Experimental Approaches to Animal Physiology

BIOL401 (2012-13)

Notices and Links

  • Sept 14 Overview for Unit 1 insect labs

  • Sept 12 Assignment 1, handed out in the first tutorial

Course Overview


The goal of this course is to give students hands-on experience with many of the tools and techniques used in animal physiological research. Whether you have taken BIOL339 previously, or are taking it concurrently, the lab experience will help you understand the basic design and function of physiological systems. 


Highlights in technical training include: 

  • spectrophotometric analyses of metabolites and enzymes in muscle and nerve tissues

  • electrophysiological measurements of nerve electrical properties

  • myograph methods to explore the control of striated and cardiac muscle 

  • respirometry to study the factors that influence gas exchange and metabolic rate

Academic activities include: 

  • essays on select topics, with and without peer review

  • small group work with high faculty: student ratios

  • workshops on challenging topics 

  • refreshers on statistical analyses of biological data

  • preparation of scientific reports on novel data sets