• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Christopher Fulton
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

Marine ecosystems play a crucial role in the health and function of our planet - from tiny plankton that shape global patterns of carbon and sulphur cycling, to massive coral reefs that support enormous biodiversity and feed millions of people. Once thought to be indestructible and inexhaustible, we now know that such marine communities are fragile and easily disturbed. In this course we will use both old and new concepts in marine ecology to explore how healthy marine ecosystems can be conserved in the face of human harvesting, habitat modification and climate change. Taking a problem-based approach, this course will examine key issues facing marine ecosystems (e.g., climate change, overfishing, biodiversity loss, ecosystem phase shifts) through lectures, hands-on tutorials and assessments. Students will gain first-hand experience in the quantitative methods used to describe and assess approaches to marine conservation, as well as skills in science communication via novel assessment items such as the role-playing press conference and graphical abstract design.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Think critically, analyze and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments concerning marine environmental issues
  2. Collect, analyze and present marine ecological data
  3. Write scientific articles, environmental status reports and media releases
  4. Work and communicate as part of a research team
  5. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  6. Provide effective peer review of your colleague’s work
  7. Research current issues, interpret relevant legislation and frame solutions to problems facing Australia's marine resources

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on:

  • Scientific Report (20%): You will collect data as a class, make your own analysis and evaluation of the data-based evidence, then present your findings in the style of a scientific article (LO 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Graphical Abstract (20%): You will select a current scientific article in marine ecology and design a graphical abstract that illustrates the main findings of the paper in a single picture that is understandable to a broad audience (LO 1, 5). You will also provide effective comments to help your fellow students design their Graphical Abstracts via an anonymous peer review process (LO 6).
  • Environmental Brief (15%): You will research current scientific information and relevant legislation on a current marine ecological issue, and present your findings and recommendations in a plain-English written report (LO 1, 3, 5, 7).
  • Press Conference (15%): Working as a team, you will present your findings from your environmental brief as a media release and field questions from a role-playing audience in a staged press conference (LO 3, 4, 5).
  • Final Theory Exam (30%): You will be asked to think critically, analyse available information and present a logical argument on questions concerning marine ecological systems (LO 1, 7).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Two lectures and one tutorial per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 72 units towards a degree program

Prescribed Texts

Recommended Text:  Connell SD, Gillanders BM (2007) Marine Ecology. Oxford University Press, Oxford

Assumed Knowledge

EMSC1006 and BIOL2131 are recommended.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3444
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4590
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7612 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

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