BIOSCI 333 : Marine Ecology and Conservation


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Patterns and processes in marine ecology and biodiversity are described; including predator-prey interactions, benthic and pelagic habitats, productivity and physiology. Applied aspects include movement ecology, dispersal related to resource availability, disturbance and impacts of resource use e.g. fisheries. Emerging technologies to understand resilience within ecosystems and dispersal will be included.

Course Overview

This is an advanced marine ecology course designed to provide you with an integrative understanding of the theoretical and applied science of patterns and processes in the ecology of benthic and pelagic plants and animals, and of ecosystems. You will gain an appreciation of the effects of change on marine ecosystems, and the role that science can play in understanding these changes at local, regional and global scales. Where appropriate we will explore mātauranga Māori, and economic and social drivers influencing applied marine ecology and conservation. The course will develop your skills in evaluating and interpreting scientific studies, and to improve your skills in data analysis, critical thinking and integrating ecological knowledge and innovative approaches for applied and conservation outcomes. The course is taught by specialists in different areas of marine ecology with a view to developing a broader understanding of the discipline and equip you with skills for future careers in marine ecology.
There are three timetabled classes per week and five interactive computer labs where you will use real-world data to develop hypotheses, query data, develop your analytical and data visualisation skills, and integrate theory to answer questions about applied and/or conservation ecology. Our course format encourages students to interact with each other and the lecturers in preparation for a career in marine ecology.
Students completing this programme have progressed into post-graduate studies in Marine Ecology and been employed in many places such as the Ministry for Primary Industries, Regional Councils, aquaculture and fishing companies, the Department of Conservation, ecological consultancies and non-government organisations.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: BIOSCI 206 and 220, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205, 207, 208 and STATS 101 or 108

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Descibe ecological interactions and processes within marine ecosystems. (Capability 1)
  2. Apply and integrate theoretical knowledge about the marine environment to understanding oceanic organisms, the effects of disturbance, and human impacts. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  3. Develop and demonstrate the ability to ask ecologically relevant questions and propose testable hypotheses about the marine environment. (Capability 2 and 4)
  4. Analyse current issues facing marine ecosystems and/or the organisms living there and consider how disciplines other than ecology are important for solving these problems. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  5. Select and analyse scholarly information from various sources (including electronic and print resources) in order to interpret data and answer questions about marine ecology and conservation taking into account social, cultural and economic considerations as needed. (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Analyse data and communicate scientific ideas and concepts in a written form using standard scientific conventions, including synthesis and interpretation of data using analytical and numeracy skills. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  7. Where appropriate, apply and integrate information about compliance and health and safety issues, research ethics and integrity associated with professional practice into your practical assessments. (Capability 1, 2, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 80% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Final Exam
Students must pass the practical (the combined grades from the four assessments) and the theory (final exam) independently to pass the course overall.


For more information and to find contact details for the [School of Biological Sciences] Tuākana coordinator, please see

Special Requirements

All practical components are compulsory.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 32 hours of lectures, 15 hours of labs (5 x 3hr labs), and 10 hours of optional tutorials associated with your practical work. We expect you to spend reasonable amounts of time on internal coursework and exam preparation, i.e; to make up to 150 hours on the course (these estimates include e.g., reading time, integration of ideas, preparation of reports and/or in-course  materials for examination).

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled labs to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials, labs and group discussions will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the final exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

Learning Resources

A digital version of the course book will be available online alongside any other learning materials we require you to access.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Other Information

MARINE202 completion could also be considered for entry into this course.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1:  Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode.
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person.  All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. The following activities will also have an on campus / in person option: Lectures, labs, tutorials and office hours.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 16/12/2020 01:55 p.m.