Discovering tomorrow

Zoology

The BSc Honours degree curriculum consists of 2 compulsory and 4 elective modules [120 credits]. The degree leads to admission to higher degree studies [MSc, PhD] at the NMMU or at any other university in South Africa.

The BSc Hons degree in Zoology opens career opportunities in Marine Biology, Fisheries Science, Coastal Ecosystems Ecology and Management, Terrestrial and Marine Conservation Biology, Ecosystem Analysis, and Numerical Modelling

Included in the Honours course are several excursions relevant to the selected modules, as well as a general compulsory excursion to environments of interest and educational value.

COMPULSORY MODULES:

MODULE ZOO411 - Data Skills [21 credits]

EVALUATION

100% class mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

  • Data management on computers
  • Report writing and communication
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Data categorisation, interrogation and analyses
  • Review Literature
  • Project data collection.
  • Data analysis and interpretation.
  • Scientific writing
  • Field and laboratory research techniques
  • Project write-up skills

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO420 - Emerging Concepts in Biology [35 Credits]

This module comprises of:

MODULE ZOO420 - Project:  A research project by choice of the candidate but within the capabilities and general research framework of the department. The supervised research project is evaluated by means of a literature review, a manuscript, an oral presentation, and a standard conference poster [27 credits];

MODULE ZOO415 -Seminar:  A Seminar on an approved topic evaluated by means of a manuscript and oral presentation to department [ 8 credits].

 

 

 

ELECTIVE MODULES AT BSC HONOURS DEGREE LEVEL

 

[Students select 4 from the list, 16 credits each, 4x16=64 credits]

 

 

MODULE ZOO472 - SUSTAINING EXPLOITED MARINE RESOURCES

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

The theory and application of modern exploitation modules to commercial fisheries in the context of the physical, chemical, and biological environment.

  • Physical and chemical oceanography
  • Marine biological productivity
  • Effects of exploitation on populations
  • Management approaches to fisheries

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO474 - Coastal zone Integrated Environmental Management
 

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

In depth study of the ecological and socio-economic principles of the development and management of the coastal zone, including the practical application of Integrated Environmental Management procedures.

  • Coastal zone ecosystems and their functioning
  • Sustainability in the coastal zone
  • Policies and legislation dealing with development in the coastal zone: South African and international

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO478 - Marine predators

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

In depth discussions of the evolution and role of top predators [e.g. birds, elasmobrachs, and mammals] in marine ecosystems. Special attention will be given to their impact on their food resources and on their vulnerability and sustainability to exploitation in the marine environment.

  • Distribution and ecology of South African marine top predators
  • Feeding ecology in marine predators
  • Role of marine top predators in ecosystem structuring
  • Monitoring marine predators as environmental indicators
  • Monitoring and research techniques

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO482 - Conservation Biology & Planning

EVALUATION

40% class mark + 60% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

The theory and application of conservation planning and conservation biology.

  • Biodiversity function
  • Extinction processes and rates
  • Conservation biology paradigms
  • Conservation genetics
  • Protected areas theory and conservation planning

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO484 - Ecology of African Animals

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

African zoogeography, biomes and their functioning, the role of African wildlife in their ecosystems, predation and predator/prey interactions, consequences of human expansion.

  • Evolution of unique African groups
  • Zoogeography of African wildlife: the global, continental and subcontinental context
  • Role of African wildlife: herbivory, plant structure and community consequences
  • Role of African wildlife: myrmecophagy and the unique assemblage of myrmecophages
  • Role of African wildlife: megaherbivores as keystone elements
  • Role of African wildlife: predation and predator/prey interactions
  • Conservation issues around African wildlife: consequences of human expansion for the African fauna
  • Quo vadis African wildlife?

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO486 - Applied Ecophysiology

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

Advanced discussion on the physiological processes involved in the survival of animals in their natural habitat, and mastery of various essential physiology techniques.

  • Physiology, energy and fitness
  • Physiological basis of animal responses to global climate change
  • Mitochondrial bioenergetics
  • Stable isotope ecology
  • Telemetry and the use of dataloggers for biomonitoring
  • Calibration of equipment
  • Surgical procedures and ethical considerations
  • Respirometry and automated data acquisition for metabolic screening
  • Measurement of evaporative water loss
  • Measurement of the cost of locomotion
  • Isolation of mitochondria from various tissues
  • Measurement of mitochondrial respiration

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the Department.

MODULE ZOO495 - Global Change and Biodiversity

EVALUATION

50% class mark + 50% examination mark.

CORE SYLLABUS

This module aims to establish a sound theoretical basis, knowledge and comprehension of aspects and dynamics of the global change and the implications of global change for biodiversity.

  • Climatic processes
  • Global change and biodiversity
  • Population responses
  • Global change and systematic conservation planning
  • Mitigation/adaptation
  • IPCC reports

Additional outcomes will include a demonstrated ability to comprehend and critically synthesize material from the primary literature.

PREREQUISITE MODULE(S)

Acceptance for the degree or by special consent of the department.