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School of Biological Sciences


Stage 3 courses

Our third-year undergraduate courses are designed to give a more detailed and specific conclusion to your undergraduate majors and prepare you for possible postgraduate study.

Stage three offers you a wide range of specialist courses. Most have limited-entry based on the grade point average (GPA), calculated from results attained in previous semesters. 

Please note there is now two programmes available in Biological Sciences depending on what year you started your studies. Please refer to the following two pages to ensure that you are reading the correct information.

BIOSCI 320 Pure and Applied Entomology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

An introduction to the systematics of insects describing the characters that define the major lineages, discussion of the role insects play in different ecological systems, and insect anatomy, physiology, and genetics. Their impact on agriculture and as disease vectors is discussed with descriptions of various control methods for insect pests and how these methods are integrated. Students wishing to complete a course in plant protection should take both BIOSCI 320 and 321.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 103 and 15 points from Stage II Biological Sciences courses
Assessment: In-course 70% (test 30%, assignments 20%, insect collection 20%); examination 30%
Recommended textbooks: Gullan, P.J. & Cranston, P.S., The Insects: An Outline of Entomology. 4th edition, Chapman and Hall.
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 322 Evolution of Genes, Populations and Species


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Advanced concepts in evolutionary biology and their application to current research in molecular evolution, population genetics, phylogenetics and organismal evolution. Examples from animals, plants and microbes, as well as topical issues, including speciation, adaptation, co-evolution, sexual selection, conservation, biogeography, genomics, biotechnology and human disease. Recommended preparation: Prior or concurrent enrolment in BIOSCI 202.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 210
Assessment: In-course 50% (test 20%, practical 30%); examination 50%
Prescribed Textbook: D.J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology, 3rd edition or D.J. Futuyma, Evolution, 2nd edition (2013), Sinauer.
Coordinator: Dr Shane Lavery
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83764
Email: s.lavery@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 324 Plant Pathology and Symbiosis


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Microorganisms and pests form symbioses with plants that are critically importance for horticulture and agriculture. This course examines the biology of plant pathogens, pests, and symbionts. It focuses on plant-microbe interactions at the cellular and molecular level, the epidemiology and control of plant diseases, and the mechanisms through which these interactions are mediated.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 204 or 205
Restriction: BIOSCI 321
Assessment: In-course 60% (test 30%, practical 30%); examination 40%
Textbook: Agrios, G.N., Plant Pathology, 5th edition, AP.
Coordinator: 
Dr Nijat Imin
Email: nijat.imin@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: +64 9 923 9061 ext 89061

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BIOSCI 325 Plant Diversity and Function


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Plants form the basis of ecosystem food chains and are fundamental to life on Earth. The diversity in land plants from both phylogenetic and functional trait perspectives will be presented, exploring key steps in the evolution of plants and how they interact with their environment. It provides a framework of plant life focussing on the ecologically, economically and culturally important plants of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 108, BIOSCI 205 or BIOSCI 206
Restriction: BIOSCI 323
Assessment: In-course 65% (in-course test 15%, one essay 15%, practical activities 35%), examination: 35%
Field Trip: To be advised
Coordinator: Associate Professor Cate Macinnis-Ng
Email: c.macinnis-ng@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 326 Plant Biotechnology for Crops and Health


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Plants are vital sources of food, health compounds and shelter. Students will learn how biotechnology is used to understand plant biology and discuss strategies for crop improvement. Topics include plant genomics, molecular breeding, genome editing, gene transfer, the regulatory framework and examples of applications in the food, health, environment and crop sectors.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 202 or 203 or 205
Restriction: BIOSCI 340
Assessment: In-course 60% (test 25%, essay 10%, practical 25%); examination 40%
Laboratory: Practical sessions including two consecutive days over a weekend in the first half of the semester.
Recommended textbook: Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E. Plant Physiology. 6th edition Sinauer.
Coordinator: Professor Joanna Putterill
Email: j.putterill@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 328 Fisheries and Aquaculture


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Harvest and capture of aquatic organisms and inter-relationships with aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture are treated not as distinct disciplines but in the context of integrating exploitation and sustainable environmental integrity. Case studies include deep sea and coastal fisheries, and shellfish culture.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 207 or 208
Assessment: In-course 50% (field course assignment 30%, test 20%); examination 50%
Recommended textbook: Jennings, S, Kaiser, MJ, Reynolds, JD, Marine Fisheries Ecology, Blackwell Science, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.
Field trip: To be advised
Coordinator: Dr Neill Herbert (Leigh Marine Laboratory)
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83604
Email: n.herbert@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 329 Biology of Fish


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

A comprehensive coverage of the biology of fish including their evolution, diversity and organism biology. Coverage includes habitats of particular interest to New Zealand such as Antarctica, the deep sea, coral and temperate reefs, and New Zealand's lakes and rivers.

