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Undergraduate Study

Second Year Courses

BIO2010F    Principles of Ecology and Evolution

A compulsory weekend fieldtrip

24 NQF credits at HEQSF level 6

Convener: Associate Professor G A Verboom

Course entry requirements: BIO1000F or BIO1000H, BIO1004F/S, DP for STA1007S

Course outline:

This course examines how species evolved and adapted to the environments in which they live. Topics include an introduction to evolution; natural selection; inheritance and genetics; ecology at the community, population and individual levels; and an introduction to plant-animal interactions. The formal lectures and practicals are supported by a two-day compulsory field camp.

Lecture times: Monday - Friday, 1st period, Practicals: One per week, Monday, 14h00 - 17h00. Attendance is compulsory for all lectures and practicals.

DP requirements: 40% for class record, submission of assignments on schedule, and attendance at a weekend field camp.

Assessment: A 3-hour examination, written in June, with a sub-minimum of 40% will count for 50% of the course. Coursework marks will be allocated as follows: Practical classes (assessed weekly) count 20%; project based on field camp data collection counts 10%; two class tests count 20%.


 

BIO2011S    Life on Land: Animals

A compulsory fieldtrip during the September vacation.

24 NQF credits at HEQSF level 6

Convener: Dr G Bronner

Course entry requirements: BIO1000F or BIO1000H, BIO1004F/S.

Course outline:

This course familiarises students with the evolution, functional biology and physiology of invertebrates and vertebrate animals living in terrestrial environments. It covers the diversity and life styles of land animals (particularly myriapods, arachnids, insects and tetrapod vertebrates), and pays special attention to the major adaptations required for life on land.

Lecture times: Monday - Friday, 3rd period, Practicals: One per week, Monday, 14h00 - 17h00 (some repeated Tuesday, 14h00 - 17h00). Attendance is compulsory for all lectures and practicals.

DP requirements: Attendance of at least 80% of lectures and 100% of practicals; 40% for class record; submission of assignments on schedule and attendance at a 4 day field camp held during the September vacation.

Assessment: A 3-hour theory and practical examination written in November, with a subminimum of 40% will count 50% of the course mark. Coursework marks will be allocated as follows: Practical classes (assessed weekly) count 15%; project based on field camp data counts 15%; two class tests together count 20%.


 

BIO2012S    Life on Land: Plants

A compulsory five-day field excursion.

24 NQF credits at HEQSF level 6

Convener: Dr S B M Chimphango

Course entry requirements: BIO1000F or BIO1000H, BIO1004F/S

Course outline:

Terrestrial plants inhabit a broad range of environments, that are distinguished by their abiotic (e.g. light, temperature, water, nutrients) and biotic (e.g. animals, plants, microbes) features. Adaptation to contrasting habitats has generated a diversity of form in plants, as well as a fascinating array of ecophysiological and ecological strategies. Starting with roots, stems and leaves, and finishing with reproductive structures (flowers and seeds) and life-histories, this course explores plant structure and function, and the manner in which this has changed through the course of evolutionary history. This is followed by an introduction to the diversity of vascular plants, with an emphasis on flowering plants, particularly those that typify the Cape flora. Finally, the biology of bryophytes (mosses and relatives) is considered, highlighting the very different solutions they employ for a life on land.

Lecture times: Monday - Friday, 2nd period, Practicals: One per week, Thursday, 14h00 - 17h00. Attendance is compulsory for all lectures and practicals.

DP requirements: Minimum of 40% for class record and attendance at practicals and five-day field camp.

Assessment: A 3-hour examination written in November, with a subminimum of 40%, will count 50% of the course. Coursework marks will be allocated as follows: Practical classes (assessed weekly) count 20%, project based on field camp data collection counts 10%; two class tests count 20%.


 

BIO2013F    Life in the Sea

A compulsory four-day fieldtrip during the April vacation.

24 NQF credits at HEQSF level 6

Convener: Dr D Pillay

Course entry requirements: BIO1000F or BIO1000H, BIO1004F/S, DP for STA1007S

Course outline:

The Life in the Sea course is intended to introduce students to the diversity of life present in oceans, including the invertebrates, vertebrates and plants. It will focus on adaptations of form to function (locomotion, reproduction, feeding) and to habitat (rocky shore, open ocean, sedimentary). The course is also intended to familiarise students with biophysical processes that influence life in the oceans.

Lecture times: Monday - Friday, 3rd period, Practicals: Wednesday, 14h00 - 17h00. Attendance is compulsory for all lectures and practicals.

DP requirements: 50% for class record; submission of assignments on schedule; attendance at field camp.

Assessment: A 3-hour examination, written in June, with a subminimum of 40% will count for 50% of the course. Coursework marks will be allocated as follows: Practical classes (assessed weekly) count 20%; project counts 10%; two class tests count 20%.