Experimental Marine Biology

Subject ZOOL30008 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start 15-Jan-2016
Teaching Period 05-Feb-2016 to 17-Feb-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Dec-2015
Census Date 19-Feb-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 29-Apr-2016

An enrolment quota of 40 students (in undergraduate and post-graduate offering) applies to this subject. For detailed information on the quota subject application process, enrolment deadlines and selection preferences, refer to the Faculty of Science website: http://science.unimelb.edu.au/students/course-planning-and-advice

This subject commences in the following study period/s: 5 and 15 February - Lectures and tutorial work undertaken on campus; 8-12 February - Lectures and practical work undertaken at the Victorian Marine Science Consortium (VMSC) laboratories in Queenscliff, operated by the Faculty of Science. Assessment for the subject is due in semester 1.

Students are required to spend time reading scientific papers prior to the start of teaching. Papers will be distributed to students via LMS by 9 January.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Ten lectures and 50 hours practical and tutorial work.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


One of

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have received credit for 654-302 Experimental Marine Ecology (prior to 2010) may not enrol in this subject for credit.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr John Morrongiello, Prof Michael Keough


Email: john.morrongiello@unimelb.edu.au; ZOOL30008@zoology.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the techniques and methods of undertaking marine biological research, including experimental and sampling design, data collection, statistical analysis of data, presentation of the research results and peer review. Students will participate in a group project, in which they will design, execute, analyse and interpret observational and experimental studies of marine animals in field and laboratory settings.

Learning Outcomes:

To provide students with an opportunity to engage in an authentic experience of the entire process of scientific research: from translating a general question in marine biology to a specific testable hypothesis; developing an experimental sampling design; collecting and analysing data; preparing a draft written report; formally reviewing reports prepared by other students and revising their reports in line with the reviews provided by their colleagues; and finally submitting an individual report for assessment.


Written practical report totalling up to 4000 words. Student will submit the assessment in two stages:

  • a full initial practical report which will be assessed and returned with detailed comments and feedback, approximately 3000 words (65%);
  • a re-submitted report and ‘response to reviewer’ comments documenting how students have addressed feedback received on the initial submission, approximately an additional 1000 words (35%);

Hurdle: all students must complete a peer review assessment task

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:

This subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to approach and assimilate new knowledge from observation and the literature, and an ability to use that knowledge to evaluate and communicate results.

Students should develop their abilities to pose testable hypotheses, to devise appropriate sampling procedures and experimental designs, and to work in field situations.

Students should learn how to access information from the primary scientific literature, through both electronic and traditional sources, and gain experience in writing scientific reports and essays.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Marine Biology
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED
Related Breadth Track(s): Marine Life

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