Marine Phytoplankton of Australia

Subject BOTA30007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

November, Parkville - 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

This subject is offered in intensive mode over two weeks in late November/early December.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 18 x one hour lectures; 13 x two and a half hour practical sessions. Total 50 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 80 hours

25 points of first year subject level biology plus 50 points of second year level subject biological sciences or equivalent.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
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.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in practical work activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Richard Wetherbee


School of Botany

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: None
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

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Botany (pre-2008 Bachelor of Science)
Marine Biology
Plant Science
Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses

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