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MB5190 - Coral Reef Ecology

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

Available to postgraduate students enrolled in Master of Applied Science, Postgraduate Diploma of Research Methods, Graduate Certificate of Research Methods, Graduate Diploma of Science, Graduate Certificate of Science with suitable background (invertebrate biology, statistics, computers), Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice, Master of Science or Masters of Development Practice.

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.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • The ability to work individually and independently.
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.
MB3199 AND MB3190


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 23-Aug-2012
Coordinator: Professor Morgan Pratchett
Lecturers: Professor Michael Kingsford, Professor Morgan Pratchett.
Workload expectations:
  • 26 hours lectures
  • 20 hours practicals
  • 32 hours fieldwork
Assessment: end of semester exam (45%); tutorial attendance and participation (5%); independent project(20%); (20%); laboratory assignments (30%); (30%).
Restrictions: An enrolment quota applies to this offering.
Enrolment in this offering is restricted.

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.