Courses & Units

Birds and Mammals of the Southern Ocean KSA723



Students participating in this unit are required to pay a levy of $300 per student to cover field costs.

This unit combined with KSM302 is subject to a quota of 24.


The Southern Ocean encompasses all the waters from Australia to the Antarctic continent, and is home to a diverse range of seabirds and marine mammals. These animals play a significant role in marine ecosystems in southern Australia and the Antarctic. The history of exploitation of the large whales in particular, is likely to be a major factor in the way this system functions today, and how it may respond to future environmental challenges. In this unit we explore the diversity of birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean, including their taxonomy, physiology and biogeography. We also investigate the important role that these animals play in the marine ecosystem and how physical oceanography and ocean productivity influences their distribution, feeding and reproductive biology. The course has particular emphasis on the conservation and management of seabirds and marine mammals, examining current issues such as fisheries by-catch, the potential for competition with fisheries and the current whaling controversy.

We are fortunate in having a range of internationally renowned Southern Ocean biologists in Hobart, and a key premise of this course is to ensure that you are given the most up to date information on each subject as possible. To this end we will draw on this expertise in both the practical and lecture components of course, and you will have a chance to interact with scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, CSIRO and the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.


Unit name Birds and Mammals of the Southern Ocean
Unit code KSA723
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Ecology and Biodiversity
Coordinator Professor Mary-Anne Lea
Available as student elective? No
Level Postgraduate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Spring school (late) On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Spring school (late) 7/11/2022 17/11/2022 1/12/2022 25/12/2022

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • X
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
050999 $1,002.00 $1,002.00 not applicable $2,783.00

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


AssessmentTest or quiz (100%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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