Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit investigates the ecological processes that produce population and community structure in a range of marine habitats including rocky intertidal areas, and sub-tidal temperate and coral reefs and seagrass meadows. It investigates how human intervention, both directly by habitat modification and indirectly through climate change, may interfere with those processes. Students completing the unit have a working knowledge of a variety of marine habitats and are able to consider how extrinsic and intrinsic factors affect the structure and functioning of their populations and communities.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Conservation Biology; Marine Biology; Marine Science; Zoology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) sustain discussion as to the mechanisms that produce the structure of populations and communities in intertidal areas, temperate reefs and coral reefs and seagrass meadows; (2) design, conduct and analyse a descriptive sampling program and/or a simple manipulative experiment in a shallow marine habitat; (3) be able to convey the purpose and/or findings of the sampling programs in formats suitable for both scientific and non-scientific audiences; (4) present findings in the format of a scientific paper; and (5) appreciate the occupational health and safety considerations of working in the marine environment and the planning required for marine field work.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a project report written as a scientific paper; (2) short presentations of research results; and (3) field trip plan and execution. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Jane Prince and Dr Renae Hovey
Unit rules
Enrolment in
72520 Master of Biological Science (ID 165)
or 70630 Master of Science (ID 202)
or Of BH004 Bachelor of Science (Honours) (ID 4)
or 74540 Master of Marine Biology (ID 1902)
Advisable prior study
This unit assumes a strong background in ecology.
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
field trip (estimated cost - $300).
Contact hours
This unit is block-taught during the summer semester and involves a field trip of five days plus travel time at a cost of up to $300 to the student, plus up to four days of lectures and planning (including occupational health and safety) and up to four days of analysis and presentation of results. The total workload for the unit is 150 hours, up to 100 of which are contact hours.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.