MST2207 : Marine Vertebrate Biology and Ecology (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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
Marine Mammal Pathology
Marine Mammal Population Structure, Abundance and Migration
Marine Mammal Communication
Marine Mammal Social Structure and Behaviour

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion210:0020:00Preparation for coursework exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion24:008:00Completion of two coursework exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Revision for two examinations
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:303:00Examinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture251:0025:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Lecture follow up: directed reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading241:0024:00Lecture follow up: ReCap
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study184:0084:00Consolidating course material and reading beyond the syllabus
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

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.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for their summative coursework and written examination. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained in the taught sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A35Paper 1
Written Examination902A35Paper 2
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M15Coursework exercise (1000 words)
Written exercise2M15Coursework exercise (1000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 2 x 1000 word summative coursework will assess student’s knowledge of specific aspects of the course through a combination of written work and data analysis, in addition to examining their use of the relevant literature to support their ideas and their ability to present information in an appropriate scientific format.

The written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all key themes of the module, including student wider reading. The written examination will be divided into two papers, each of equal weighting, and will include questions to assess the depth and breadth of knowledge acquired throughout the module as well as the student’s ability to interpret and synthesise published data relevant to the course themes.

Reading Lists