Course level





Biological Sciences School




One Semester

Delivery mode


Class contact

3 Lecture hours, 2 Tutorial hours, 7 Field Work hours


MARS2014 and BIOL2204

Recommended prerequisite


Approval of School of Biological Sciences at

Assessment methods

Short Quizzes, Project Report, Final exam

Course coordinator

Associate Professor Sophie Dove

Work Integrated Learning

Field Experience

Current course offerings

Course offerings Location Mode Course Profile
Semester 2, 2018 St Lucia Internal Course Profile

Please Note: Course profiles marked as not available may still be in development.

Course description

Tropical Coastal Ecosystems include mangrove, seagrass, and coral reefs ecosystems. The complex physical benthic structure of these ecosystems facilitates enormous trophic and ecological partitioning such that a huge number of species from almost all animal phyla are found in these habitats. In addition, they provide essential coastal protection by absorbing a large proportion of the energy stores in waves and stabilising sediment. These ecosystems are, however, under acute risk from decay due directly to human activities. This course will provide knowledge pertinent to 1) the geological history, structure and distribution of the ecosystems, 2) building and sustaining coral reefs in an oligotrophic ocean, and 3) ecological functions of mangroves and seagrass ecosystems.

The course will include a field trip to Heron Island Research Station. Due to a limited number of places available on Heron Island, there will be a selection process for the field trip where students enrolled in the Marine Science/Marine Biology major will be given preference and all remaining places will be allocated based on merit using the student's overall GPA as the criterion. Students will be notified of the outcome of the process by the end of the second week of semester 2. All enquiries to enrol to be addressed to

Archived offerings

Course offerings Location Mode Course Profile
Semester 2, 2017 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 2, 2016 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 2, 2015 St Lucia Internal Course Profile
Semester 2, 2014 St Lucia Internal Course Profile