Comparative Biology & Zoology

A Half-Day Tutorial On The Physiology of Other Animals

NEW FOR THE
2017-2018 ACADEMIC YEAR

An awe-inspiring journey into the field of integrative and comparative biology, exploring life across the animal kingdom from genes to communities, from evolution to behaviour...

 

Introduction
 

The fields of comparative biology and zoology are wide-ranging and mutually-informing, shedding light on the evolution of taxa and also that of homo sapiens.  Comparative biology is generally concerned with the study of patterns of life across organisms and the biological mechanisms that drive phylogeny. In a simple sense, zoology refers to the study and animals and the animal kingdom, but encompasses the study of evolution, embryology and behaviour. This tutorial is intended to provide students with an exciting introduction to the basic concepts, methods and branches of these fields, with focus windows  on comparative genomics,  parasitology, primate ethology and marine biology. Amongst the topics considered are how we classify animals, animal architecture, evolution of the mammalian skull, and homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom.   

 

The tutorial is intended to push beyond traditional study into current research. Thus, we also examine the relationship between comparative biology, zoology and medicine. How is the study of subterranean species aiding cancer researchers and how might variation in regenerative abilities across species inform our understanding of senescence and augment human regenerative capacity? The morning offers a wonderful opportunity for the inquisitive biology student, marrying molecular biology, genomics, developmental biology, evolutionary theory, paleontology, ethology, anatomy, physiology and philosophy.
 

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Which Students Will Benefit From The Tutorial?

 

This tutorial is designed primarily for very able A-level biology students but will also be useful to:

 

  • any AS students with an interest in comparative biology and study of the animal kingdom.

  • those students considering a university degree and/or career in the following subjects:

    Zoology           Veterinary Science         Life Sciences
    Medicine          Biological Sciences       Ethology

 

The material presented during this tutorial will complement and develop upon topics and issues encountered in biological study.
 


Aims of The Tutorial
 

There are three main aims to this tutorial:

 

  • to provide the student with an introduction to the central themes of comparative biology, exploring Linnaean taxonomy and more recent molecular phylogenetics, together with a review of methods and branches of zoology.

  • to study the mechanisms of evolutionary diversity in animals, exploring differences in anatomy, physiology, embryology and behaviour in different species.

  • to consider how the study of different species may have implications for our understanding of the ageing process and the treatment of human disease.

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