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CH2042 - Marine Chemistry and Chemical Ecology

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Pharmacy & Molecular Sciences

An introductory subject on the principles of marine chemistry and marine chemical ecology. Definition and history of marine chemistry and chemical ecology. Properties and chemical composition of seawater. Major elements in seawater. Conservative and non-conservative elements. Biogeochemical cycles. Horizontal and vertical distribution of biolimiting elements. Determination of nutrients in seawater. Minor or trace elements in seawater, sediments and marine organisms. Bioaccumulation and biomagnification of trace elements in marine organisms. Trace element speciation and toxicity. Carbonate equilibria in the sea. Ecological role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) compounds in seawater. Chemical communication conveyed by DOC, allochemical effects. Invertebrate-toxic host relationships, symbiosis and mutualism, coral spawning chemistry. Fatty acids, steroids, terpenes, nitrogenous compounds, fish and shellfish toxins. Potential applications of marine biotechnology-ectocrines and filter feeders, mollusk chemistry, tunichromes, metal ion sequestering and pharmacological activity.

Learning Outcomes

  • to introduce the study of marine pollution;
  • to understand ecology in terms of chemical interactions;
  • to understand the basic principles of marine chemistry.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments;
  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to define and to solve problems in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • The ability to lead, manage and contribute effectively to teams;
  • The ability to speak and write logically, clearly and creatively;
  • The ability to calculate, produce, interpret and communicate numerical information;
  • A coherent and disciplined body of skills, knowledge, values and professional ethics in at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to learn independently and in a self-directed manner;
  • A commitment to lifelong learning and intellectual development.
Prerequisites: (CH1001 and CH1002) or (CH1011 and CH1012)


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 22-Mar-2012
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Bruce Bowden
Lecturers: <Person not found>, Assoc. Professor Bruce Bowden.
Workload expectations:
  • 36 hours lectures
  • 30 hours practicals
  • 8 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); assignments (10%); practical performance and reports (30%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.