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Zoology, an exciting and rapidly expanding field, is the study of all animal (including human) life. Zoologists have traditionally made important contributions to society's knowledge of the natural world. Important breakthroughs include our understanding of heredity and how genes and DNA operate, and the concept of evolution with its implications for how we and other species have originated and why animals look and behave as they do. These discoveries are among the most important intellectual legacies of human civilization. Zoology in the future will continue to contribute new insights into the workings of nature, and this dynamic scientific field is thus an opportune area for fresh minds to seek training and careers.
Zoological research helps us to understand human problems associated with population growth, famine, disease, radiation hazards, and pollution. Medical and behavioural studies often depend on discoveries made with other animals. Zoology contributes to applied fields such as veterinary medicine, pest control, archaeology, and management of fish, wildlife, and natural areas.
Zoology is a diverse field of study. It may be divided into many special areas, some based on groups such as protozoa, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals, and others based on levels of organization or methods of study, such as molecular biology, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, genetics, behaviour, ecology, population biology and evolution. Because of this diversity, there is no shortage of interesting and challenging topics of study.
Careers in Zoology are diverse and numerous. They include teaching at all levels of education schools, colleges and universities throughout the world. Many Zoologists are also employed by government departments, agricultural institutes, medical laboratories, resource industries, environmental consulting companies, pharmaceutical laboratories and publishing companies. Although many of the careers require only specialization in Zoology at the undergraduate level, others require advanced degrees (M Sc or Ph D) in this area.
It is important that students wishing to pursue Programs in Zoology or jointly sponsored programs seek counselling. Some students may wish to take programs that include Zoology courses, or take courses in other departments. For example, a student with broad interests in Ecology may wish to take courses in Botany, Environmental Studies (INI), Geography or Forestry. To insure that you receive proper advice and enrol in the most suitable courses, the Undergraduate Office in Zoology should be consulted. Prerequisites and co-requisites may be waived by the instructor, and in some courses enrolment may be limited.
Associate Chair (Undergraduate Affairs): Professor J.D. Rising
Student Counselling and Enquiries: Ramsay Wright Zoological Laboratories, Room 019 (978-2084/8879)
ANIMAL USE IN LABORATORIES
Laboratory investigations are part of life science programs at the University of Toronto. Programs in life sciences at the University of Toronto include courses that involve observation, handling, or experimentation on animals or on samples derived from animals. The use of animals in teaching and research is regulated by ethical and procedural guidelines and protocols. These are approved on an ongoing basis by the University Animal Care Committee, and follow provincial and federal government rules. We recognize, however, that some students may have strong reservations about personal exposure to any use of animal material in teaching. Students who want to avoid registration in programs or courses that include such labs are, therefore, encouraged to check in advance with the departments involved.
Enrolment in the Specialist, Major and Minor programs listed below requires completion of four courses; no minimum GPA is required.
NOTE: Students in this Program must notify the Department annually of their course selections, beginning in the Second Year.
Specialist program (Hon.B.Sc.): S06931
(13 full courses or their equivalent, including at least one 400-series course)
Major program (B.Sc.): M06931 (8 full courses or their equivalent)
Minor program (B.Sc.): R06931 (4 full courses or their equivalent)
Students wishing to take PSY courses to fulfill the requirements of this program should take PSY 100Y. To take additional PSY courses, students must be enroled in a PSY program or have obtained a minimum of 70% in PSY 100Y.
NOTE: Students in this Program must notify the Department annually of their course selections, beginning in the Second Year.
Specialist program: S12481 (13 full courses or their equivalent, including at least one 400-series course)
For Distribution Requirement purposes, all ZOO courses are classified as SCIENCE courses.
Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first year students. It may serve as a breadth requirement course; see First Year Seminars: 199Y.
Applications of mathematics to biological problems in physiology, biomechanics, genetics, evolution, growth, population dynamics, cell biology, ecology and behaviour.
Our relationship to the past, present and future biosphere. Human biological and cultural evolution (mechanisms, changes in anatomy, behaviour, conceptualization, resource consumption, biotechnology); sexuality (development, theories and controversies in current research); population growth and environmental impact (carrying capacity, water and land use,; pollution, resource management); environmental health (biodiversity, food supply, pesticides, ethics and decision-making).
This course counts as a Science Distribution Requirement for students in all years and disciplines; particularly suitable for Humanities and Social Science students.
Organic evolution by natural selection, both as formulated by Darwin and Wallace and modified by modern workers; speciation; palaeontology; evolution of higher taxa; mutation; natural selection; adaptations and coevolution. Essays and reading required.
This course counts as a Science Distribution Requirement or students in all years and disciplines; particularly suitable for Humanities and Social Science students.
The main ideas of physiology and the contribution of experimentation to our understanding of life processes. Uses examples from throughout the animal kingdom, and includes the physiology of nervous, muscular, sensory and endocrine systems, control mechanisms, salt and water balance, respiration, thermoregulation, reproduction and metabolic processes.
