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MB3330 - Biology of Reef Corals

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

This is a field-based intensive subject which will provide an introduction to the biology of corals and physiological processes involved in building reefs. Aspects of the functional morphology and physiology of corals will be explored in relation to major issues impacting coral reefs, particularly bleaching and disease. The practical component will include an introduction to the taxonomy of reef-building corals and to lab and field research methods for the study of reef corals.

Learning Outcomes

  • gain knowledge of the anatomical features and physiological specialisations of corals that are keys to understanding how corals build reefs;
  • gain awareness of issues underlying long-term conservation and management of coral reefs;
  • gain a working knowledge of the identification and classification of the major families and genera of reef-building corals;
  • develop skills required for independent research through laboratory and field exercises involving literature reviews, data collection, data analyses and critical interpretation;
  • understand the biology of modular organisms using reef corals as a model.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments;
  • 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 speak and write logically, clearly and creatively;
  • The ability to calculate, produce, interpret and communicate numerical information;
  • The ability to use a variety of media and methods to retrieve, analyse, evaluate, organise and present information;
  • The ability to learn independently and in a self-directed manner;
  • A commitment to lifelong learning and intellectual development.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of biometrics, ecological principles and invertebrate biology.
MB3210 MB3219 MB5400 MB5550


Townsville, Study Period 3, Block
Census Date 02-Feb-2012
Face to face teaching 30-Jan-2012 to 10-Feb-2012
Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Mia Hoogenboom
Lecturer: Empro Bette Willis.
Workload expectations:
  • 18 hours lectures
  • 22 hours practicals
  • 34 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (55%); assignments (20%); field project report (25%).
Restrictions: 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.