|02240704||Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences|
|Minimum duration of study: 1 year||Total credits: 135|
Renewal of registration
In calculating marks, General Regulation G.12.2 applies.
Apart from the prescribed coursework, a research project is an integral part of the study.
In addition to the requirements of General Regulations G.1.3 and G.62, an appropriate bachelor's degree is a prerequisite: a candidate with an average of less than 65% in the major subjects in the final year of the bachelor’s degree, will only be admitted with the approval of the Dean on the recommendation of the Head of Department. Additional conditions may be prescribed by the head of Department.
A pass mark is required for all the components of the honours study programme.
Minimum credits: 135
Minimum credits: 135
Core credits: 81
Elective credits: 54
The principles of experimental design as required for the selection of an appropriate research design. Identification of the design limitations and the impact thereof on the research hypotheses and the statistical methods. Identification and application of the appropriate statistical methods needed. Interpreting of statistical results and translating these results to the biological context.
Basic skills in philosophy of science; research planning; scientific writing; scientific public speaking; an essay, two oral presentations, prescribed reading and an oral exam.
The object of this module is to introduce students to several contemporary problem areas in systematics, evolutionary theory and biogeography, and to use this as a basis for exploring current approaches and methods in systematics.
Photoperiodism and chronobiology – the ability of animals to measure daylength, the concept of circadian rhythm and the nature of the clock which drives such processes. Water availability and temperature – physiological responses of animals to changing water availability and temperature in the context of global climate change. Regulation of reproduction – physiological mechanisms which couple reproduction to external and internal environmental factors.
The module focuses on forces that drive population and community patterns and processes across temporal and spatial scales. Attention is given to the scientific application of ecological and macro-ecological principles that relate to short- and long-term population and community responses to environmental change. Group discussions based on current literature provide opportunities to apply theoretical principles to problem solving.
Pest outbreaks and the practice of integrated pest management using different control methods; philosophy of IPM; socio-economic implications; politics and legislation; pest models; decision tools and techniques.
Contemporary issues in mammal ecology; the focus will be on current understanding at individual, population, community and ecosystem levels.
The use of ecological and evolutionary processes to explain the occurrence and adaptive significance of behaviour patterns. Empirical, comparative analyses relating behaviour to environment will be addressed, including the use of behavioural processes to predict ecological patterns.
An overview of the complex world of insect-plant interactions. Insects and plants have co-occurred and co-evolved on this planet for at least 400 million years, and in many systems insects are the primary consumers of plant tissue. The diverse strategies and counter-strategies that have evolved at the interface between herbivory and plant defences will be examined, using case studies and applying unifying theory wherever possible.
The module aims to provide students with an understanding of global climate change and its impact on the conservation of biodiversity.
Stable isotope ecology – applications of stable isotope-based techniques in zoological research, including (i) tracking animal movements, (ii) dietary reconstruction, (iii) delineation of trophic levels, (iv) tracing nutrient allocation to reproduction, (v) forensic applications, and (vi) doubly-labelled water and water tracer applications. Stress hormones – the spectrum of stress molecules, how they are regulated, what their impacts are, and how they are measured to reflect acute and chronic stress. Photogrammetry – (i) appropriate equipment for photogrammetry, (ii) photographic techniques for photogrammetric use, (iii) photogrammetry software, (iv) building three-dimensional models, (v) measuring models. Applications of molecular biology to conservation genetics, infectious disease epidemiology and ecology, forensics (host and pathogen-based) and diagnostics.
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