The ontogeny and phylogeny of vertebrate structure are considered within the context of evolutionary theory. Functional aspects of the various organ systems are examined. Representative fish and mammals are dissected in detail and other forms are dealt with briefly to illustrate selected anatomical features and to provide practical exposure to vertebrate construction.
Introduction to the diversity of animals of the world, providing basic taxonomic skills, including use of computer data bases and identification keys, some understanding of collection protocols, a basic understanding of the natural economy, and a basic understanding of the role for sustainable development in the human/biodiversity interface. Laboratories feature living organisms when possible.
Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See Research Opportunity Program for details.
Lectures on the biology of birds, and intensive field work emphasizing field identification, census techniques, and habitat preferences. Student projects included. Offered for two weeks in the spring or summer at a field station.
A field and lecture course introducing students to the diversity of marine invertebrates. Focuses on taxonomy, structure and ecology of the varied invertebrate fauna of Bermuda's coral reefs and nearshore habitats. Field and laboratory work is extensive. Individual student projects are required. Offered in Bermuda; duration 4 weeks, June-July. Must snorkel or scuba dive.
A broad introduction to animal behaviour emphasizing concepts from ethology and behavioural ecology. Field and laboratory studies are undertaken.
The principles of organic evolution. Evolutionary theory, natural selection, population variation and polymorphism, levels of selection, introductory population genetics, evolutionary ecology, optimization, the origin of species and higher taxa, tempo of evolution, labs use computers to introduce methods of classification; selection experiments using Drosophila.
Recommended Co-requisite: BIO260H
The control of physiological processes by hormones secreted by the principal endocrine glands in vertebrate animals including man. Hormonal regulation of growth, fuel metabolism, cardiovascular activity, renal function, waer and electrolyte balance, reproduction and behaviour.
Daily, monthly, annual and other rhythms and methods of measuring them. Behavioural and physiological aspects of biological clocks. The importance of rhythms in experimental design, in research on brain function, in affective disorders, and the adaptive value of rhythms to animals. (Given by the Departments of Psychology and Zoology)
Examines expression, structure and function of the four major classes of ECM macromolecules: collagens, proteoglycans, elastins and glycoproteins. In addition to elaborating complex frameworks for pattern formation and giving tissues their resiliency, strength and adhesiveness, these macromolecules have pronounced effects on cell shape, migration, growth and differentiation. Emphasis is on modern techniques used to explore the morphoregulatory contribution(s) of individual macromolecules at a various stage of embryonic and adult development.
Descriptive, experimental, and molecular analysis of development of various animals, representative of invertebrate and vertebrate groups. ZOO 330H is a recommended laboratory course.
The genetic basis of animal development, using recent studies on insects, nematodes, and vertebrates.
Recommended Preparation: ZOO328H
An intense three week laboratory-based course that gives students the opportunity to become familiar with three of the most widely used animal model systems: the primitive worm, C.elegans, the fruitfly, Drosophila, and the frog, Xenopus.
Physiological mechanisms underlying integration and regulation in the nervous system. The physiological properties of excitable cells from membranes, through neurons to synapses, neural networks and up to whole animal functions.
Study of the origins and structure of animal communication systems, and their biological functions. A diversity of sensory channels (e.g., visual, acoustic, chemical, tactile, electric) are considered. Individual research projects are undertaken.
The importance of neurohormones and hormones in the regulation of reproduction, growth, metamorphosis and metabolism in arthropods, especially insects and crustaceans, molluscs, and other invertebrates.
Comparative approach to studying the respiratory and cardiovascular adaptations of animals to their environment. Integrated control of behaviour, physiology and metabolism in whole organisms. Topics include exercise, diving, and sleep, with emphasis on vertebrate animals.
In-depth survey of unique cellular adaptations of different tissues and organisms to overcome environmental stresses such as hypoxia. Emphasis is placed on cellular strategies, particularly second messanger responses, although systematic and whole organism responses will be investigated. Broad-ranging common strategies among diverse organisms are examined.
The effects of radiation on plants and animals.
The historical evolution of modern biological science, focussing on the development of its methodology and its unifying theories, from Aristotle to DNA.
Morphology, life cycles, evolutionary history and adaptations to a parasitic mode of life. Host-parasite relationships are explored through the study of various helminths and arthropod parasites, the diseases they cause, and our attempts to control them.
Morphology, life cycles, evolutionary history and adaptations to a parasitic mode of life. Host-parasite relationships are explored through the study of various protozoan parasites, the diseases they cause, and our attempts to control them.
Introduction to the morphology, physiology, development, behaviour, ecology, evolutionary history, and biological significance of insects. Labs include field trips and making an insect collection.
A field and laboratory course to provide practical experience in techniques for collecting and studying insects. Students will each prepare an insect collection and/or conduct a small-scale research project. Includes intensive field work. Priority is given to students with ZOO360H. (Offered in alternate years)
Explores patterns of large-scale evolutionary change, played out over large geographic expanses and extended periods of time. Integrates patterns with field and experimental studies to clarify evolutionary processes. Topics include origins of species and their adaptations, historical biogeography, coevolution, community evolution, and the role of evolutionary information in conservation and biodiversity initiatives. Tutorials emphasize methods used to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships.
