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CH2042 - Marine Chemistry and Chemical Ecology

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

This is an introductory subject on the principles of marine chemistry and chemical ecology. Students will explore the marine world from a chemical viewpoint and look at both the organic and inorganic impacts. Topics may include the chemical components of seawater- major and trace elements, conservative and non-conservative elements, distribution of biolimiting compounds and speciation, ocean carbonate system, thermodynamics for aquatic chemistry, dissolved gases in seawater and redox chemistry in aquatic systems. The chemistry of soft corals and the ecological roles these metabolites play, as well as inorganic species in aquatic sediments will be explored and students will get hands on experience of these during the practical components of the subject. Other chemical ecology topics may include the chemistry of mollusc, tunicate, cone snails and nudibranchs, quorum sensing and marine chemical warfare.

Learning Outcomes

  • identify natural product classes produced by marine organisms;
  • describe key ecology roles played by marine natural products;
  • explain ocean acidification associated with carbon cycling;
  • describe behaviour of chemical species in marine systems based on redox chemistry;
  • employ synthetic and analytical technique in order to identify, separate and quantify natural products and compounds present in the marine world.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (40%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Performance/Practice/Product > Practical assessment/practical skills demonstration - (40%) - Group & Individual.
CH1002 or CH1012 recommended in addition to CH1001 or CH1011
Prerequisites: (CH1001 OR CH1011)


Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 23-Mar-2023
Workload expectations:

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

  • 39 hours lectures
  • 9 hours workshops - 3 x 3 hours
  • 16 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.