Courses & Units

Marine Predator Diversity and Ecology KSM723


From the poles to the tropics, marine predators influence marine ecosystem structure through top down and bottom-up processes. Marine predators including tuna, turtles, sharks, seabirds, and marine mammals, range widely across global oceans. Often feeding at the top of marine foodwebs, they integrate ecosystem signals and are indicators or sentinels of prey distributions, ecosystem structure and health. This unit outlines the morphology, ecology, diversity, and distributions of key marine predator taxa. Students will develop an understanding of the roles of marine predators in different oceanic ecosystems across global oceans, and how physical characteristics of these oceans underpin marine predator distributions. Students will learn about and use innovative techniques for researching the behaviour and ecology of marine predators above and below the ocean’s surface. Many species of marine predator are highly migratory, and students will explore migratory connectivity and cotemporary Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction discussions. Finally, students will evaluate techniques used to quantify human effects on marine ecosystems using marine predators as ecosystem sentinels.


Unit name Marine Predator Diversity and Ecology
Unit code KSM723
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
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 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 2 10/7/2023 8/8/2023 28/8/2023 15/10/2023

* 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

  • Analyse morphometric and behavioural traits of marine predators in ecosystems across the global oceans.
  • Critically evaluate research methods used to study marine predator behaviour.
  • Design and conduct basic research in marine predator ecology using current analytical techniques
  • Use a range of communication skills to synthesise key aspects of marine predator ecology research.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
$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.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:

KSA713 and KSA723


AssessmentQuizzes (based on weekly lecture content) (20%)|Field Diary (20%)|Marine predator ecology essay (30%)|Assignment on marine predator ecology and management implications (30%)
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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