It is announced that the call for registrations to ERACOM MSc program will open at 20 February 2016



Core course






John F. Steffensen, Paolo Domenici



In response to threats to global biodiversity, conservation practitioners require science-based information on the causes and consequences of species decline so that they can develop and implement effective strategies to stem this loss. Animal physiologists have begun making contributions to conservation biology based on their knowledge of endocrinology, immunology, and sensory biology. The recognition that physiological tools and knowledge have the potential to inform conservation policy has led to the definition of the nascent discipline of “conservation physiology.” Indeed, conservation physiology has much to offer policy makers because of the rigorous experimental approach and the focus on elucidating cause-and-effect relationships.The subdiscipline of conservation physiology, defined as “the study of physiological responses of organisms to human alteration of the environment that might cause or contribute to population declines”, is one of the most recent formal integrations. Physiological constraints or requirements sculpt the behavioral and life history choices of individuals and provide mechanistic linkages with population processes and conservation policies. This area of physiology entails the design of experiments studying live animals in natural conditions to further our knowledge for resource management and species conservation.


Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students will be able:

  1. To get insights regarding the potential of physiological traits of marine organism
  2. To learn about the relationship between the physiological mechanisms shaping the physiological traits and performance in their habitats
  3. To learn about the physiological mechanisms limiting their physiological performance
  4. To learn that physiological ecology becomes and remains useful as a policy tool
  5. To identify and measure physiologically relevant biomarkers.
  6. To understand physiology within an ecologically relevant framework


  1. Research paper (50%)
  2. Draft research paper (10%)
  3. Oral presentation (20%)
  4. Final research paper (20%)


Course Outline - lectures


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