Prerequisites: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208
Assessment: In-course 50% (essay 10%, practical 40%); examination 50%
Recommended textbook: Helfman, Colette, Facey, Bowen, The Diversity of Fishes, 2nd edition. Wiley-Blackwell (2009)
Field Trip: To be advised
Coordinator: Professor Kendall Clements
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87223
Email: k.clements@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 333 Marine Ecology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Patterns and processes in marine ecology and biodiversity are described; including animal and plant interactions, benthic and pelagic habitats, biogeography, productivity and physiology. Applied aspects include resources such as fisheries and aquaculture, survey methods, and pollution. Other lectures cover nutritional and chemical ecology and invertebrate reproduction.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 206, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205, or 207 or 208 and STATS 101 or 108
Assessment: In-course 45%, examination 55%
Recommended textbook: Kaiser M., et al., (2005) Marine Ecology: Processes, Systems and Impacts, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Field trip: To be advised
Course Director: Associate Professor Rochelle Constantine
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85093
Email: r.constantine@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 335 Ecological Physiology


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Focuses on the strategies used by animals to cope with physical and biological challenges in the environment. Accordingly, we work at the level of the individual and the interface between physiological, biochemical or molecular approaches on the one hand, and ecology on the other. The adaptive strategies employed by a range of species, with an emphasis on aquatic organisms, in response to physical factors such as temperature, oxygen and food availability, are considered. Energetics and nutrition are emphasised. The course aims to meet the needs of students with ecological interests wishing to recognise the experimental approach to solving problems in environmental biology. The practical work is project oriented rather than laboratory based.

Prerequisites: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208
Assessment: In course 50% (practical 40%, theory test 10%); examination 50%
Recommended textbook: Animal Physiology, Second Edition. Richard W. Hill, Gordon A. Wyse, and Margaret Anderson. April 4, 2008, Sinauer Associates.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Tony Hickey
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82615
Email: a.hickey@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 337 Animal Behaviour


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Proximate and ultimate causes of behaviour are investigated experimentally in the field and the laboratory. Responses by animals to variations in the physical environment and to other organisms are studied. The development and organisation of behaviour and the theoretical background to topics of current interest are covered, using both New Zealand and overseas examples. A knowledge of BIOSCI 206 is recommended.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 207 and STATS 101 or 108 or BIOSCI 209
Assessment: In-course 65% (practical 30%, theory test 35%); examination 35%
Recommended reading: Krebs, J., Davies, N. (1993). An Introduction to Behavioural Ecology. Third Edition. Blackwell.
Field Trip: To be advised
Coordinator: Dr Kristal Cain
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85815
Email: k.cain@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 347 Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

The ecology and physiology of micro-organisms in natural and engineered environments. Key themes include marine microbiology, the importance of microbial symbioses to life on Earth, and contemporary research methods in microbiology. Processes such as wastewater treatment and the production of bioactives are used to emphasise exploitation of microbial metabolism for environmental biotechnology purposes.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202
Assessment: In-course 50% (essay 10%, practicals 25%, terms test 15%); examination 50%
Recommended textbook: Prescott, L.M., Harley, J.P., and Klein, D.A., Microbiology, 6th (international) edition (2005), McGraw Hill.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Mike Taylor
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 82280
Email: mw.taylor@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 348 Food and Industrial Microbiology


