BIO3021 - Marine Biology

General Unit Information

Students at the beachTurtle

Marine Biology deals with the biology of marine environments. Special emphasis is placed on the diversity, ecology and ecophysiology of marine organisms and the environments in which they live. Students will also be introduced to the physical and chemical characteristics of the marine environment and the diversity of the marine biota.

Topics of study will include the trophic structure of marine ecosystems, including primary and secondary production, microbial loops, foodwebs and their importance for marine fisheries. The implications of the characteristic life cycles of marine organisms to their ecology and geographical distribution will also be considered. These topics are placed in the context of specific marine ecosystems including coastal habitats (rocky intertidal zones, seagrass and mangrove systems, estuaries and kelp forests), coral reefs, open oceans and the deep sea. The lectures will conclude with a consideration of marine conservation and policy.

The practical component will be taught as field courses at either the University of Queensland's Heron Island Research Station in December or at the Victorian Marine Science Consortium laboratories in Queenscliff during February. These will teach problem solving skills for field and laboratory based research projects in marine habitats.  Students who enrol in BIO3021 must attend one of the field trips on offer to fulfill the practical component of the course.

For Semester 1, 2022 the field trip dates will be:

  • Heron Island: 30 November to 8 December, 2021
  • Queenscliff: 13 to 18 February, 2022


  1. Describe the diversity and ecological importance of marine life
  2. Explain the fundamental physiochemical and physiological processes underlying the productivity of marine environments
  3. Explain the ecological dynamics of marine ecosystems
  4. Discuss the impact of human activity on the sustainability of marine ecosystems
  5. Demonstrate advanced scientific skills in project design, data collection, analysis and writing

Specific Unit Information

NameProf Dustin Marshall
Office hoursBy appointment - please e-mail
Technical Coordinator
NameDanielle Annese
Office location25Rnf/114
RecommendedMarine Biology: Function, Biodiversity, Ecology by Levinton, J.S. published by Oxford University Press, USA.
Program for 2020
Handbook EntryBIO3021 - Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
ScheduleBIO3021 - Lecture & Practical Schedule for 2020
Important links
Science FacultyInformation for Current Students
UniversityInformation for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....