< EBIO263 : Environmental Physiology

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EBIO263 : Environmental Physiology

Year:13/14
Department:Lancaster Environment Centre
Level:Part II (yr 2)
Learning Hours:150
Credit Points:15
Weight:0.5
Course Convenor:Professor BG Forde
Status:Live

Syllabus Rules

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The student must take the following modules:

Assessment Rules

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  • 50% Exam
  • 40% Coursework
  • 10% Test

CMod description

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Macroscopic plants and animals interact with their environments in what appear to be fundamentally different ways. Animals, especially humans, possess the sophisticated control and co-ordination systems, which regulate their physiology as well as complex patterns of behaviour. Plants, apparently, lack such sophisticated responses, yet both groups are clearly highly successful. Environmental Physiology "crosses the great divide" between animal and plant biology. It looks at the whole-organism responses of animals and plants to light, to pollution and to disease-causing micro-organisms. It also considers how such responses are controlled and co-ordinated, and how information is communicated between individuals in both animals and plants. The scope of the course is broad, extending from the consequences of environmental change on human health to communication between plants. The unifying theme is the central role of physiology in determining a wide range of biological responses, with the overall aim of providing an integrated understanding of the mechanisms by which both animals and plants cope with their environment.

 

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

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Lecture 1 - Introductory lecture on comparative physiology.

Lecture 2 - The nature of "light"

Lecture 3-5 - The environmental physiology of light perception in animals and plants: clock watching and light sensing without eyes.

Lecture 6-7 - The photoecology of UV radiation.

Lecture 8-10 - The effects of pollution on plant health: mechanisms and consequences.

Lecture 11-13 -  The effects of pollution on human health: mechanisms and consequences. 

Lecture 14-16 - Host defences against parasites and disease. Innate and adaptive immunity in vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

Lecture 17-19 - Plant responses to infection: dealing with infection without an immune system.

Lecture 20 - Synthesis and conclusions.

 

Practicals 1  2 - Experimental determination of an action spectrum.

Workshop 1 - Pollution workshop - Parliamentary Question Time.

Practical 3 - Plant inducible defence practical.

Workshop 2 - Plant defence workshop.

 

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Macroscopic plants and animals interact with their environments in what appear to be fundamentally different ways. Animals, especially humans, possess the sophisticated control and co-ordination systems, which regulate their physiology as well as complex patterns of behaviour. Plants, apparently, lack such sophisticated responses, yet both groups are clearly highly successful. Environmental Physiology "crosses the great divide" between animal and plant biology. It looks at the whole-organism responses of animals and plants to light, to pollution and to disease-causing micro-organisms. It goes on to consider how such responses are controlled and co-ordinated, and how information is communicated between individuals in both animals and plants. The scope of the course is broad, extending from the consequences of environmental change on human health to communication between plants. The unifying theme is the central role of physiology in determining a wide range of biological responses, with the overall aim of providing an integrated understanding of the mechanisms by which both animals and plants cope with their environment.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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After completing this course students should be able to:

-         Describe how animals and plants perceive light.

-         Describe the effects of ultraviolet light on animals and plants and the mechanisms for protection from its damaging effects.

-         Show how various pollutants affect the health of plants and humans.

-         Describe the various forms of innate immunity in animals and discuss the conservation of anti-microbial defence mechanisms during evolution.

-         Show how plants resist infection by microorganisms.

-         Describe mechanisms by which plants perceive environmental signals and co-ordinate their responses to them.

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Lancaster University
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