills.

Summary 2021

Unit name Conservation Physiology and Disease Ecology
Unit code KPZ306
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Plant Science|Zoology

Dr Ashley Edwards

Teaching staff

Prof Elissa Cameron, Dr Scott Carver

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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Teaching Pattern

2 hr lecture and 3 hour practical each week


Internal assessment (60%) comprising:  ethics assignment (12.5%), critical review essay (25%), discussion paper (12.5%), poster (10%).  Final exam (3-hours) (40%).

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