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MB5380 - Invertebrate Biology

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

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

This subject provides an advanced treatment of the major phyla of marine and terrestrial invertebrates. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution and physical diversity of the phyla and their main biological and life-history features. Topics include phylogenetic relationships among the metazoans; biodiversity represented by invertebtrates; patterns of evolution within the major phyla; reasons for the success of the major phyla. Students will be required to attend lectures and practicals in MB2080.

Learning Outcomes

  • To acquire knowledge of the names and distinguishing features of all major invertebrate phyla. For some phyla, more detailed knowledge is expected of classification, anatomy and life histories;
  • To acquire knowledge of the ways these phyla might be grouped in a larger phylogenetic scheme;
  • To appreciate invertebrate biodiversity, past and present;
  • To appreciate the diversity of life histories, habitats and biology among the phyla;
  • To learn methods for handling, examining and preparing typical invertebrates.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (45%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (30%) - Individual
  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (10%) - Individual
  • Written > Project plan - (15%) - Individual.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (eg biology or environmental science) or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. A good background in biology is essential, particularly invertebrate zoology. A basic understanding of chemistry is recommended.
MB2080 ZL2005 ZL5005


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Coordinator: Professor David Bourne
Lecturers: Professor Michael Kingsford, Professor David Bourne, Dr Janine Sheaves, Dr Orpha Bellwood, Professor Jan Strugnell, Dr Lynne Van Herwerden.
Workload expectations:

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

  • 26 hours lectures
  • 22 hours workshops
  • 6 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.