BIOSCI 724 : Marine Ecology


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Current topics in marine ecology at the population, community, and ecosystem level. Seminars focus on ecology and evolution in a life-history context, including topics on fertilisation, larval development, and recruitment.

Course Overview

The ocean covers over 70% of the surface area of the planet, provides 50% of the oxygen you breathe and much of the food you eat. Understanding the ecology of marine ecosystems is therefore, critical to the health of the planet. This course addresses current topics in marine ecology at the local, hemispheric and global levels, focusing on topics such as life-history theory, population connectivity, the role of macroalgae in kelp-beds, the effects of climate change, and the threats of invasive species. This course provides students with fundamental knowledge in marine ecology that can be applied in other marine courses and is an optional course in the postgraduate diploma in "Biosecurity and Conservation".

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain concepts underlying several current topics in marine ecology (Capability 1)
  2. Evaluate a diverse set of seminar readings and integrate with previous content (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  3. Prepare a question/discussion point for each seminar to facilitate class discussion (Capability 1 and 2)
  4. Communicate and debate concepts in marine ecology both orally (in class discussions) and in written form (essays, examination) (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Assemble information from the primary literature to answer specific essay questions on the course content and communicate this effectively (Capability 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Be able to place ecological knowledge into an ethical context, especially how marine ecology can contribute to the resolution of ethical, social, Treaty of Waitangi and environmental issues (Capability 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 15% Individual Coursework
Essays 45% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam

Learning Resources

Course readings will be provided through CANVAS.

Special Requirements

Attendance is expected at all seminars (unless a medical certificate is provided).

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 20 hours of seminars, 100 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 30 hours of writing your essays.

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.


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.

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.

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 at

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.

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.

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 12/02/2020 08:12 p.m.