Courses & Units

Marine Ecology KSM308

There is a Field excursion for this unit a week before Semester 1 begins.  Enrolments close on Monday 6 February, 2023.


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 field trip to Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania. This incurs an extra charge to students.

Students would find Quantitative Methods, Antarctic Ecology, Aquatic Botany and Introduction to Oceanography particularly useful additional units.

The course is coordinated by A/Prof Jeff Wright (Rm 109A, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, IMAS Waterfront Building, Ext 6965), and you should see him 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 Kerrie Swadling
Teaching staff Associate Professor Jeff Ross|Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling|Associate Professor Neville Barrett
Available as an 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 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

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

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
010907 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,472.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on 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 What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



KSM202 OR KZA211 OR KPZ211 OR KZA212 OR KPA215 OR KPZ215


Teaching Pattern

2x1-hr lectures each week, 3-hr practicals in weeks 2-5; a Field excursion to Maria Island in the week before Semester 1 begins

AssessmentEssay (10%)|Seminar (10%)|Major practical report from Maria Island (30%)|Final Exam (50%)
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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