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MB5070 - Marine Evolution and Biogeography

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

Available to Graduate Diploma of Research Methods, Graduate Certificate of Research Methods, Graduate Diploma of Science, Master Applied of Science, Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice, Master of Science and Master of Development Practice.

This subject examines 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. Students will be required to attend lectures, tutorials and practical classes in MB2070 and to write an essay on the evolution and biogeography of a selected marine organism.

Learning Outcomes

  • ability to critically evaluate current concepts of marine species and factors influencing speciation and distribution patterns;
  • develop a knowledge of the evolutionary history, life history, distribution patterns and speciation patterns of marine organisms;
  • understand and be familiar with the methods used to study biogeography of marine organisms;
  • understand the application of historical and ecological biogeographic analysis in the study of marine systems.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. biology or environmental science) or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. They should have an excellent understanding of science subjects, particularly biology, geological processes and ecological principles.


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 22-Mar-2012
Coordinator: Professor David Bellwood
Lecturers: Professor David Bellwood, Dr Orpha Bellwood.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 13 hours tutorials
  • 9 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (45%); quizzes or tests (10%); essays (20%); assignments (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.