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.

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Unit Overview


This is an introductory unit in biological oceanography. The lecture series places biological oceanographic subjects into a global and an Australian context. The lectures follow an offshore to onshore, primary to secondary production, oceanic to neritic, water column to benthos, large- to small-scale order. The unit focuses on primary producers and examines implications for sustainable management. The practical work begins with an introduction to oceanographic research techniques followed by a group research project.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) identify key time and space scales for biological oceanographic processes; (2) identify primary limiting factors for primary production; (3) understand the importance of size in driving nutrient sources and the ecological role of organisms; (4) distinguish between the microbial food web and the classic food web; and (5) predict the likely drivers and controls of primary production, given a physical system.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class quizzes; (2) a field trip report; (3) a final examination; (4) field trip oral presentation; and (5) ongoing assignments. 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)
Assistant Professor Michael Stat
Unit rules
SCIE2204 Marine Systems.
for pre-2012 courses: BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly Core Concepts in Biology)
or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology
SCIE3307 Biological Oceanography
Contact hours
52 hours

Connell, S. D. and Gillanders, B. M. Marine Ecology: OUP 2007 (highly recommended)

Lalli, C. M. and Parsons, T. R. Biological Oceanography: an Introduction: Elsevier 1997

  • 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.