16 x 50-minute lectures per semester
15 x 50-minute tutorials per semester
1 x 60-minute workshop per semester
1 x 13-day field trip per semester
1 1 of BIOL1101, BIOL1301, EASC1102
2 1 of BIOL2701, STAT1121, STAT1122
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Topic description

This topic provides students with knowledge on the ecological processes operating on populations and communities in marine systems. It also introduces the major habitats in the marine environment and considers the attributes of the species and communities which reside in each. The extended field trip provides experience in sampling marine habitats, identifying the associated organisms, data analysis and experimental design as well as communication of research finding in written and oral form.

Educational aims

In this topic, the students learn to understand interactions between environment and biota in the oceans and coastal seas and how important they are for the functioning of marine ecosystems. Students learn about factors and processes controlling populations and community structures in the various compartments of the oceans. Furthermore, they learn about methodologies to investigate marine biota in the water column and sediments, become familiar with standard sampling procedures, experimental design, and data analysis. Students will also learn to research further peer-reviewed literature and use this information in their practical reports.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Distinguish the characteristics of the major marine habitats
  2. Understand major processes determining populations and community structures in marine habitats
  3. Know key issues associated with sampling and hypothesis testing in marine systems
  4. Identify and describe the major groups of marine organisms
  5. Use basic laboratory and field equipment relevant to marine biology
  6. Design a marine ecological study and write a proposal
  7. Write a basic marine ecological report and orally present research findings
  8. Have enhanced skills in the critical analysis of scientific papers relevant to marine biology