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Unit (2019)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2019 academic year.

Marine Ecology (BIO377)

Organisational Unit Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit examines marine and estuarine ecosystems, their organisms and how these ecosystems function. Commencing with an introduction to marine ecology, followed by an examination of various aspects of planktonic, estuarine, intertidal, benthic and coral reef communities. The information is used to illustrate the temporal and spatial structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. Essential part of the unit is a one-week field camp, which will be held in the week preceding the start of Semester 1.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should:
1. understand marine and estuarine ecosystems and associated organisms on a local, regional and global scale
2. be able to describe key marine and estuarine ecosystem processes using relevant examples
3. be able to evaluate the impacts of changing global climate and environmental conditions on the marine environment
4. be able to work in the field and laboratory with others and to operate in a team environment.

The unit will contribute to development the following graduate attributes:
1. be able to research and critically think about recent research
2. be able to prepare and write a significant scientific report
3. be able to design experiments, analyse information and evolve appropriate hypotheses using experimental field data and published material
4. be able to design and undertake advanced statistical analysis of field data and present the results in an appropriate format
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 3 hours per week; computer workshops: 4 x 3 hours per week for the first 4 weeks of Semester 1 only; tutorials: 1 x 2 hours; fieldwork: 1-week fieldwork component in the week before the commencement of Semester 1 (approximately 40 contact hours).
Unit Learning Experiences This unit covers the following topics:
* Marine Ecology
* The Intertidal
* Estuaries
* Productivity and Trophic Interactions
* Benthic Communities
* Ecological and Evolutionary Processes in Marine Systems
* Tropical Reefs
* The Deep Sea
* Organismal Interactions.
* Global Climate Change
* Applied Marine Biology.
A lecture at the end of the unit introduces students to some of the marine biology research interests of academics in the School of Veterinary & Life Sciences.
The unit aims are:
1. Introduce students to the special features of marine and estuarine environments and some of the major habitats
2. Highlight the adaptations organisms have made to marine and estuarine life, highlighting ecological interactions and using local examples
This will be achieved by immersing the students in the WA marine environment during a 1-week field camp where they will become familiar with common local marine organisms and participate in industry standard ecological field exercises. The students are required to work in groups to design, carry out, analyse and write up their project work. The lecture series during semester will introduce a broad range of marine and estuarine habitats and organisms from a marine ecology perspective.
Assessment Fish Report (10%) A short report (approximately 1000 words) based on the fishing exercise undertaken during the field camp. The modified format emphasises analysis of the data collected during the exercise and in previous years.
Field Report (40%) A detailed project report (3-4000 words) based on the major field work project undertaken during the field camp. Students have the opportunity to submit a draft for detailed feedback - not assessed.
Tutorial participation (10%) Participation in discussions on a relevant topic in depth. Students are required to attend one of three alternative 2- hour tutorials.
Examination (40%) 2-hour timetabled theory exam. Short answer and extended responses on any aspect of the unit.
Prerequisites BIO261/BIO244 Animal Diversity/Animal Speciation, Radiation, Evolution, or BIO287 Plant Diversity (Marine Science) / BIO254 Marine Botany or BIO265/BIO245 Plant Diversity/Plant Evolution, Radiation and Adaptation, or ENV268/ENV241 Ecology.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed BIO384 Marine and Estuarine Biology may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Animal Health (BSc) [New in 2015]
Animal Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biological Sciences (BSc) [New in 2014]
Biomedical Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Chemistry (BSc) [New in 2014]
Clinical Laboratory Science (BSc) [New in 2015]
Conservation and Wildlife Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Engineering Technology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Management and Sustainability (BSc) [New in 2014]
Environmental Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Forensic Biology and Toxicology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Genetics and Molecular Biology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Marine Biology (BSc) [New in 2017]
Marine Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mathematics and Statistics (BSc) [New in 2014]
Mineral Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Physics and Nanotechnology (BSc) [New in 2014]
Sport and Health Science (BSc) [New in 2014]
Appears in these Minors Marine Biology
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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