Structure and function of the vertebrate skeleto-muscular system from an engineering and materials science perspective. Topics include stress and strain, Young's modulus, Poisson's ration, linear and non-linear elasticity, elastomers, tensile and compressive strength, isotropy and anisotropy, toughness, beams, columns, bridges, trusses, levers, solid friction, lubrication theory, and properties of bones, cartilage, tendons, and muscles.
Mechanics of vertebrate locomotion; exercise physiology and the evolution of stamina in mammals and birds; terrestrial locomotion; aerial and aquatic locomotion, including aspects of fluid mechanics, drag, aspect ratios, swimming and flight.
The diversity and phylogeny of vertebrates as revealed by the fossil record; patterns of evolutionary change.
Introduction to the principles and methodology of palaeobiology, the significance of fossils in phylogenetic reconstruction, origin and long-term changes in major ecosystems, molecular evolution and the fossil record and importance of mass extinctions.
Principles of zoogeography and those aspects of ecology which bear on the distribution of animals.
A lecture and seminar course dealing with the effects of physical and chemical environments on animals.
Introduction to the natural history, evolution, and diversity of amphibians. (Offered in alternate years)
Behavioural ecology, ecomorphology, adaptive strategies, breeding behaviour, migration, vocalizations and cultural evolution, the origin of birds, conservation issues, the importance of birds to humans, and history of ornithology. Field trips.
Systematics, seasonal distribution, zoogeography and evolution of modern birds. Laboratories use the comprehensive world-wide collections of birds at the Royal Ontario Museum. Field trips.
Natural history of mammals emphasizing ecology, community structure, behaviour, reproduction, and life history strategies; form and function related to different modes of life and physical environments. Laboratory includes a survey of Ontario mammals. (Offered in alternate years)
The origin, evolution, zoogeography, phylogenetic relationships and diversity of mammals; speciation, extinction and current issues in conservation biology. Laboratory surveys mammalian orders, their characteristics, identification, and systematic relationships. (Offered in alternate years)
NOTE BIO and ZOO 400-series courses are of three types. Those numbered up to 479 are advanced courses in a particular area of specialization that usually require relevant 300-series courses as prerequisites. Courses numbered 480-496 are equally advanced in level but are broader in scope, emphasizing the integration of related sub-disciplines, critical thinking and the synthesis of ideas often crossing disciplinary boundaries. These courses, generally taken in fourth year, demand active student participation, and typically involve several faculty. All students enroled in the BIO or ZOO Specialist programs as of 93W are required to take one 480-496 course. ZOO498Y and 499Y are Project courses to be arranged with individual faculty.
Essentially all phenomena associated with growth and developmental processes, particularly those related to vertebrate embryos, are intrinsic to the regeneration of amputated amphibian limbs. This course deals with the mechanisms controlling the various stages of epimorphic as well as tissue regeneration of limbs and the reconstruction of organs in vertebrates, as well as the causality of the morphogenetic events.
Circadian rhythms with emphasis on non-photic entrainment and phase shifting of rhythms by behaviour (e.g., social interactions, or becoming active). Properties and physiological mechanisms for non-photic effects and comparisons with those for photic effects. Seminars and readings of original papers. Emphasis on basic principles, but possible applications are also discussed. (Given by the Departments of Psychology and Zoology)
A seminar course dealing with recent research in selected areas of neurobiology.
Computer-assisted methods for constructing and testing phylogenetic hypotheses are introduced through lectures and laboratories. Molecular, biochemical, and morphological data are compared and contrasted as indicators of relationships. Character coding, parsimony, compatibility, and congruence are discussed. Students prepare a comprehensive term paper based on analysis of individual data sets.
Using science fiction as a jumping off point, major questions in developmental biology are considered from cellular, genetic, and molecular perspectives. Conceptual frameworks, synthesis of ideas and critical analysis of data are stressed. The class may decide to do independent laboratory projects.
The experimental basis of modern animal physiology: techniques and instrumentation and their importance to current physiological concepts, using examples from the literature and the research programs of members of the Department.
Contrasting functional and developmental viewpoints on a range of biological structures from molecules to whole animals. Impact of physical and evolutionary constraints on optimal design. Topics will appeal to those interested in physiology, biomechanics, developmental biology and evolution.
A research project requiring the prior consent of a member of the Department to supervise the project. The topic is to be one mutually agreed on by the student and supervisor before enrolment in the course; they must also arrange the time, place, and provision of any materials. This course is normally open only to Fourth Year students with adequate background in Zoology. All students are required to make written and, perhaps, oral presentations of the results of their projects and participate in a poster session.
Allows students to do a second independent project, supervision of which must be different from ZOO498Y. Operates in the same manner as ZOO498Y.
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