Marine Ecology


Focuses on specific marine ecological concepts, recognising the importance, complexity and fragile aspects of different types of marine habitats. Topics include the effects of oceanographic factors on dispersal of marine organisms, marine connectivity of marine populations, marine habitats, nutrient cycles and human impacts. This course is taught by class lectures,student seminars and field studies of selected marine habitats. In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory Workplace Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on the compulsory course component in the course outline provided by the School.



  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Develop a knowledge of ecological characteristics and processes in a diversity of marine habitats

2. Apply ecological principles in describing relationships between habitats and organisms in marine environments

3. Explain the factors that determine the distribution and abundance of individuals, populations and communities of marine organisms

4. Develop ability to collect, analyse and interpret marine ecological data, both from empirical studies and analysis of literature

5. Develop effective written and oral communications skills through writing reports and delivering seminars


Ecological Processes in Marine and Coastal Habitats

  1. Recruitment processes and settlement & community theory - supply side ecology; variability in recruitment; larval phase
  2. Life history theory - traits of reproduction, growth, fertilisation, broadcast spawning
  3. Dispersal and gene flow in marine systems; connectivity of marine populations - molecular techniques, tagging methods, population structure, fisheries stocks
  4. Invasive species in marine and coastal habitats
  5. Ecosystem metabolism - primary and secondary production; nutrient cycles
  6. Disturbance and regeneration in marine communities
  7. Quantification of predation , competition, herbivory in marine habitats

Marine and Coastal Habitats

  1. Rocky shores as model habitats for experimental study of  predation , competition, herbivory in marine habitats
  2. Mangroves, saltmarshes and coastal lagoons - primary and secondary production; turnover of nutrients; vulnerability to human impacts
  3. Sandy beaches; morphology of dunes and special adaptations of coastal flora
  4. Open water habitats and ecology of plankton


This course has similarities to MARI2900. If you have successfully completed MARI2900 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

MARI2300 Marine Biology

Assessment Items

Quiz: Class quiz

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Reports

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Student Seminars

Formal Examination: Final Examinaion

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

Contact Hours


Field Study

Face to Face Off Campus 15 hour(s) per Term


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term