EZO-30306 Developmental Biology of Animals


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)4
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. S Kranenbarg
Lecturer(s)dr. MJM Lankheet
dr. BJA Pollux
dr. ir. S Kranenbarg
Examiner(s)dr. ir. S Kranenbarg

Language of instruction:

Dutch or English

Assumed knowledge on:

CBI-10306 Cell Biology; EZO-10306 Human and Animal Biology I and HAP-20306 Human and Animal Biology, part 2.


This course prepares you for being a researcher in the field of (mainly vertebrate) developmental biology. An in-depth knowledge of the morphology of vertebrate model species is gained by studying vertebrate embryology (zebrafish, chicken, and mouse) in a comparative way. During the course you design, execute and analyse your own experiments to answer questions in (evolutionary) developmental biology. The experiments focus on early development (neural development), postnatal development and behavior (prey capture), and development in an evolutionary setting (sexual selection and evolution of the placenta).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and interpret microscopic sections through the embryonic stages of three model species in developmental biology: zebrafish, chicken, and mouse;
- summarize the characteristics of these species that make them popular model species;

- understand and explain the early embryonic development of vertebrates;
- understand how postnatal development affects behavior;

- understand how embryonic development is related to micro- and macroevolutionary changes;

- understand and use some molecular techniques (e.g. DNA extraction, RNA extraction, gene expression (qPCR, ISH);

- design and execute an experiment, to collect and analyse data, to critically reflect on the results (discussion) and to report the experiment to peers and teachers.


- actively participate in the lectures and study the discussed material;
- prepare and actively participate in the laboratory exercises, including designing and performing your own experiments on the model species;
- write a report, make a poster, and give a presentation on the laboratory exercises;
- join a half-day excursion.


- reports, poster and presentation of the laboratory exercises to be made in pairs (30%);
- written examination with open questions (70%).


Manual including background reading material for the lectures and a description of the laboratory exercises.
S.F. Gilbert (2014). Developmental Biology, 10th ed. Sinauer Associates. Note: this textbook is not compulsory, but is suggested as a very useful complementary information source.

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScB: Organismal Adaptation and Development6WD
MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Adaptation, Health and Welfare6WD
MASAnimal SciencesMScE: Molecule, Cell and Organ Functioning6WD