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

The use and scientific fundamentals of micro-organisms in the production of foods and food additives, nutriceuticals and probiotics. Molecular and applied aspects of the fermentation processes for beer and wine including aroma generation and analysis. Microbial food spoilage, pathogens involved, food safety and quality control.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 106 and 15 points from BIOSCI 204, MEDSCI 202
Assessment: In-course 50% (lab report 15%, practical test 10%, terms test 20%, lab book 5%); examination 50%
Laboratory: Two consecutive days in the first week of mid-semester break. TBA.
Prescribed reading:
Bibek R., Bhunia A., Fundamental Food Microbiology, 4th edition, CRC Press (McMillan).
Coordinator: Dr Sarah Knight
Phone: +64 9 923 1238
Email: s.knight@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 349 Biomedical Microbiology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

The molecular biology of micro-organisms affecting human health. The characteristics of microbial pathogens, the origins of virulence, and the development of infectious disease. Routes of infection, evasion of host immune responses, and host-pathogen interactions. The molecular basis for vaccination and anti-microbial therapy, and the development of resistance to treatment.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 201 and either BIOSCI 204 or MEDSCI 202
Assessment: In-course 50% (theory 30%, practical 20%); examination 50%
Reference material will be recommended.
Coordinator: Dr Richard Kingston
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84414
Email: rl.kingston@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 350 Protein Structure and Function


(15 points) (City) Semester One

The relationship of molecular structure to protein function will be emphasised. Techniques for the purification, characterisation, production of native and recombinant proteins and three-dimensional structure determination will be combined with a description of protein structure. Specific groups of proteins will be selected to illustrate structure/function relationships and protein evolution.

This course provides an excellent background for students who wish to take BIOSCI 353, “Molecular and Cellular Regulation” in Semester two. For reasons of health and safety, students must enrol in this course in time for the first lab in Week 1 of the semester.

Prerequisites:
BIOSCI 201, 203
Assessment: In-course 50% (practical 20% from laboratory reports and theory, 30% from two tests); examination 50%
Recommended textbooks:
C. Branden, Tooze J., Introduction to Protein Structure, 2nd edition, Garland.
Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L., Stryer, L., Biochemistry, 6th edition (2007).
Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, 2nd edition, Worth.
or
Matthews, Van Holde, Ahern, Biochemistry, 3rd edition.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Shaun Lott
Phone: +64 9 3737599 ext 87074
Email: s.lott@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 351 Molecular Genetics


(15 points) (City) Semester One

The analysis of genetic material in prokaryotes, viruses, yeast, plants and humans is addressed. The means by which genetic information is transferred and the mechanisms underlying genome diversity will be examined, together with the study of eukaryote genomes at the level of chromosome structure and organisation. The molecular mechanisms underpinning selected inherited human disorders will be discussed as well as the role of model species in understanding normal and perturbed biological pathways.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 201, 202
Assessment: In-course 50% (theory 30% [two tests at 15% each], practical 20%); examination 50%
Recommended textbooks:
Griffiths, Miller et al., Introduction to Genetic Analysis, 8th or 9th edition, Freeman & Co.
Strachan T. & Reid, A.P., Human Molecular Genetics, 2nd or 3rd edition.
Watson et al., Recombinant DNA, 2nd edition.
Coordinator: Dr Anna Santure
Phone: +64 9 923 3801
Email: a.santure@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 353 Molecular and Cellular Regulation


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

The molecular mechanisms which mediate intracellular sorting and targeting of biologically active molecules and the networks of intracellular and extracellular signals which regulate cell function form the focus of this course. The roles of growth factors, oncogenes, plasma membrane receptors, nuclear receptors, ion channels and membrane transporters are emphasised.

For reasons of health and safety, students enrolling in this course must enrol in time to attend the first lab in Week 1 of Semester.

Students who plan to take this course should consider enrolling in BIOSCI 350 (Protein Structure and Function) which provides an excellent background.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 201, 203
Assessment: Laboratory 20%, essay 10%, in-course test 28% and examination 42%
Recommended textbook: Lodish et al, Molecular Cell Biology, 7th edition (2012) available on short loan.
Coordinator: Associate Professor Christopher Squire
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87237
Email: c.squire@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 355 Genomics and Genome Biology


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Biological information is coded in and expressed from genomes. This course explores methods for detecting structural and functional elements of genomes, plus the wider genome biology of eukaryotic and prokaryotic systems. Students will learn how genomic data is generated and analysed, how genomes evolve, and how genomic information is expressed and regulated.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 202
Restriction: BIOINF 301, BIOSCI 354
Course Coordinator: Professor Ant Poole
Phone:+64 9 373 7599 ext 86160
Email: a.poole@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 356 Developmental Biology and Cancer


