Course Description

Course Name

Environmental Physiology

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

54 200-level points from Science Schedule C

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Environment and reproduction; how invertebrates survive extreme environmental conditions; cell communication and stress physiology.

Environmental physiology embraces many disciplines of animal physiology and the effect of environmental variables on animal functions. This paper focuses on the physiological and endocrine mechanisms that permit animals to survive in different environments. Topics covered include environmental influences on reproduction and growth; ways through which cells can communicate with one another; metamorphosis and stress; survival of extreme environmental stress (cold tolerance and anhydrobiosis); and parasite physiology. The paper draws examples from a wide variety of taxa to emphasise the principles that unify environmental and evolutionary physiology at all levels, from molecular to whole organism.

Course Structure
The course consists of a lecture and a laboratory component, including a group research project.
Topics covered include:
-Environmental influences on reproduction and growth
-The physiology of stress
-Extreme environments and parasite physiology

Learning Outcomes
An understanding of the adaptations that have evolved in animals that enable them to survive, grow and reproduce in a wide variety of environments

*Course content subject to change