JCU Australia logo

Subject Search

MB2070 - Evolution and Biogeography of Marine Organisms

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology (pre 2015)

This subject will examine the basic concepts of evolution, systematics and biogeography as they relate to the marine realm. It will focus on the application of methods used to study evolution and biogeography and will draw on a wide range of evidence from molecular data, through distribution records, the fossil record and life history traits to larval duration to explain biodiversity in the marine environment. It will review several case histories to demonstrate the role of historical events in determining distributions of marine taxa and contrast this with the role of ecological factors in maintaining marine populations.

Learning Outcomes

  • understand and be familiar with the methods used to study the biogeography of marine organisms and the applications of historical and ecological biogeographic analyses in the study of marine systems;
  • understand the evolutionary history, life history, distribution patterns and speciation patterns of marine organisms;
  • have demonstrable knowledge of the current literature relevant to marine evolution and biogeography;
  • understand the role of historical events in shaping marine assemblages and contrast this with the role of ecological factors in maintaining populations;
  • synthesize current concepts of marine species and factors influencing speciation and distribution patterns.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 1 biology, particularly zoology (eg BZ1001, BZ1004 or BZ1007). A basic understanding of geological processes and statistics is also recommended (eg EA1110, MA1401).
Prerequisites: BZ1001 AND (ZL1001 OR BZ1004 OR AG1004 OR BZ1007)


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 1
Census Date 27-Mar-2014
Coordinator: Professor David Bellwood
Lecturers: Professor David Bellwood, Dr Orpha Bellwood.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 4 hours tutorials
  • 10 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); quizzes or tests (25%); lab reports (15%).

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.