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Unit (2019)

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

Tropical Marine Biology (BIO393)

Organisational Unit Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: W-internal (quota of 40 places) (closed as the offering has reached capacity)
Description Ningaloo Reef is Australia's longest fringing coral reef and one of the world's largest. This broad-ranging advanced marine biology unit provides an opportunity to study tropical marine biology and ecology in a coral reef setting. It provides an introduction to Western Australian biogeography and habitats, covering advanced topics in biology, physiology and ecology of marine plants and animals. Human impacts and conservation of tropical marine environments are addressed. The field camp provides training and experience in field techniques.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the program, students should be able to:
1. Describe the physical processes that characterise the WA marine environment
2. Explain the key physiological and ecological processes that occur on coral reefs
3. List the plants and animals that dominate the tropical marine environment of Western Australia
4. Outline the ecological roles of key groups of organisms in the marine environment.

This unit will contribute to the development of the following Graduate Attributes:
1. Ability to prepare and write a significant scientific report and present the results orally
2. Have the capacity to work in the field and laboratory with others and to operate in a team environment
3. Have an understanding of tropical marine ecosystems and associated organisms on a local, regional and global scale.
Timetabled Learning Activities Note that this unit is taught intensively over 3.5 weeks. Lectures: 15 lectures; 2 x 2-hour laboratory classes; 1 2-hour tutorial; field camp: 10 days. The lectures and tutorial will be held at Murdoch campus over a five-day period, although some may be held during the field camp. A 10-day field camp will be run at the Coral Bay Research Station on the Ningaloo Reef, followed by time on-campus to finalise writing reports and group presentations.
Due to the nature of offering this unit students are recommended to seek confirmation of the exact attendance dates and requirements from the Unit Coordinator closer to the commencement date of the teaching period.
Unit Learning Experiences The unit comprises two components - a theoretical component covering tropical marine biodiversity, ecology and environmental issues; and a field component, where students will participate in a range of field activities, imparting hands-on skills relevant to a tropical marine biologist. The unit will cover the WA marine environment, biodiversity, ecology, physiology, human impacts and global climate change. Additional modules will provide supplementary training in research design and analysis, identification and survey techniques.
Other Learning Experiences One 10-day field trip to the Coral Bay Research Station on the Ningaloo Reef, which provides an immersive field research experience in a tropical marine environment. During the field camp laboratory sessions will provide training in algal and coral identification and survey techniques. Assessment of this component is project reports and group presentations of the field projects.
Assessment The theory component of the unit is assessed by a theory exam (30%) and tutorial discussion (10%) Assessment of the fieldwork component is by project reports (30%) and group presentations (30%) of the two field projects.
Prerequisites BIO261/BIO244 Animal Diversity/Animal Speciation, Radiation, Evolution OR BIO265/BIO245 Plant Diversity/Plant Evolution, Radiation and Adaptation OR BIO287/BIO254 Plant Diversity (Marine Science) /Marine Botany OR ENV268/ENV241 Ecology OR permission of the Unit Coordinator.
Exclusions Students who have successfully completed BIO383 Tropical Marine Biology may not enrol in this unit for credit.
Notes Winter term unit for approximately 3.5 weeks with a 10-day field trip and the remainder on campus. This unit will have additional costs for the field trip component. Additional costs include but are not limited to travel, accommodation, meals, facilities hire, etc.
Quota This unit is subject to quota. Quota is due to limited transport and accommodation. In addition to quota, a minimum of 12 enrolments are required for this unit to proceed. Preference will be given to students requiring the unit as part of their major (B Marine Science) or minor (Marine Biology), followed by international students, followed by selection based on previous academic performance.
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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