Reef Evolution and Dynamics

Macquarie University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Reef Evolution and Dynamics

  • Host University

    Macquarie University

  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Marine Biology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    39 credit points including BIOL261 and BIOL208 or BIOL227 or BIOL262 or MAR202 and GEOS206

  • 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

    Modern coral reefs are dynamic systems consisting of a complicated interplay of biological, chemical and geological processes that presently cover approximately 600,000 square kilometres of the Earth's surface. The aims of this unit are to provide each student with first-hand experience of modern reefs as dynamic systems by using quantitative and qualitative scientific methods and techniques to explore a diverse range of multidisciplinary topics including: reef formation and structure; reef zonation; carbonate sedimentology; biodiversity; ecology; taxonomy; taphonomy; symbiosis; recruitment; bioturbation and bio-erosion; human impacts on reef systems; global warming; and the evolution and importance of reef formation in the geological record. This latter point is a particular focus ? students learn about the changes associated with the evolution of reefs through geological time. The study of ancient reefs provides a counterpoint and analogy to the modern reef setting studied in the field. The unit involves a compulsory one day on-campus session and an eight day field excursion to Heron Island Research Station, Capricorn-Bunker Group, Great Barrier Reef (separate excursion fee applies).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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.