Zoology

Title Population Dynamics and Aquatic Production
Code SZOL501 Department Zoology
Prerequisites SZOL 312 & SZOL322 Co-requisites None
Aim Production of natural aquatic populations range from the primary producers (plants and phytoplankton) through to the higher trophic levels such as fish stocks. The aim of this module is to expose the student to scientific production studies of the animal community of aquatic ecosystems. This module focuses on two components  at opposite ends of the faunal trophic spectrum; the zooplankton as secondary producers at the lower throphic levels and fish stock assessment, representing higher trophic levels and with direct economical importance to humans. Any production study of a natural population is based on population dynamics, which therefore also forms an integral part of this module.
Content Population dynamics: Definition of population dynamics. Population parameters, life tables and growth curves.

Secondary Production: Reasons for secondary production estimations, basic methods to

calculate secondary production for different types of populations. P/B ratios.

Basics of fish stock assessment: Objectives of fish stock assessments. Data required and how they are estimated or obtained. Aspects such as, stock, cohorts, recruitment, natural and fishing mortality, catch per unit effort, maximum sustainable yield, monitoring of exploited stocks.

Practical  component:  Secondary  production  calculation  for  an  estuarine

zooplankton population.

Assessment 40% Continuous Assessment Mark (Essays, Seminars, Laboratory or Fieldwork etc.)

60% Final Assessment (Final end of module exam).

DP Requirement 30% Continuous Assessment Mark 80% Attendance of Contact Periods

 

Title Advanced Freshwater Ecology
Code SZOL502 Department Zoology
Prerequisites SZOL 312 & SZOL322 Co-requisites None
Aim To provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the nature and importance of South Africa’s aquatic resources and its associated ecological functioning, recent advances in Aquatic Resource Management in South Africa as well as recent management protocols and management tools for Aquatic Resource Management in South Africa,

To introduce appropriate and relevant practical monitoring, biomonitoring and assessment methods, sampling techniques, data interpretation and report writing associated with Freshwater Ecology and Resource Management.

Content The module content will include Advanced Freshwater Ecological principles in South Africa, Water resources in South Africa, the Ecological Reserve in South Africa, the National Water Resource Strategy, Strategies to balance water supply and demand in South Africa, Water management and Water Management Institutions in the new South Africa, Protection and classification of water resources and Aquatic Biomonitoring (The National Aquatic Ecosystem Biomonitoring Programme).
Assessment 40% Continuous Assessment Mark (Essays, Seminars, Laboratory or Fieldwork etc.) 60% Final Assessment (Final end of module exam)
DP Requirement 30% Continuous Assessment Mark 80% Attendance of Contact Periods

 

Title Advanced Estuarine Ecology
Code SZOL503 Department Zoology
Prerequisites SZOL 312 & SZOL322 Co-requisites None
Aim To provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the nature and importance of estuarine ecosystems with particular reference to South Africa.
Content Review of components of the estuarine ecosystem in general and the South African situation in detail.

Abiotic influences in the estuarine ecosystem including; salinity, temperature, turbidity, oxygen, metals, currents and tidal flows.

Review of anthropogenic impacts on the estuarine environment, generally in a world context and specifically in the South African context.

Influence of abiotic components on the major biotic components of the estuarine ecosystem including zooplankton, benthos, macrocrustacea  and fish.

Review of the abiotic influences on the biotic components in the estuarine ecosystem, generally in a world context, and specifically in a South African context.

Assessment 40%   Continuous   Assessment   Mark   (Essays,   Seminars,   Laboratory   or Fieldwork etc.) 60% Final Assessment (Final end of module exam).
DP Requirement 30% Continuous Assessment Mark 80% Attendance of Contact Periods

 

Title Ecophysiology
Code SZOL504 Department Zoology
Prerequisites SZOL 321 & SZOL322 Co-requisites None
Aim To examine the major physiological adaptations exhibited by animals to their environment and to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles controlling the behaviour of cells and organs in response to environmental factors.
Content Environmental factors affecting physiological processes in animals. Respiratory physiology of aquatic invertebrates, fish, aquatic mammals and humans.

How molecular  substances  in  cells  such  as  DNA  and  enzymes,  and  cell

division are affected by external or environmental factors.

Assessment 40%   Continuous   Assessment   Mark   (Essays,   Seminars,   Laboratory   or Fieldwork etc.) 60% Final Assessment (Final end of module exam).
DP Requirement 30% Continuous Assessment Mark 80% Attendance of Contact Periods

 

Title Project Design & Implementation
Code SZOL509 Department Zoology
Prerequisites SZOL 312 & SZOL322 Co-requisites
Aim This module is designed to get the students to follow through the full research project cycle from inception to write up of research findings.
Content The module will involve:

1.   Literature review of research topic

2.  Writing a research proposal

3.   Research seminar of research project

4.   Implementation of research methodology

5.   Fieldwork and data collection

6.   Data analysis and writing up of the report (mini thesis)

Assessment 30% Continuous Assessment Mark (Project Proposal & Two Project Seminars)   and  70% Final Assessment (Mini Thesis).
DP Requirement 30% Continuous Assessment Mark.