Courses & Units

Marine Ecology KSM308



Note:  there is a Field excursion for this unit a week before Semester 1 begins


In Marine Ecology you will learn about the fundamental features and processes of marine systems. The influence of physical processes on the ecology of marine organisms is highlighted. The following themes are developed: influences of physical variables at a range of scales on communities and productivity; ecology of feeding and predator–prey interactions of plankton and fish; the dynamics of estuaries; the ecology of flow; structuring forces of benthic communities and macroalgal habitats; biogeography of the sea; invasions by introduced species; marine conservation.
Practical classes include fieldwork and the design of field programs. The major part of the practical component is a high-level research project conducted during a six-day visit to Maria Island in the mid-semester break over Easter. This incurs an extra charge to students.
Students would find Quantitative Methods in Biology, Antarctic Ecology, Aquatic Botany and
Introduction to Oceanography particularly useful additional units.
The course is coordinated by Dr Kerrie Swadling (Rm 109G, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, IMAS Waterfront Building, Ext 6903), and you should see her if you have any questions about the general running of the unit.


Unit name Marine Ecology
Unit code KSM308
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Ecology and Biodiversity|Fisheries and Aquaculture
Coordinator Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright
Available as student elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* 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 2021 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2021 will be available from the 1st October 2020.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • be familiar with how physical ocean processes (from small- to large-scale) influence the horizontal and vertical structuring of marine ecosystems
  • understand the dynamics of pelagic communities and the drivers of primary and secondary productivity
  • be familiar with the range of factors that influence the structure and dynamics of temperate reef communities
  • understand the major drivers of estuarine dynamics including the influence of anthropogenic activities
  • understand the major conservation issues facing the marine environment at a global scale
  • have developed skills for the design, execution and analysis of a major field project
  • be practiced in written and oral communication of science
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
010907 $993.00 $993.00 not applicable $2,354.00
  • Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
  • HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
  • FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for eligibility for FEE-HELP

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.



(KSM202 - Marine and Antarctic Ecosystems OR KZA211 - Population and Community Ecology OR KZA212 - Functional Biology of Animals OR KPA215 - Genetics and Evolution OR KPZ211 - Population and Community Ecology)


Teaching Pattern

2x1-hr lectures, 4-hr practical weekly; a Field excursion week before Semester 1 begins

AssessmentFinal Exam (50%)|Major practical report from Maria Island (30%)|Essay (10%)|Seminar (10%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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