MST1011 : Marine Zooplankton

  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Tony Clare
  • Owning School: Marine Sciences & Technology
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1. To introduce students to the diversity, biology and ecology of zooplanktonic organisms in the marine environment;
2. To promote knowledge and understanding of the main processess regulating distribution and abundance of these organisms;
3. To ensure students gain a good working knowledge of the range of techniques required for field sampling of zooplankton;
4. To give experience and develop competence in the identification and laboratory-based study of a range of zooplankton taxa;
5. To provide the foundation for advanced modules requiring knowledge of zooplankton (in particular MST2005).

This module is a combination of lectures and laboratory-based practical exercises, aimed at developing an appreciation of the range of taxonomic groups, life history strategies and feeding ecologies of zooplankton organisms, and highlights the important ecological role they have in marine systems ecology. It will introduce field-sampling methodologies, and laboratory skills essential for professional marine scientists.

Outline Of Syllabus

Twelve lectures covering:

1. Introduction to module (general definitions, size classification, ecological classification, neuston, holoplankton and meroplankton, introduction to main systematic groups);
2. Protozooplankton;
3. Mesozooplankton;
4. Merozooplankton;
5. Zooplankton behaviour I;
6. Zooplankton behaviour II;
7. Diel vertical migration;
8. Large-scale distribution;
9. Importance of food webs;
10. Upwelling;
11. Nekton;
12. Zooplankton in aquaculture.

Two practicals:

1. Identification of temperate zooplankton;
2. Zooplankton enumeration.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Revision for Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Supervised revision session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Including Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Assessed lab reports
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study110:0010:00Write-Up Lecture Notes
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study158:3058:30General Reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The information received through formal lectures will be integrated with experience in practical classes and supported by independent study using textbook and Web-based sources of secondary information.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A70N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M15Identification of temperate zooplankton , Drawings submitted as report, Analyse class data in the form of a graph, 1 page of text
Written exercise2M15Zooplankton Enumeration exercise, Drawings submitted as 1 report, Analysis of class data in the form of a graph, 1 page of text
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formal examination is designed to test the breadth of knowledge of important concepts related to the biology and ecology of marine zooplankton. The laboratory practical exercises are designed to develop (i) competence in relevant practical laboratory procedures (ii) ability to interpret and present data in an appropriate manner (iii) taxonomic identification expertise. The Graduate Skills Framework entries indicated as 'A' are also assessed in this way.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.