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MB2070 - Marine Biogeography

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

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 the evolutionary history, life history, distribution patterns, speciation patterns of marine organisms;
  • 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;
  • have a demonstrable knowledge of 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.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (60%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (25%) - Individual
  • Written > Lab/Practical report - (15%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 1 biology, particularly zoology (eg BS1001, or BS1007 or equivalents). A basic understanding of geological processes and statistics is also recommended (eg EA1110, MA1401).
Prerequisites: BS1001 OR BZ1001 AND (ZL1001 OR BZ1004 OR AG1004 OR BZ1007 OR BS1007)


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 25-Mar-2021
Coordinator: Dr Orpha Bellwood
Lecturers: Professor David Bellwood, Dr Orpha Bellwood.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 15 hours workshops - Computer workshop
  • 1 hours - Test
  • 26 hours online interactive lectures
  • 3 hours online collaboration sessions
  • assessment and self-directed study

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.