Module Identifier BS34420  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Rupert C Marshall  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite BS23520 OR BS25420  
Course delivery Lecture   20 x 1h lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 1h seminars/tutorials 5 x 3 hour workshops  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours Written Exam  70%
Semester Assessment Literature Review  20%
Semester Assessment Presentation  10%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours Written Exam  70%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework or alternative  30%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will have covered sufficient material in lectures, tutorials, research seminars and in their recommended reading to enable them to


This module will use a combination of lectures, tutorial sessions and research seminars provided by internal and external speakers to provide students with a critical knowledge of topics in behavioural biology that are of importance in contemporary science. The course will emphasise the growing collaborations between behavioral science and other disciplines. A key aim of the course will be to train students in accurately and critically interpreting the results of behavioural studies.


The module will include research topics of current importance in behavioural biology. Recent topics have included: Male & female effects on the evolution of sperm competition; Ontogeny and the role of the brain in behaviour. The role of behavioural studies in determining the success of habitat restoration and conservation programmes. The role of pollutants on individual behaviour, fitness and population stability. How and why parasite infections alter host behaviour. The evolution of signalling systems (e.g. birdsong). Insights into behaviour gained from technology, including DNA fingerprinting, molecular biology, neurobiology and artificial intelligence. How the welfare of animals in domestic / entertainment environments may be realistically improved using knowledge gained from behavioural studies.   Behavioural knowledge as a tool in disease control and pest management. The importance of critically appraising the findings and accurately reporting the results of scientific studies.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Krebs, J.R. & Davies, N.B. (1997) Behavioural ecology: an evolutionary approach Oxford:Blackwell
Alcock, John (c2005.) Animal behavior :an evolutionary approach /John Alcock. Sinauer Associates 0878930051
Barnard, C. J. (2004.) Animal behaviour :mechanism, development, function, and evolution /Chris Barnard. Pearson Education 0130899364


This module is at CQFW Level 6