Marine Invertebrate Ecology and Biology

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Marine Invertebrate Ecology and Biology

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Biology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Zoology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    BIOL 112

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Study of the biology, ecology and behaviour of marine invertebrates, with particular emphasis on New Zealand marine species and communities.

    Marine invertebrates are astoundingly diverse and interesting, conspicuous in every marine environment on the planet. MARI 202 introduces students to the diversity of marine invertebrate life, with emphasis on examples from the New Zealand region. The different marine invertebrate groups are introduced through examination of their evolution and phylogenetic relationships. Students explore adaptations of invertebrate groups to the marine environment in terms of comparative physiology and body architecture. A section on reproduction, development, larval forms and larval ecology highlights the diversity of reproductive patterns among marine invertebrates. Next we consider adaptations of invertebrates to specific marine environments (eg polar, deep and tropical) to demonstrate the diversity of ecological and biological problems and solutions found in the marine environment. Lastly, we examine the impacts of humans on marine invertebrates and vice versa (invasive species, aquaculture, fisheries, conservation), with an emphasis on how the basic biology of marine invertebrates influences these interactions.

    Learning Outcomes
    An appreciation of diversity and relationships among the marine invertebrates is gained through a series of laboratories, while knowledge on the biology, ecology, fisheries and aquaculture of marine invertebrates is obtained from course lectures. Two field exercises related to zonation, community structure and population biology increase student skills in teamwork, data collection, analysis, interpretation and written presentation. All laboratories are assessed, with students required to use the primary literature to complete an essay.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.