BIO3021 - Marine Biology Field Trip

Heron Island - The Great Barrier Reef

Heron Island

General Field Trip Information

student in rock poolsDiver

Heron Island is an evergreen coral cay surrounded by 24 hectares of coral reef forming part of the Capricorn/Bunker group at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.  We stay at the University of Queensland Research Station and study the terrestrial and marine reef fauna and flora found on and around this coral cay.

The field trip to Heron Island began in 1984 with the view of giving our biology students a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of a coral reef first hand. It is now one of two field work options for students studying Marine Biology (BIO3021) - the second being a temperate field trip based at the Queenscliff Marine Station.

While on the island students are required plan and carry out a research project that exposes them to some of the challenges and problems encountered by field biologists - and some of the techniques that are used to solve these problems. The field work involves studies into fish and turtle biology, bird behaviour, coral reef ecology and some truly spectacular snorkelling.

Heron Island is 72 km offshore from Gladstone - we travel to and from Gladstone by plane, then boat to the Island.


TurtleGroup on field trip

On completion of this unit students will: have a basic knowledge of the diversity of marine life; understand the fundamental physicochemical and physiological processes underlying the productivity of marine environments; understand the ecological dynamics of marine ecosystems; appreciate the role of humans in disturbing and exploiting marine ecosystems; appreciate some of the important current trends in marine biology; have developed a critical, analytical approach to scientific research; have developed skills in writing scientific reports and in oral communication of scientific information.

Specific Field Trip Information

NamesAssoc Prof. Richard Reina
Office hoursBy appointment - please e-mail
Technical coordinator
NamesDanielle Annese
Office location25Rnf/114
RecommendedLevinton, J. S. (2013) Marine biology: Function, biodiversity, ecology. 4th Edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199857128
Program for 2020 Enrolments
Handbook EntryBIO3021 - Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
Field trip DatesThe Field Trip usually runs in December of the year prior to the course.
Important links
Science FacultyInformation for Current Students
UniversityInformation for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....