Module OSX-2002:
Marine Physiology & Behaviour

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Ian McCarthy

Overall aims and purpose

The course aims to introduce the students to the physiological and behavioural ecology of marine organisms. The course will cover the physiology of marine algae and the comparative physiology of marine animals. The physiological responses which allow marine organisms to adapt to changes in environmental parameters and roles of behaviour in enabling animals to interact with each other and adapt to their ecological niches will be reviewed.

Course content

The module will examine the physiological and behavioural ecology of marine organisms. The physiology of marine algae and marine animals and the effects of chemical and physical variables (such as temperature, salinity, light and pressure) on physiology will be reviewed. A range of behaviours (e.g. social interactions, reproductive behaviour, feeding behaviour, migration) that enable animals to adapt to their environment will be introduced and discussed. The physiological and behavioural adaptations of animals to living in intertidal habitats will be reviewed.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Knowledge based on the directly taught programme, basic ability to analyse, synthesise and summarise information from a range of sources to support hypotheses, basic understanding of subject-specific theories concepts and principles, basic ability to consider issues from both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives

good

Knowledge based on the directly taught programme and evidence of enquiry beyond that, good ability to analyse, synthesise and summarise information from a range of sources to support hypotheses, good understanding of subject-specific theories concepts and principles, good ability to consider issues from both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives

excellent

A knowledge base extending well beyond the directly taught programme. A highly developed ability to analyse, synthesize, summarise and critically evaluate information from a range of sources to support hypotheses, excellent understanding of subject-specific theories concepts and principles, and a very good ability to consider issues from both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives

Learning outcomes

  1. Have a broad understanding of the physiology of marine algae and marine animals

  2. Describe, with named examples, how marine organisms respond to changes in physical and chemical environmental parameters

  3. Describe, with named examples, the physiological adaptations necessary to live in different marine environments

  4. Have a broad understanding of the behavioural ecology of marine animals

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
MCQ computer test 1 22.5
MCQ computer test 2 22.5
Exam 55

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

3 x 1 hour lectures per week

30
Private study

Reading list, extra notes and web sites will be provided on the module page on Blackboard, to guide students for self-study

170

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Appreciation of the complexity and diversity of life processes through the study of organisms.

Resources

Reading list

Lobban & Harrison. Seaweed ecology and physiology, QK570.2.L64.

Wilmer, Stone & Johnstone. Environmental Physiology of Animals, QP82.W48.2005. Available as ebook through library catalogue

Barnard. Animal Behaviour: mechanism, development, function and evolution, QL751.B18563

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: