School of Biological Sciences


Stage 2 courses

Second-year undergraduate courses are designed to build your knowledge base in specialised areas of Biological Sciences.

The Stage II offering consists of a selection from ten courses. It is designed to provide a balanced and integrated approach to genetics, ecology, evolution, biochemistry, microbiology and plant and animal studies.

Stage II courses provide a basis for further specialised study and are prerequisites for certain Stage III courses. For example, students advancing in either Biochemistry or Cellular and Molecular Biology should take both BIOSCI 201 and BIOSCI 203 at Stage II.

To advance to Stage III courses most students will require at least three courses from the Stage II selection. Most courses have a limited-entry based on the grade point average (GPA) calculated from results attained in previous semesters.

A minimum of one course (15 points) must be taken from at least two of the following groups:

Group 1:

  • BIOSCI 201 Semester 1 (City) Cellular & Molecular Biology
  • BIOSCI 202 Semester 2 (City) Genetics
  • BIOSCI 203 Semester 2 (City) Biochemistry

Group 2:

  • BIOSCI 206 Semester 1 (City) Principles of Ecology
  • BIOSCI 207 Semester 2 (City) Adaptive Design
  • BIOSCI 210 Semester 2 (City) Evolution and the Origins of Life

Group 3:

  • BIOSCI 204 Semester 1 (City) Principles of Microbiology
  • BIOSCI 205 Semester 2 (City) Plant, Cell and Environment
  • BIOSCI 208 Semester 1 (City) Invertebrate Diversity

Students intending to advance to the postgraduate level in Biological Sciences should note the importance of a sound basis in Biometry (biological statistics). All students in Biological Sciences are strongly advised to include BIOSCI 209 BIOMETRY in their undergraduate programme.

BIOSCI 201 Cellular and Molecular Biology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

The basic structures of biomolecules, the structure of cells and their organisation into tissues and organs, and viruses, are examined first. This is followed by a study of the nucleus, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis and the regulation of gene expression. Further sections deal with cellular development, cell growth and cancer, and the basis of immunity. Laboratory classes deal with light and electron microscopy, preparation and analysis of DNA, recombinant DNA technology, immunochemical techniques, and measurement of cell growth.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101, 30 points from (BIOSCI 102-107, MEDSCI 142) and 15 points from CHEM 110, 120, 150.
Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%.
Textbook: Lodish et al. (2012) Molecular Cell Biology. 8th Edn, Freeman.
Coordinator: Dr David Goldstone
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84607
Email: d.goldstone@auckland.ac.nz

 

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BIOSCI 202 Genetics


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

The basic principles of mutation, recombination and genetic mapping are established in this course. These principles are then developed in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Laboratory work uses molecular, microbial and eukaryotic material to explore the key features of heredity.

Prerequisites: 30 points from Stage I Biological Sciences including BIOSCI 101.
Assessment: Incourse 62.5% (Theory 37.5%, Practical 25%), Examination 37.5%.
Recommended textbooks: Griffiths, Miller, Suzuki et. al., An Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 10th edition, WH Freeman.
Pierce B.A., Genetics: A Conceptual Approach, 5th edition, W.H. Freeman.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Craig Millar
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85186
Email: cd.millar@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 203 Biochemistry


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

This course presents core areas of modern biochemistry. Emphasis is on macromolecular structure and function. Areas covered include protein structure, oxygen and carbon dioxide transport in humans and other species, metabolism in mammals, proteases and human disease, cholesterol metabolism and transport and signal transduction.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101, BIOSCI 106 and 15 points from either CHEM 110 or CHEM 120.
Assessment: Incourse 50% (Test 25%, Practical 25%), Examination 50%.
Recommended textbooks: Berg et al. (2002), Biochemistry, 8th edition, W.H. Freeman.
Lodish et al. (2012), Molecular Cell Biology, 7th edition, Freeman.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Shaun Lott
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87074
Email: s.lott@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 204 Principles of Microbiology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

This course provides an introduction to the diversity, physiology and functions of microorganisms (prokaryotes, eukaryotes, viruses) as individuals and as communities. The fundamental roles of microorganisms in ecosystems, health and disease are considered alongside methods for their isolation and study. Microbial applications in biotechnology, food production, agriculture and industry are also discussed.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and at least 15 points from BIOSCI 102, 106 or 107.
Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 40%, Practical 20%), Examination 40%.
Textbook: Prescott, Harvey & Klein, Microbiology, 10th edition (2011), McGraw-Hill. Also available as an electronic book.
Coordinator: Dr Augusto Barbosa
Phone: +64 9 3737599 ext 85087
Email: a.barbosa@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 205 Plant, Cell and Environment


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Unlike animals, plants can’t move to respond to changes in their environment. Plants have evolved diverse signaling systems and the ability to grow towards their essential resources. This course explores the intricate ways plants function: how they are able to respond to developmental and environmental signals at the whole plant and cellular level.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102, 104, 106, 107.
Assessment: Incourse 50% (Theory 25%, Practical 25%), Examination 50%.
Prescribed textbook: Taiz, L., and Zeiger, E., Plant Physiology, 4th edition, Sinauer.
Coordinator: Dr Karine David
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83793
Email: k.david@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 206 Principles of Ecology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Ecology is the study of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes), their relationships with one another and with their environment. This course examines ecosystem processes, factors that affect distribution and interactions of organisms, population ecology and applications of ecology such as restoration and conservation. The key principles of ecology are taught in a New Zealand context emphasising an experimental approach.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101, 104, and 15 points from STATS 101 or 108.
Assessment: Incourse 60% (Day Trip Report 15%, Field Trip Report 25%, Test 20%), Examination 40%.
Prescribed textbook: Molles, Ecology, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill.
Field trips: One full day field trip (normally in March) to Wenderholm Regional Park.
Residential field trips (choice of three): 
Residential Field trip 1: 5 days during the mid-semester break at Kauaeranga Valley (Forest Ecology) led by Dr. Bruce Burns.
Residential Field trip 2: 5 days during the mid-semester break at Pureora (Terrestrial Animal  Ecology) led by Dr. Kristal Cain.
Residential Field trip 3: 5 days during the mid semester break at Whangarei Heads (Marine Ecology) led by Dr. Brendon Dunphy.
Coordinator: Dr Gavin Lear
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82573
Email: g.lear@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 207 Animal Form & Function


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Biological adaptations of animals, including behaviour, morphology, physiology and life history. Topics covered include how animals navigate, physiological adaptations, behavioural ecology, animal reproduction and anti-predator defences.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102-104,106,107.
Assessment: Incourse 60% (Practical 20%, Test 40%), Examination 40%.
Field Trip: To be advised
Coordinator: Associate Professor Greg Holwell
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83652
Email: g.holwell@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 208 Invertebrate Diversity


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Invertebrates make up over 95% of animal species. This course explores the biology of invertebrates with an emphasis on structure, function, life histories, behaviour and ecology. Invertebrate diversity is examined in a variety of environments, using New Zealand examples where possible, and provides the basis for advanced courses in Conservation and Marine Ecology.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and BIOSCI 103.
Assessment: Incourse 60% (Theory 20%, Practical 40%), Examination 40%.
Recommended textbooks: Anderson, D.T., Invertebrate Zoology, 2001, Oxford University Press
Coordinator: Professor Mary Sewell
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83758
Email: m.sewell@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 209 Biometry


(15 points) (City) Semester One

An introduction to statistical methods for biological and environmental scientists. Students will learn how to carry out various statistical analyses using computer packages, as well as how to interpret and communicate the results. The topics covered include: experimental design and sampling, regression and analysis of variance models, analyzing frequencies and counts, and basic multivariate techniques commonly used in biology.

Prerequisite: 15 points in either STATS 101 or 108 and 30 points from Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or Geography.
Restriction: STATS 201, 207 and 208
Assessment: Assignments 20% (5% each), Term test 20% and Examination 60%
Coordinator: Dr Steffen Klaere, Dr Nick Shears (Course Director)
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85237
Email: s.klaere@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 210 Evolution and The Origins of Life


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Part 1 covers basic concepts in evolutionary biology including Darwin and the theory of evolution by natural selection, phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular evolution, speciation and extinction. Part 2 explores the extent to which Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection can explain the origin of biological complexity i.e. the evolutionary history and origin of life and topics ranging from life in the primordial soup, through to the history and origin of cells, sex, and societies.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and 15 points from BIOSCI 102-104, 106, 107
Assessment: Incourse 55% (1 Essay @ 15%, 2 Lab reports @ 10% each, 1 Test @ 20%), Examination 45%
Prescribed textbook: Stearns, S. and Hoekstra, R., Evolution: An Introduction, 2nd edition 2005, Oxford University Press.
Coordinator: Dr Anna Santure
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83801
Email: a.santure@auckland.ac.nz

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