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Module

BIO2038 : Marine Vertebrate Biology and Ecology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Richard Bevan
  • Lecturer: Professor Per Berggren
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To develop an understanding of how variability in the form and function of marine organisms allows them to exist in a range of environments and habitats. To gain knowledge of the physiology of a range of marine organisms and how certain specialisations enhance the ecological success of certain species. To provide understanding of the evolution, physiology and adaptations of vertebrates to life in the marine environment. To address important aspects of seabird, teleost, elasmobranch and marine mammal biology and ecology, including distribution, abundance, adaptations population structure, behaviour and communication.

Outline Of Syllabus

24 x 1hr lectures ( plus 1hr revision) based on the following themes will be delivered;

Bony Fish Locomotion, Physiology and Senses
Elasmobranch Locomotion, Physiology and Senses
Fish Reproductive Strategies
Seabird Locomotion, Physiology and Senses
Seabird Reproductive Strategies
Marine Mammal Locomotion, Physiology and Senses
Marine Mammal Reproductive Strategies
Marine Mammal Diving Behaviour and Physiology
Marine Mammal Foraging Behaviour and Ecology including movements
Marine Mammal Pathology
Marine Mammal Population Structure, Abundance and Migration
Marine Mammal Communication
Marine Mammal Social Structure and Behaviour

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials231:0023:00Online lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Take home examination / alternate assessment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion241:0024:00Assessment revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Completion of practical report
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00Lecture follow up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Practical class
Guided Independent StudySkills practice23:006:00Preparation for practical classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Farne Islands Field trip inc. formative questionnaire
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study182:3082:30Directed research and reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk71:007:00Synchronous online review/discussions and whole-module revision sessions
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MST2207Marine Vertebrate Biology and Ecology
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Online lectures are designed to give students a broad factual knowledge of key biological principles and essential details relating to marine vertebrates and how they are adapted to environments they inhabit. The lectures will cover morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations, reproduction and the importance of habitat variability as a driver for the adaptations evolved in marine vertebrates. Lectures will also introduce students to the potential for anthropogenic driven change in these habitats and the impacts of climate, pollution and resource extraction.

Directed research and reading will support the information received through formal lectures by guided independent study using key texts. Students will be encouraged to become more independent in their learning at this stage in their programmes to develop key skills such as Active Learning, Goal Setting and Action Planning, Decision Making, Adaptability and Initiative, which they will require at Level 6.

The lab-based practical gives the students experience of the morphology and internal anatomy of marine vertebrates while the trip to the Farne Islands introduces the students to marine vertebrates in their environment.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M301 x practical report
Written exercise2M70Take home examination / alternate assessment (associated with MST2207)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MQuestionnaire completed on the Farne Islands Trip
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written assessment will test breadth and depth of factual knowledge from the lecture course. Ability to bring knowledge together in a structured manner will be tested by an essay question.

In-course practical work reports will assess ability of the students to make accurate observations, to report and to interpret measurements.

To complete the formative written exercise associated with the Farne Island’s field trip, students will need to research the breeding biology and ecology of the seabirds and marine mammals that live on and around the Farne Islands.

Reading Lists

Timetable