Marine Animal Diversity

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Marine Animal Diversity

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Ecology, Marine Biology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    *This course is restricted to students who are completing related studies due to limited seat availability.
    Prerequisites:1041SCG Biological Systems Incompatible: 2704ENV Marine Invertebrates

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course explores the diversity, biology and ecology of marine animals and provides a foundation for students interested in marine conservation and management, sustainable ecotourism and fisheries. The course will use a phylogeneic approach to study both invertebrate and vertebrate marine animals ranging in size from microscopic zooplankton to 40 tonne whales. The course has a global scope but will focus on the marine fauna of eastern Australia. Assessment is by oral presentation , written assignment and examination.

    Course Introduction
    Marine animals range in size from less than 1mm (e.g. copepods) to greater than 50m in length (e.g. ribbon worms) and >150 tonnes weight (e.g. blue whales). They have extremely diverse adaptations that enable them to survive in the enormous number of habitats that exist in the marine environment. In Australia, marine animals have substantial economic value. For example, the Great Barrier Reef generates $6 billion per year for the Australian economy and iconic marine vertebrates such as whales and whale sharks form the basis of valuable tourism industries. Marine animals are harvested commercially, recreationally and, increasingly, are being produced via aquaculture. Some marine animals are also considered pests, either because they have been introduced into new areas or parasitise other commercially valuable species. Consequently any person interested in conservation, sustainable ecotourism or fisheries requires a detailed knowledge of the biology and ecology of marine animals.

    Course Aims
    This course aims to explore the diversity of marine animals including their identification, form and function, life histories and behaviours as well as their role in the ecosystem and commercial and conservation values

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 classify and describe the biology and ecology of the most common marine animal phyla and be able to recognise these phyla in the field.
    2 demonstrate knowledge of the economic value of marine animals and the need for their conservation and management
    3 undertake field-based and laboratory-based research and to analyse and interpret data
    4 synthesise information derived from the primary literature to produce an essay

    Assessment Plan
    Assignment - Written Assignment - Essay 30%/100
    Assignment - Laboratory/Laboratory Report 20%/100
    Exam - constructed response - Exam 50%/100

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.