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MB5190 - Coral Reef Ecology

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

Available to postgraduate science students

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 MB5400.

There are additional charges for this subject; please contact the School for details.

Learning Outcomes

  • to become familiar with the key processes underlying patterns of recruitment, abundance, and community diversity on coral reefs;
  • to understand the link between resources and environmental stressors at the level of the organism and demographic processes;
  • to develop insight into the role of species interactions in the dynamics, diversity and resilience of coral reefs;
  • to 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) - (40%) - Individual
  • Written > Critical appraisal/review - (10%) - Individual
  • Written > Field report - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Poster - (30%) - Group & Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in biology, ecology or environmental science, or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. Students enrolling in this subject should have a broad knowledge of biology and ecology (not necessarily for coral reef organisms), a high degree of competency in data manipulation and biological statistics (i.e. able to independently perform ANOVA, Chi-square, and Regression analyses), and comprehensive understanding of major considerations for designing ecological sampling programs and experiments.


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
  • 5 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.

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.