MLS905 Seminars and Practice on Functional Genomics
A core of biology is the central dogma governing the gene expression from DNA blueprint to functional protein to exert various biological function. The classic genetics studies from genotype to phenotype. With fast moving development of technology in the "-omics" era, the study of gene function has leaped forward to genome wide scale. Genome sequences continue to be completed on a regular basis, and numerous bioinformatics, genomic and proteomic tools rapidly reveal a large body of information contained in these genomes. This elective course combines lectures and laboratory sessions to cover topic and skills in functional genomic.
MLS962 Environmental Health and Toxicology
The study of the effect of pollution on natural ecosystems by examining biological responses at all organismal levels (molecular to whole organism) using biomarkers is an increasingly popular tool for managing environmental health by various governmental bodies. MSc (LS) Environmental Science candidates who take this course will have an opportunity to run laboratory experiments using known pollutants. Field sampling will be conducted to examine possible correlations with environmental contamination, allowing candidates to experience a direct application of ecotoxicology techniques as an environmental management tool. This experimental extension allows for a more rigorous assessment of a research-based course.
MLS965 Evolution and Phylogeny
While Physics and Chemistry have many fundamental laws that most science students are well acquainted with, Biology is fascinating in that there is a unity of all life, with the incredible diversity of living things and their innumerable adaptations for survival and reproduction. What made this shared ancestry and diversification possible? We will explore the process of evolution and the patterns of relationship among living things that follow from it. In addition, we will see how an evolutionary approach can help us better understand the interaction between organisms and their environment, as well as how an understanding of evolution and phylogeny can assist in the conservation and management of habitats and endangered species. Research themes and methods that are currently being actively pursued in the field will be highlighted.
MLS985 Chemical Ecology
This course on Chemical Ecology explores the role and function of chemistry in mediating interactions among a variety of organisms, including intraspecific and interspecific interactions. The course will cover the range of compound classes involved in chemical ecology. In addition, we will discuss the diversity of species interactions and chemical compounds in terrestrial and aquatic systems, and methods (e.g. analytical and molecular techniques) used to detect these compounds. We will cover defensive and offensive chemistry mediating antagonistic interactions; the evolution of defenses; chemicals mediating mutualisms, competition, and sociality; the physiology of chemical production and recognition; and how chemical ecology affects humans. The biotechnological applications of chemical ecology will also be discussed. This course will include paper discussions of relevant recent literature.
MLS986 Sensory Zoology
Sensory physiology, animal behaviour, and animal ecology have traditionally been studied in isolation; sensory zoology or ecology is the synthesis of these sub-disciplines to link animal perceptual abilities to the observed ecological interactions. This course focuses on linking the internal and external ecologies of animals, and provides relevant knowledge on this emerging field of study. Topics include physical properties of the various environments, photoreception, mechanoreception, electroreception, as well as applied aspects of this field in ecology and conservation.
MLS987 Contemporary Topics in Zoological Sciences
This seminar course focuses on current research areas, topics and reviews of literature in zoological sciences. As graduate students are expected and encouraged to read current zoological science research literature critically and widely, each time this course is conducted, a recently published edited book in relevant zoological science themes will be selected by the instructors to be used as the course resource. Seminar resource material (i.e., the edited book) will be selected on a thematic or disciplinary basis, rather than on a taxon-specific basis. Each student is required to read, synthesise, critique and make a class presentation on an assigned chapter of the book. In addition, the students are expected to read the entire book so that they can engage each presenter in fruitful discussions during the seminar presentations. Through this method of individual in depth research on one topic plus the discourse with course mates on related topics, the learning is self-directed as well as collaborative in nature.