BIOL 329L: Principles of Animal Physiology

SYNOPSIS: This course examines the physiological principles that guide animal life processes.  Framed in an evolutionary context, processes ranging from respiration, circulation, neural control, movement, excretion and metabolism will be understood in terms of core principles that also apply to humans.  Laboratories and lectures integrally examine fundamental physiological principles through hands-on investigations of animal physiology using research grade data acquisition systems and live animal, inquiry-based research.

READER REQUIREMENTS: The final product will be a scientific journal article as can be found in journals such as the Journal of Experimental Biology, complete with literature critique, results section with figures, figure legend, and discussion. Readers need to be scientifically literate, familiar with scientific writing, but not specifically in physiology.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS: Several short writing pieces (Builds) that connect the major concepts in the lectures to the ongoing research in the laboratory, and that ultimately connect to form the full scientific research paper submitted at the end of the semester.  The goal is to achieve facility with explaining and understanding the major course concepts and then to make concrete connections to the student’s own and other published research investigations. Each student will submit their own independent writing for these assignments, even though, in some cases, they will be reporting on lab research that was done collaboratively with another student. 

INSTRUCTOR SUGGESTIONS FOR READERS: We focus on the student’s ability to construct a journal article with logical flow. They need to include 1) a broad introduction that grabs the reader, 2) relevant details (cited!) with appropriate transitions, 3) what question their experiments are designed to answer, 4) clearly reported results with basic statistics, 5) what their results mean, and 6) how their results contribute to the field.   


INTRODUCTORY MEETING: Please schedule your introductory meeting as soon as possible after you have received the matching email. Find details for the introductory meeting