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Animal Behaviour

Knowledge of animal behaviour is important for anyone interested in areas such as conservation biology of native birds, the control of pest species, evolutionary biology, population ecology and the efficient and humane management of farm animals.

Completing this minor will provide you with an understanding of how developmental processes can influence animals’ behaviour, mechanisms that trigger or control behaviours, what functions certain behaviours might serve for an animal, and how behaviours might have evolved over time.

The combination of fundamental and applied topics studied at Waikato allows you to work toward a better understanding of some of the world’s ecological problems and to better appreciate the unique attributes of our native animals. You will also be able to use both biological and psychological approaches to address issues in the fields of animal conservation, wildlife management, animal welfare and the fundamental study of behaviour.

New Zealand is the only place in the world where you can study a unique native fauna dominated by birds, reptiles and invertebrates. These are animals that have evolved over tens of millions of years in isolation from terrestrial mammals. This makes New Zealand popular with those studying Zoology and Animal Behaviour.

Facilities

As a student at the University of Waikato, you will have access to the University's well-equipped laboratories, becoming familiar with complex research equipment and techniques. You'll be working alongside, and learning from, well-respected researchers, industry professionals and academics.

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Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga
Faculty:

Career opportunities

  • Animal Welfare Officer
  • Conservation Officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Science Writer
  • Technician
  • Zoo Curator or Keeper

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB102Introduction to Ecology and Biodiversity19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
An introduction to the principles of ecology and biodiversity. Topics include population, community and ecosystem ecology, conservation biology, and the structure, functioning and environmental responses of animals and plants. Examples will include New Zealand ecosystems and biota.
PSYCH100Brain, Behaviour and Cognition19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
This paper introduces perceptual systems, mechanisms of learning, emotions and motivation, the biological basis of psychology, such as brain structure and functioning, processes underlying behaviour, memory and cognition.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB200Behavioural Ecology & Conservation19B (Hamilton)
The paper provides an introduction to the principles and concepts of behavioural ecology, and to the application of these to case studies in conservation biology in New Zealand.
BIOEB203Animal Structure and Function19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
This paper is an integrated theoretical and experimental study of the principles of animal structure and function. Comparative aspects will be emphasised in how animals adapt to their environment. Topics covered include homeostasis, the function of major organ systems, ecophysiology, musculoskeletal design and locomotion. An introd...
PSYCH204Behavioural Psychology and Perception19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
Students will learn the basic assumptions of the philosophy of behaviourism, the principles of behaviour analysis, and how those principles can be applied to issues of clinical and community importance.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
BIOEB301Advanced Animal Behaviour19B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the development, causation, function and evolutionary history of vertebrate and invertebrate behaviour. It applies behavioural information to conservation biology and animal welfare.

April McMurtrie Handling cheetahs, training giraffes and rearing emu chicks are just a few of the things keeping University of Waikato graduate April McMurtrie busy in her inspiring career as a zoo keeper.

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New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Anne Shannon Scholarship  Closed

For students who are studying towards a degree with a major in Biological Sciences or are enrolled in a specified programme including a major in Biological Sciences at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of $2,500 per year for two years.

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering  Closed

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $5,000.

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled in the final year or have completed a Bachelors degree in Science, agricultural science, agricultural business or economics and are eligible to enrol in a masters degree at a New Zealand University. Up to three scholarships of $30,000 will be available each year + tuition fees.

Hamilton Zoo - University of Waikato Science & Engineering Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled full-time and have completed the second year of the Bachelor of Science (Technology) degree. The scholarship will have a value of $14,000 and a one year placement with the Hamilton Zoo.

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards  Closed

For students enrolling full-time in the first year MSc (research), MSc, MSc (Tech) ME or MEnvSci programme in the faculty of Engineering. Part-time applicants may be considered but any scholarship awarded will be on a pro-rata basis. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

The Hicks Scholarship  Closed

For students who are enrolled or intend to enrol at any New Zealand University to undertake the research portion of their Masters degree in agriculture, horticulture, arborculture, viticulture or animal husbandry. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $15,000.

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Documents


Contacts

Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254
Email: science@waikato.ac.nz
Website: sci.waikato.ac.nz
Facebook: facebook.com/WaikatoScienceEngineering