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MB2070 - Evolution and Biogeography of Marine Organisms

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

This subject will examine 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.

Learning Outcomes

  • be able to critically evaluate current concepts of marine species and factors influencing speciation and distribution patterns;
  • have a knowledge of the evolutionary history, life history, distribution patterns, speciation patterns of marine organisms;
  • understand and be familiar with the methods used to study the biogeography of marine organisms;
  • understand the applications of historical and ecological biogeographic analyses in the study of marine systems.
Students enrolling in this subject should have a good understanding of level 1 biology, particularly zoology (eg BZ1001, ZL1001 or BZ1004). A basic understanding of geological processes and statistics is also recommended (eg EA1110, MA1401).
Prerequisites: BZ1001 AND (ZL1001 OR BZ1004 OR AG1004)


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
  • 5 hours tutorials
  • 9 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (60%); assignments (40%).

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.