Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
This course belongs to the disciplinary groups of biological and ecological sciences and it is one of the basic training and laboratory activities of the Bachelor Degree in Environmental Sciences. In relation to the training activities characterising the degree class 32, the Graduate in Environmental Sciences should possess an environmental systemic culture. Being the biological diversity a central component of ecosystem functioning, the main goal of this course is to provide fundamental principles and conceptual background for the understanding of systematics, phylogeny and diversity of living organism, with a particular focus on Plant and Animal Kingdoms.
Expected learning outcomes
1. Knowledge and understanding:
• Understanding of the phylogenetic relationships and systematic positions of plant and animal species
• Understanding of the evolution of body plans, morphology and organic systems in the main plant and animal groups
• Understanding of taxonomic approaches and methodologies, based on the use of dichotomous keys
2. Ability to apply knowledge:
• Ability to use optical instruments, such as stereoscopes and microscopes
• Applying zoological and botanical knowledge in morphology, systematics and taxonomy to identify organisms
• Ability to work on phenotypic traits to identify and discriminate the main groups of organism at the level of the different systematic categories
• Interpretation of phylogenetic trees, with a cladistic approach
3. Judgement skills
• Skills to use approaches and methods useful to discriminate and classify living organisms in biological communities
Students should possess elements of basic math, capacity of abstraction and methodological rigor, that are evaluated by means of the national Test TOLC-I. These elements are prerequisites required also for this course, that is focused on scientific disciplines, that adopt a descriptive, comparative and experimental method. Similarly, the knowledge of the English language, at least at B1 level, evaluated trough specific linguistic certifications and a linguistic Test provided by the University linguistic Centre, is fundamental for the analysis of the specialised literature. A basic biological culture, acquired in the high schools and during the classes of the first semester, could favour the learning process but it is not strictly required.
Main characters and traits, diversity and phylogeny of the main animal groups.
Practice of microscopy, with vision of moss samples and identification of the organisms found.
Molluscs: general characteristics and identification exercises.
Arthropods: general characteristics and monographic exercise on crustaceans.
General introduction on deuterostomes, with exercises on plankton samples.
Fish: general characteristics and identification exercises.
Tetrapods: tricology exercise
Cladistics: construction of a cladogram
W. Westheide, R. Rieger. Zoologia sistematica. Filogenesi e diversità degli animali. Zanichelli
Casiraghi M., De Eguileor M, Cerrano C., Puce S. Zoologia. Utet, 2018.
The verification of learning will be assessed by means of a written test, based on three questions. These questions consist of three zoological tables or illustrations, to be completed and commented in a default space. In the default space students should describe the main traits characterising the zoological taxon reported in the figure. The test should be completed within two hours.
The lectures are using teaching modules (ppt slides), provided by means of the moodle platform. These modules contain the different topics of the course, subdivided into the different lectures, and provided as ppt slides and pdf files. The files contain the exercises and the dichotomous keys provided during the laboratory lectures.
During the practical part, students will be organised in work pairs. Each pair will be assigned the samples and the exercise to be conducted within that particular lecture. Each pair will be followed by the teacher and the tutors during the conduction of the lab exercise. Each exercise should produce a brief report of the results obtained during each lab exercise.
Type of exam
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development
Last update of the programme: 20/07/2021
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