Adaptation and Physiological Responses of Metazoans to Changing Environments

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General information

Course Content: The diversity of marine animals and environments which they colonize underlines a diversity of physiological systems, specializations and adaptations. The course addresses this diversity of physiological systems and how animals cope with special conditions (temperature, salinity, pollution). Furthermore human intervention in marine ecosystems often modifies the environment to such an extent that physiological systems may be unable to cope or there may be interference with behavior and survival. Examples are potential water temperature increases in the Antarctic which may put at risk stenotherm fish and invertebrates, pollutants such as copper which destroys olfaction in fish, mammalian echolocation systems affected long wave noise of various sources.

Course Methodology: The course will be based on introductory lectures to each subject addressing basic mechanisms followed by discussion of cases studies drawn from contemporary literature. Students have advance access to scientific papers which will be then discussed emphasizing basic mechanisms, adaptation and evolution in an ecological context. Practical classes will focus on techniques allowing quantification of some key variables, for example bicarbonate secretion in the fish gut which is relevant in the context of ocean acidification, or the use of electrophysiology to study the sensory systems.

Contact Person: Adelino Canario (


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Venue: Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve
Faro, Portugal

Centre of Marine Sciences
University of Algarve
Campus de Gambelas


Open from
1 Dec 2013 to 1 Feb 2014


€ 600


A first degree in biological area. Preferred but not essencial a background in physiology.

Application Procedure:

Email to Adelino Canario at


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning
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