Marine Phytoplankton of Australia

Subject 606-361 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

November, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Intensive field-based subject.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 18 one-hour lectures; thirteen 2.5-hour practical sessions. Total 50 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 80 hours total time commitment.
Prerequisites: 25 points of first year Biology plus 50 points of second year level Biological Science subjects or equivalent.
Corequisites: Marine Botany
Recommended Background Knowledge: -
Non Allowed Subjects:
  • Students who have successfully completed 606-302 Marine Botany as a 25 point subject prior to 2009 may not enrol in this subject (606-361 Marine Phytoplankton of Australia).
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Richard Wetherbee


Subject Overview:

This subject will introduce students to the biology of marine photosynthetic protists as well as identifying and classifying phytoplankton from marine and estuarine habitats. Topics to be covered include:

  • biodiversity and phylogeny of marine phytoplankton
  • origin of chloroplasts in protists, endosymbiosis
  • structure and function of phytoplankton
  • role of phytoplankton in the marine environment
  • toxic marine phytoplankton
  • commercial products derived from phytoplankton

At the completion of the subject, students should have developed an understanding of:

  • the biology and biodiversity of Australian phytoplankton
  • endosymbiosis and the origin of chloroplasts
  • the origin of protistan pirates and life style changes during evolution
  • practical skills in identifying the major groups of phytoplankton
  • current themes in algal research utilizing phytoplankton

Two 10-minute laboratory examinations during the teaching period (10%); a 2-hour laboratory examination in the assessment period (30%); a 2-hour written examination in the assessment period (60%).

Prescribed Texts: -
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

By the end of the completion of the subject, students should be capable of:

  • Reading and interpreting scientific literature
  • Critical analysis of data
  • Time management skills.
  • Working as part of a team
  • Independent critical thought and rational enquiry

Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

An enrolment quota of 40 students applies to this subject this year.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Botany
Marine Biology

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