Environmental physiology

The course explores how animals adapt to their environments within-life and during evolution that encourages students to develop a deeper understanding of key topics in animal physiology gaining an overview of the integrated nature of physiology, from molecules to whole organism.

An emphasis is placed on learning from the primary scientific literature, including primary research articles and review papers. Students may explore diverse aspects of physiological adaptation through individual and group work through discussions, presenting speeches, or by writing scientific minireviews, developing skills in communication, team work and writing dissertation.






Time span:

13 hours


Physiology I.


David Sandor Kiss, PhD


  • Introduction, terms and trends
  • Adaptations of thermoregulation, circulatory system, respiration to environmental conditions
  • Adaptations of osmotic and acid base homeostasis, metabolism to environmental conditions
  • Physiology and behaviour: food effects; gut-brain axis
  • Brain and evolution
  • Development of immune processes
  • Evolutionary role of social life
  • Role and evolution of sexual reproduction; role and evolution aging
  • Biological clocks
  • Development of behaviour
  • Hormones and behaviour, the effects of the environment
  • Drive and motivation; behavioural responses to change in environment
  • Final discussion, evaluation of students activity

Language of the course:



Written exam (Essay)


Marks from 1 to 5