Course: BIOS 613, Animal Physiology

When: Monday, from 5:30 to 8:20 PM.

Where: Room 2708 Wood Hall.

Text: Eckertís Animal Physiology (4th edition, W.H. Freeman and Company).



John Spitsbergen, Ph.D.

Office: Room 3052 Haenicke Hall

Phone: 387-2739


Office Hours: Monday 9:00 to 10:00 AM, Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 to 2:00 PM, or by appointment.



I.) Tests:

            i) 2 Exams (100 points each = 200 points)

            Exam 1: Part 1: Three to 6 page paper describing a signal transduction pathway in selected tissue. Should start at initiation of first event in pathway and end at change in behavior (tissue or organ behavior) at level of whole animal. Part 2: Give 15 to 20 minute presentation describing your findings.

            Exam 2: Grant proposal. Approximately 8 to 10 pages. Propose studies to answer some question related to animal physiology.

II.) Short paper/presentations:

i) 5 papers (10 points each = 50 points).

ii) 2 presentations, 12 to 15 minutes each, presenting findings from 2 of the above papers. (25 Points each = 50 points)

III.) Long presentation:

            Long presentation (100 points)

IV.) Class participation:

            Much of this class will deal with reading and discussion of scientific manuscripts examining different aspects of animal physiology. Questions concerning these manuscripts will be asked of students on a regular basis. If students have not read the assigned manuscripts, then points will be subtracted from their score (up to 25 points taken from total score).


Academic Honesty:

You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate (pp. 271-272) [Graduate (pp. 24-26)] Catalog that pertain to Academic Integrity. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with me if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.



Total of 400 points.

Grading Scale:

90 to 100         A

85 to 89.9        BA

80 to 84.9        B

75 to 79.9        CB

70 to 74.9        C

65 to 69.9        DC

60 to 64.9        D

     £  59.9        E


Tentative Schedule!


MONDAY, August 27th: Introduction and assignment of presentation topics and times.

MONDAY, September 3rd: Labor Day Recess (No Class!).

MONDAY, September 10th: Methods used to study animal physiology.


Start short presentations, Topic: Research Methods.


MONDAY, September 17th: Neurons and nervous system function (Chapter 5 and 6).


MONDAY, September 24th: Sensing the environment (chapter 7).



MONDAY, October 1st: Muscles and animal movement (chapter 10)


MONDAY, October 8th: Mid Term Exam.


MONDAY, October 15th: Mid Term Exam.


MONDAY, October 22nd: Behavior: initiation patterns and control (chapter 11).


MONDAY, October 29th: - Circulation (chapter 12).


MONDAY, November 5th: Gas exchange and acid-base balance (chapter 13)


MONDAY, November 12th: Ionic and osmotic balance (chapter 14).


MONDAY, November 19th: Costs of glandular secretion (Chapter 8) and Hormones: regulation and action (chapter 9).


MONDAY, November 26th: - Feeding, metabolism and digestion (chapter 15) and Using energy: meeting environmental challenges (chapter 16).



Animal Physiology

Short Papers

10 Points for each paper (5 papers per student).


1. Introduce general area of study that research paper is associated with. (1 point)

2. What is purpose of study (what question(s) are researchers trying to answer)? (1 point)

3. What methods do researchers use to answer these questions. (1 point)

4. What are major findings of study? (1 point)

5. How do these findings fit in with preexisting knowledge in this field? (1 point)

6. How would you rate this paper? (1 point)

            Did researchers do a good job of identifying specific aims or hypothesis? (1 point)

            Did studies include reasonable controls? (1 point)

            Would you draw same conclusions from results? (1 point)

            Did this study further the knowledge base in this area? (1 point)



Short Presentation



25 points each (2 presentations per student).

Give 10 minute talk presenting the above paper.

Short presentations must coincide with topics listed in syllabus.




Animal Physiology

Long Presentation.



Length: 40 minute presentation, related to material presented in Eckertís Animal Physiology.

Format: slides, overheads or computer based presentation.

1. Provide broad introduction to area of physiology being discussed.

2. Present detailed lecture discussing some aspect of animal physiology covered in the book chapter and from other sources (use at least 2 sources other than the book).