Extreme Marine Habitats
Extreme Marine Habitats 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module will consider the environmental and physiological factors that determine the abundance, distribution patterns, and ecology of marine organisms in a range of extreme marine habitats. The habitats covered are: the Polar Regions, coral reefs, deep-sea habitats, and deep-sea reducing habitats such as hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. How the organisms have managed to adapt physiologically within these environments will be discussed and you will be shown the similarities and differences between these habitats and those considered less extreme.
Threshold (D-) - Knowledge and basic understanding reliant entirely on the taught programme. Basic understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles. Presents a competent overview of an extreme habitat in their assessment.
Good (B) - Wider knowledge and moderate understanding based on the taught programme, but with evidence of enquiry beyond that. Understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles and some understanding of specialist areas. Presents a detailed, well researched and illustrated assessment showing clear understanding of the topic and questions posed
Excellent (A) - A very wide knowledge base extending well beyond the directly taught programme showing an in-depth understanding of the concepts presented. Thorough understanding of subject-specific theories, concepts and principles and in-depth understanding of more specialist areas. Presents an insightful, carefully argued, illustrated assessment showing clear evidence of independent thought.
- By the end of this module, you should be able to:
Outline the environmental and biological factors controlling the abundance, distribution patterns and ecology of organisms in *extreme* marine habitats in the oceans.
- Critically appraise a variety of evidence to inform your knowledge of *extreme* marine habitats and organisms, and make recommendations relevant to enhancing the accessibility of the information and your knowledge in light of your synthesis of appraised evidence.
- Summarise how organisms are able to cope with the physiological demands of their *extreme* marine habitat.
- Using examples from the lecture material and peer-reviewed literature, question the concept of *extreme* marine habitats and consider whether these habitats are in reality extreme for the organisms that live there (now and in the future).
"The Conversation" article. For this assessment, students are required to complete two articles written in the style of The Conversation (word limit 1000 words per article). The key aim is to communicate information of interest about extreme marine habitats and/ or organisms to a general audience in a way that is engaging yet rigorous in its scientific content. The first article submission is weighted at 30% and is intended to inform the second submission, which is weighted at 60%. Students also perform peer and self reviews (10%) of first submissions, which is an activity designed to inform their second article submission.
Exam (Centrally Scheduled)
Exam Students' understanding of the module content will be assessed in an end of semester exam comprising a series of short answer questions (40%) and a long answer essay section (60%). The short answer section comprises 3 parts and students are afforded a choice of questions to answer. Students must complete a total of three short answer questions. The long answer essay section comprises of 1 question that all students must answer. This questions tests the ability of students to apply the knowledge they have acquired to a hypothetical extreme marine habitat scenario.