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MB5430 - Behaviour of Marine Animals

[Offered in odd-numbered years, however not offered in 2021]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

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

A major part of this subject will be a field excursion to Orpheus Island during which students will get hands-on experience collecting behavioural information using a range of underwater techniques.Principles of animal behaviour will be overviewed in an evolutionary framework. Emphasis will be on topics pertinent to the establishment and maintenance of marine communities. The subject structure will include: methods for studying behaviour in marine systems, ontogenetic development of behaviour, habitat selection, animal communication, social spacing, mating systems, foraging behaviour, predator avoidance and behavioural flexibility.Specific topics will include: evolution of behaviour; development of behaviour; optimality; habitat selection and larval behaviour; visual, chemical and electrical communication; territoriality and competition; mating systems and sexual selection; parental care; modes of predator avoidance; mimicry; individuality of behaviour.

Learning Outcomes

  • gain an understanding of the intellectual foundation of marine behavioural studies;
  • gain experience in the methods used in marine behaviour studies;
  • introduce students to the diversity of behaviours that characterise marine animals and their importance;
  • introduce students to the empirical basis of marine behaviour studies.

Subject Assessment

Special Assessment Requirements

Assessment by two reports and two seminars

Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. They should have an excellent understanding of mathematics (including statistics), ecological principles and invertebrate biology, and should have completed SC5202 or equivalent.

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.