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MB3050 - Biological Oceanography

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

This subject examines plankton and their interactions with the physical and chemical environment. Thematically we explore the following: structures in the ocean, sampling equipment and oceanography; nutrients, productivity, phytoplankton and upwelling; planktonic consumers in the sea as well as their distributions, behaviour and life cycles, jellyfish fisheries, the survival of larval fish to recruitment and relevance to fisheries; impacts and manipulation of plankton, global climate change, pollution and applications for aquaculture.

Learning Outcomes

  • to give a sense of the complex structure of the planktonic community over the full scale of variation across space, time and body size;
  • to give the student a new conceptual understanding of the ocean as a fabric of living organisms, rather than as a mere water mass;
  • to impress upon the student the fundamental significance of the plankton as the foundation of the economy of the sea and the nursery for most of its species;
  • to provide a practical familiarity with the techniques of plankton sampling, identification and analysis.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Essay (including multi-draft) 1 - (15%) - Individual
  • Written > Field report - (20%) - Individual
  • Examination (centrally administered) 60%, Online Test/Quiz 5% - (65%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of basic biological principles (eg BS1001) and marine systems (eg MB2050) and should have completed either SC2202 or SC2209 and MB2050 or equivalents.
Prerequisites: (BS1007 OR BZ1007) AND MB2050 AND (SC2202 OR SC2209 OR BS2001 OR BZ2001)
MB5055 AND MB3059


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 23-Mar-2023
Coordinator: Professor Michael Kingsford
Lecturers: Professor Michael Kingsford, Dr Eric Wolanski, Professor Jodie Rummer, Professor Garry Russ, Dr Orpha Bellwood.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 27 hours was Practicals
  • 6 hours workshops
  • 3 hours fieldwork
  • 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.