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Molecular, cellular and genetic aspects of normal and abnormal development focusing on a variety of model systems including drosophila, the zebrafish and the mouse. Molecular events underlying the development of body form, the differentiation of specific tissues such as the blood, and abnormalities of development which contribute to diseases of the body such as cancer. Implications of transgenic techniques on development.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 201 
Assessment: In-course 40% (two lab reports 10%, general performance 5%, one test 25%); examination 60%
Recommended textbooks:
Gilbert, S.F., Developmental Biology, 9th edition, Sinauer.
G. Davis and C. Tickle. Principles of Development. 4th Edn. OUP.
Tannock, I.F., Hill, R.P., The Basic Science of Oncology, 4th edition, MacGraw-Hill.
R.A. Weinberg, The Biology of Cancer, 1st edition, Garland.
Coordinator: Dr Hilary Sheppard
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 81194
Email: h.sheppard@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 358 Nutritional Science


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

The scientific basis of nutrition focusing on its biochemistry and physiology in health and disease. Nutritional aspects of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and trace nutrients are covered in an integrated manner. The methodologies which underpin nutritional science and its applications are included. Reference will be made to a broad range of examples, and a number of specific nutritional topics of current interest will also be included.

Prerequisites: BIOSCI 203
Assessment: In-course 50% (lab test 10%, theory test 20%, lab reports 10%, research essay 10%); examination 50%
Recommended textbook:
Zieglier, E.E., Filer, L.J. (eds), Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 7th edition, ILSI Press Washington DC.
Further information on journal articles of relevance will be provided during the course.
Coordinator: Dr Jennifer Miles-Chan
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 84322
Email: j.miles-chan@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 394 Conservation Ecology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Conservation of species and ecosystems. Population ecology, population growth, harvesting and pest control, marine and terrestrial conservation practice, forest and fisheries management. Impacts and control of invasive species. Population viability analysis and case studies in the conservation of threatened species. International conservation.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 104 and 30 points at Stage II in either Biological Sciences or Geography
Assessment: In-course 75% (terms test 25%, two assignments 15%, one assignment 20%); examination 25%
Field trips/labs: To be advised
Coordinator: Associate Professor Margaret Stanley
Phone: +64 9 923 6819
Email: mc.stanley@auckand.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 395 Pacific Biogeography and Biodiversity


(15 points) (City) Semester Two

Island biogeography and insular biodiversity across the Pacific. A multi-disciplinary approach involving the study of both plant and animal systematics and biogeography.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 109 or GEOG 101
Assessment: In-course 65% (one practical assignment 30%, theory test 35%) examination 35%
Recommended textbook: Keast, A., Miller, S.E. (eds), The Origin and Evolution of Pacific Island Biotas, S.E. Academic Publishing.
Coordinator: Dr Shane Wright
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 81775
Email: sd.wright@auckland.ac.nz

 

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BIOSCI 396 Terrestrial Ecology


(15 points) (City) Semester One

Experimental and theoretical population and community ecology focusing on the interactions and environmental forces controlling the distribution and abundance of terrestrial populations of plants and animals. Both New Zealand and international examples will be used to explain the fundamental processes shaping ecological systems throughout the world.

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 109, 206, and STATS 101 or 108
Assessment: In-course 70% (test 20%, research proposal 15%, research project 20%, group exercise 5%, presentation 10%); examination 30%
Textbook (optional): Begon, M., Howarth, RW., Townsend, CR., Essentials of Ecology, 4th edition (2014), Wiley.
Field trips: To be advised
Laboratories: To be advised
Coordinator: Dr Bruce Burns
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83135
Email: b.burns@auckland.ac.nz

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BIOSCI 399 Capstone: Biological Science in a Post Truth World


(15 points) (City)

Enables students to engage in debate on contemporary issues in biology and how these are interpreted from a cultural, political and economic perspective. Equips students with the tools to counter misrepresentation of science, through evidence-based scientific reasoning. Offers students a perception of Western science through different lenses, including Vision Matauranga, economic, environmental and health policy and journalism in NZ and beyond.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage III in Biological Sciences

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