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SLE355 - Evolutionary and Ecological Physiology

Unit details

Year2015 unit information
Enrolment modes:Trimester 3: Waurn Ponds (Geelong)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:


Unit chair:

Tim Jessop


One of SLE204, SLE205, SLE211 plus 1 level 2 SLE-coded unit



Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Campus: Cloud (online) classes coupled with face-to-face seminars prior to a one week field camp comprising additional classes, and extensive practical.


Students may be required to meet their own expenses on fieldwork. 


This unit examines the physiological challenges that particular environments impose on animals and the physiological and morphological responses that animals evolve to contend with them. Where possible, Australian fauna will be emphasized, but we will also explore well-known physiological and morphological adaptations that are used by other animals to live in extreme environments. Topics include adaptations for maximising energy gain (foraging and digestion), evolution of aerobic metabolism, evolutionary designs for maximising aerobic performance in a range of habitats, coping with oxidative stress, maintaining water and ion balance in extreme environments such as deserts and hypersaline and alkaline lakes, physiological, biochemical, and behavioural responses to very hot and cold environments, and the physiological adaptations associated with successful colonisation of land. Both invertebrate and vertebrate examples will be presented.


3 assignments (20%, 10%, 30%) 60%, 2 x tests (15%, 25%) 40%

Unit Fee Information

Student Contribution Rate*Student Contribution Rate**Fee rate - Domestic Students Fee rate - International students

* Rate for all CSP students, except for those who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
** Rate for CSP students who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
Please note: Unit fees listed do not apply to Deakin Prime students.

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