Experimental Animal Behaviour

Subject ZOOL30007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 tutorials (6 hours total) and 60 hours of practical work during the semester.
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1

Note: ZOOL30006 may also be taken concurrently.

AND either Group 1 or Group 2 below

Group 1:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Plus one of
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Group 2 (prior to 2009):
  • 654-204 Ecology: Individuals and Populations (prior to 2009)

Plus one of

  • 654-201 Invertebrate Structure and Function (prior to 2009)
  • 654-202 Vertebrate Structure and Function (prior to 2009)
  • 654-203 Animal Physiology (prior to 2009)
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed either of the following subjects may not enrol in this subject for credit
  • 654-305 Experimental Animal Behaviour (prior to 2010)
  • 654-303 Experimental Animal Behaviour (prior to 2003)
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in practical class and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit. http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Raoul Mulder, Prof Mark Elgar


Email: ZOOL30007@zoology.unimelb.edu.au
Subject Overview:

This subject explores the techniques and methods of undertaking research in zoology with an emphasis on behaviour, including experimental and sampling design, data collection, statistical analysis of data, presentation of the research results and peer review. Students will participate in a group project, in which they will design, execute, analyse and interpret observational and experimental studies of animals in either natural or captive populations.


To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of the entire process of scientific research: from translating a general question in animal behaviour to a specific hypothesis about the relationship between measurable variables; developing an experimental or sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing an oral presentation and a draft written report; formally reviewing reports prepared by other students and revising their reports in line with the reviews provided by their colleagues; and finally submitting an individual report for assessment.

Assessment: A written project plan submitted by the end of the first three weeks of semester (10%); a written scientific report totalling up to 1500 words due at the end of semester (50%); evaluation of contribution by group members (10%); reviews of written and spoken work by peers (20%); a 10-minute oral presentation towards the end of semester (10%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

M. S. Dawkins, Observing animal behaviour: design and analysis of quantitative data, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007.

P. Martin & P. Bateson, Measuring behaviour: an introductory guide, 3rd Ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2009

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

The subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to assimilate and critically evaluate new knowledge within a scientific paradigm, and to communicate that knowledge to others. Students should also develop skills in managing a group research project, and in analysing, interpreting and evaluating scientific data critically. They should also gain experience in writing a scientific report, providing and responding to peer reviews, and making an oral presentation


This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

This subject was previously known as 654-320 Experimental Behavioural Zoology (prior to 2011)

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses

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