EZO-20406 Biology of Invertebrates, Algae and Fungi, dissection free


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical9
Excursion (one day)3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. SWS Gussekloo
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
dr. SWS Gussekloo
dr. ir. A Schouten
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MJ Ketelaar
dr. SWS Gussekloo

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Human and Animal Biology l and 2; Structure and Physiology of Plants; Growth, Development and Reproduction of Plants.

Continuation courses:

Vertebrate Structure and Function; Developmental Biology of Animals; Functional Zoology.


Note 1: Registration for dissection-free course is only possible after consultation with and via the course coordinator.
Note 2: The overall course (EZO 20306/20406) has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual.
See Academic Year (http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendat-Adacemic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses.
Note 3: As postulated in the student charter a contribution has to be paid to cover the cost of living during the field course.

How have algae, fungi and invertebrate animals adapted in structure, function and behaviour to survive and reproduce in a wide spectrum of biotic and abiotic conditions? Such questions are discussed on phylogenetic and ontogenetic time scales. This provides insight in biodiversity, evolutionary theory and the social and economic importance of invertebrates, algae and fungi. Following lectures, histological lab-sessions, anatomical model based lab-sessions and IT-supported lab-sessions, all questions are finally integrated in a field course where animals and plants are studied in their natural habitat of the intertidal zone (Wimereux, France). There we can explore the adaptations and constraints of plant and invertebrate life, and their interactions in a natural community.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the processes and mechanisms which shaped the organismal biological diversity: their adaptive radiation during the individual (ontogenetic) and the evolutionary (phylogenetic) development;
- master skills for your own research: observation, problem definition, analysis, synthesis, discussion and presenting (oral, poster and written);
- recognize and understand the diversity of algae, fungi and invertebrate animals, in relation to abiotic (exposure, substrate, water content, salinity, temperature, oxygen content, pH) and biotic factors (community with other plants and animals) in the environment where they face selective forces.


In Wageningen
- lectures and practicals on the subject of invertebrate biology integrated with theoretical issues, and an interactive IT-supported practical programme on algae, fungi and lichens, including self-tests;
During the field work in Wimereux
- during low-tide you will characterise (in biotic and physical sense) selected field locations;
- observed species are studied by teams of two students and analysed for taxonomy, structure, function, life style and biological role;
- eventually, 'simple' experiments exploring adaptation of animals and plants are designed and performed.
All studies (biodiversity and experiments) are orally presented to the whole group, and written down in a lab journal/report.


The final grade includes four components, each contributing 25%:
1) computer test with closed questions on the subject of functional morphology of invertebrates;
2) computer test with closed questions on the subject of general biology of invertebrates (e.g. evolution, adaptation, ecology);
3) grade for general biology of algae and fungi. This grade is based on a computer test with closed question (80%) and assesment of the practicals (20%);
4) field course performance. this grade is based on observation of laboratory/field performance (25%); oral and poster presentations (25%), and a lab journal/report (50%);

In addition formative assessments (not contributing to the overall grade) have to be done on an almost daily basis.


Hickman [et al.] Integrated Principles of Zoology.
Raven [et al.] Biology of plants (both used in previous courses)
Lagere Planten,
Veldpracticum Evertebraten en Lagere Planten
IT: CD-ROM Biology of lower and higher plants.
Additional: Lecture hand-outs and additional information in Brightspace.