BS705-7-AP-CO:
Marine Resources

The details
2022/23
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 24 March 2023
15
24 March 2022

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

BS711

Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSC F71012 Marine Science and Sustainable Development,
MPHDC16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
MPHDC16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16148 Tropical Marine Biology,
PHD C16184 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIB097 Tropical Marine Biology,
MSCIBA97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Placement Year),
MSCIBB97 Tropical Marine Biology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Marine ecosystems provide important resources locally and globally, and support the livelihoods of more than half a billion people around the world. Marine resources, however, are threatened by a number of different factors, including global environmental change, over-exploitation, pollution and environmental degradation caused by coastal development.

Our planet's population is predicted to rise from 7.8 billion to 9.7 billion by the year 2050 with major changes expected for coastal societies, and this, combined with coastal transmigration, may lead to doubling of marine resource exploitation over the next 50 years. Additionally, mining for mineral resources in the deep sea poses a threat to an ecosystem whose diversity is poorly understood.

Therefore, it has never been more important for marine biologists to understand the value of marine resources – not just coral reefs and fisheries and not just macroorganisms. In fact, using the marine environment to help meet many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (the Blue Biotechnology agenda) is underpinned by a need for more holistic understanding of diverse marine ecosystems and the interplay between all organisms within them.

This module has been designed to enable you to speak knowledgably about marine resources and provide you with the capacity to develop your expertise in this field by further reading and research. The bioinformatics practical class complements the lectures by giving you deep insight in how to understand marine diversity from DNA sequence data.

There will be an initial focus on microorganisms, both cultivated and uncultivated, that provide a biotechnological 'treasure chest' by supplying novel metabolites and enzymes for pharmaceuticals and more sustainable industrial processes and products, including bioplastics. Invertebrates (and the microbes that they house) are also a major source novel pharmaceuticals, such as anti-cancer drugs and antibiotics to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistant pathogens. They are a source of other products as well as providing inspiration for novel materials.

The issues of biofouling and oil pollution, together with their biologically driven resolutions, will be explored in some depth. Resources from the deep sea and coastal environments will also be discussed in detail. Here, and throughout the module, you will explore the human element of marine resources, including issues of ownership of marine biodiversity, trade, tourism, conservation and sustainable management. Management strategies need to consider the main factors resulting in ecosystem demise from a multidisciplinary standpoint. However, protecting food security, access to clean water and sustainable economies are key requirements, and illustrate the delicate balancing act between the need for development and conservation.

Module aims

This module aims to provide an understanding of marine resources, i.e. organisms (from microbes to vertebrates) and ecosystems (from deep-sea to coral reefs), emphasising biotechnological applications, sustainable management and conservation management.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Discuss the diversity of marine resources (from microbes to vertebrates) and how they can contribute to sustainable development goals
2. Discuss the environmental, social and economic impacts of marine resources and prospects for more sustainable production and harvesting
3. Discuss biotechnology industries based around marine resources
4. Discuss biotechnological products stemming from marine resources
5. Explain how marine invertebrates can inspire new materials and technologies
6. Explain the status and trends in global marine fisheries, with emphasis on marine environments
7. Demonstrate an appreciation of the differing roles and agendas of stakeholders associated with local and international marine resource development and an understanding of approaches suited to enhanced planning and management
8. Show competence in distilling complex nucleic-acid sequence data into meaningful figures and interpreting the data
9. Show competence in retrieving relevant information from diverse sources

Module information

PART 1 INTRODUCTION
1. Introduction to Marine Resources;

PART 2 MICROBIAL RESOURCES
2-3 Diversity of marine microbial resources (Bacteria and Archaea)
4-5 Diversity of marine microbial resources (Viruses, Fungi, Algae and Protozoa)
6-7 Methods for capturing genetic information and cultivating marine microbes
8-9 Microbes for the clean-up of pollution (focussing on crude-oil spills and introducing the practical class)
10 Marine biotechnology overview
11-12 Extremophiles as a resource for marine biotechnology
13 Marine invertebrates and microbes as sources of novel pharmaceuticals

PART 3 INVERTEBRATES: BIO-INSPIRATION AND BIOFOULING
14 Diversity of marine resources (Invertebrates)
15 Marine biofouling
16 Biofilms/biofouling
17 Invertebrates/biofouling

PART 4 SUSTAINABLE USE OF MARINE RESOURCES FROM THE DEEP SEA TO CORAL REEFS
18 - Introduction to resources in the deep sea
19 - Conservation of benthic biodiversity versus mineral extraction
20 - Deep-sea bioproducts and bioprospecting
21 - Tropical marine aquaculture (seaweed, invertebrates, fish)
22 - Tropical marine fisheries
23 – Aquarium and curio trade, coral mining
24 - Reef-based tourism and tropical marine resource management

Spring Term
PART 5 BIOINFORMATICS PRACTICAL CLASS
Bioinformatics practical: Microbial community analysis in response to a marine oil spill (6 hours)

Learning and teaching methods

24 hours of lectures & practical class in the Spring Term.

Bibliography

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 1  02/12/2022  10% 
Coursework   Popular Science Article  09/12/2022  40% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 2  17/03/2023  10% 
Coursework   Report  24/03/2023  40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Terence McGenity, email: tjmcgen@essex.ac.uk.
Terry McGenity, Nick Aldred, Michelle Taylor

 

Availability
No
No
No

External examiner

Dr Nicholas Kamenos
University of Glasgow
Reader
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 16 hours, 16 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.

 

Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

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