MST2001 : Tropical Marine Environment & Ecology

  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Nick Polunin
  • Owning School: Marine Sciences & Technology
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce: the marine ecology of tropical coastal animals and systems; issues in tropical coastal management.

An exciting review of the science underpinning the dynamics, evaluation and management of biodiverse tropical coastal ecosystems, including corals reefs and mangroves

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introduction to module (NVCP)
2. Sources of tropical diversity (NVCP)
3. Maintaining tropical diversity (NVCP)
4. Losses of species and their consequences (NVCP)
5. Ecosystems and their degradation (NVCP)
6. Ecosystem goods and services (NVCP)
7. Management and protection (NVCP)
8. Environmental conservation and governance (NVCP)
9. Sea grass ecosystem(SPN)
10. Mangrove ecosystems(SPN)
11. Coral Biology(SPN)
12. Coral reef ecology (SPN)
13. Fish nurseries(SPN)
14. Fish reproduction(SPN)
15. Megafauna(SPN)

Computing classes
1. Sourcing and assessing internet data for assessments of fishery sustainability
2. Gathering, manipulating, analysing and interpreting data on reef fishery yields and ‘ecological footprints’

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture125:0025:00Preparation of revision material and practicing past examination papers
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion114:0014:00Assessed coursework report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:008:00Revision for Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00Including Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading126:3026:30Consolidating lecture notes and further reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This is a knowledge-oriented module, where students will learn primarily through lectures and practicals, but also gain knowledge and skills through conducting their own study. In the tutorials they will be given guidance and feedback on progress in their fact-finding, information-scoping, marshalling of data and writing up of a scientific report for the project.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A7090 minute exam. Part A - 2 short questions to be answered out of 5. Part B - 1 short essay question to be answered out of 2.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M30Format given in distributed instructions and guidance, maximum 1000 words (excluding tables figures and references).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written examination will be used to assess students’ ability to retain and explain the knowledge imparted, while the report will be employed to assess data mining, appraisal, processing and analytical skills, together with ability to present coherent and clear arguments based on the findings according to a published marking scheme.

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.