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MB3190 - Coral Reef Ecology

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

Only available with prior approval to level 3 students with suitable background (invertebrate biology, statistics, computers). A quota will apply on the basis of marks in MB2060 OR BS2460.

A treatment of the major aspects of coral reef ecology, including population dynamics, reef community structure and diversity, effects of environmental disturbances, competition and predation, and reef management. Emphasis is on the mechanisms and processes that shape coral reef communities and how they respond to environmental change. The course combines the presentation of theoretical quantitative and conceptual models in lectures with laboratory computer exercises and a 3-day field project. The course content complements that of MB3210.

Learning Outcomes

  • become familiar with the key processes underlying patterns of recruitment, abundance, and community diversity on coral reefs;
  • understand the link between resources and environmental stressors at the level of the organism and demographic processes;
  • develop insight into the role of species interactions in the dynamics, diversity and resilience of coral reefs;
  • develop an understanding of the interactions between different types of environmental disturbances and the responses of coral reef systems.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (50%) - Individual
  • Written > Field report - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Poster - (20%) - Group
  • Written > Lab/Practical report - (10%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of general biology and ecology (not necessarily for coral reef organisms), an ability to manipulate data and conduct basic statistical analyses (including ANOVA, Chi-square, and Regression analyses), and comprehensive understanding of major considerations for designing ecological sampling programs and experiments. A minimum mark of Credit in MB2060 OR BS2460 is required for entry in this subject.
Prerequisites: Credit or better in MB2060 OR BS2460


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Mia Hoogenboom
Lecturers: Professor Andrew Hoey, Assoc. Professor Mia Hoogenboom, Professor Morgan Pratchett.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 2 hours tutorials
  • 6 hours was Practicals
  • 8 hours workshops
  • 20 hours fieldwork
  • assessment and self-directed study
Restrictions: An enrolment quota applies to this offering.
Enrolment in this offering is restricted.

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.