Zoology is the study of the diversity of animals, their evolution, form, function, behaviour and ecology. Animals are integral components of natural systems and they also have a major impact on us as parasites and as pests competing for our food. Zoologists investigate the interactions of animals with plants, which ultimately are the source of nutrients and shelter, and with microbes, which enable many animals to effectively utilise plants as food. Research in zoology can be undertaken at the level of the whole animal down to the level of cell biology, biochemical processes and their genetic control.
Zoology at Monash is taught in state of the art research and teaching labs, and in the semi-rural setting of the on-campus Jock Marshall Reserve, and through field-trips. First year is where the basics of animal evolution, diversity, structure and function are covered. In second year there is a greater focus on these topics in two units that deal with animal diversity and animal structure and function. In third year we develop this understanding further with units focused on animal behaviour and the biology of Australian vertebrate animals. Other units on evolution, ecology, marine biology and environmental management complement the development of broader understanding of the role and importance of animals in our world.
A knowledge of zoology can be used to understand the basics of animal evolution, diversity, structure and function along with animal behaviour and the biology of Australian vertebrate animals. Much of this information is relevant to the management, protection and conservation of animals and provides skills needed in many careers related to these themes. Graduates who have studied zoology may work for government agencies or industry - for example, helping develop or enforce environmental regulations; ecological/environmental consultants; as educators in museums or parks services; or in research at universities, zoos and other organisations.
Zoology is listed in S2000 Bachelor of Science, S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) and S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours) at Clayton as a major or minor.
In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the methods used in zoology and explain how scientific knowledge is contestable and testable by further enquiry and recognise the importance of biodiversity for sustaining life on our planet
- exhibit a breadth of knowledge of animal diversity and the evolutionary development of the major animal groups, including physiology, morphology, behaviour and ecology
- gather, synthesise and critically evaluate information relevant to zoology by applying practical and/or theoretical techniques and tools to conduct an investigation within the lab, field or virtual environment.