Methods in Tropical Marine Biology

The details
Life Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 05 October 2017
Wednesday 03 October 2018
26 March 2013


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC C16112 Tropical Marine Biology,
MMB C160 Marine Biology

Module description

The UK Natural Environment Research Council recently listed the most wanted Postgraduate and Professional Skills Needs in the Environment Sector. Modelling, Multi-disciplinarity, Data Management, Numeracy, and Translating Research into Practice were the top five most wanted and cross-disciplinary skills identified. This module aims to widen the skill base in practical research by introducing a range of methodologies to aid in the investigation of tropical marine processes. The seminars (2 hours each) and practicals (6 hours each) address the top five most wanted skills and support the material delivered in theory modules by focusing on the components Physiology, Remote Sensing and Data Visualisation, Biotechnology, and Fisheries. In direct preparation for the independent research project, regular sessions in the Coral Reef Research Unit (CRRU) provide students with a foundation in coral husbandry using the CORALZOO Handbook of Protocols. Students will acquire many of the fundamental and some specialised practical skills to effectively operate as professional tropical marine biologists.

Learning Outcomes
To pass this module students will need to be able to:

Remote Sensing and Data Visualisation Component (Dr Etienne Low-Decarie)
* Demonstrate competence in data presentation, analysis and interpretation, numeracy, information retrieval and written communication.
* Demonstrate the ability to utilise large data bases;
* Use specialised software to effectively analyse and display oceanographic data.

Physiology Component (Dr Tracy Lawson)
* Demonstrate an ability to utilise conventional (oxygen electrode) and modern (PAM fluorometry) techniques to measure primary productivity.

Biotechnology Component (Dr Terry McGenity and Dr Corinne Whitby)
* Perform the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and analyse and explain several datasets: metagenetic and denaturing gradient gel-electrophoresis profiles of 16S rRNA genes from bacterial communities; and hydrocarbon profiles of degraded and undegraded crude oil

Modelling Component (Dr Alex Dumbrell and Dr Tom Cameron)
* Model the response of fish populations to harvesting using simulation models.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

5 x 2 hour seminars 5 x 6 hour practicals


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Data Analysis Interpretation 16/11/2017 25%
Coursework Scientific Report 14/12/2017 25%
Coursework Worksheet 1 01/03/2018 25%
Coursework Worksheet 2 23/03/2018 25%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
0% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tom Cameron, Dr Alex Dumbrell, Prof Tracy Lawson, Dr Etienne Low-Decarie, Dr Terry McGenity, Mr Russ Smart, Prof. David Smith, Dr Corinne Whitby
School Graduate Office, email: bsgradtaught (Non essex users should add to create a full email address)



External examiner

Prof Charles Sheppard
The University of Warwick
Available via Moodle
Of 62 hours, 17 (27.4%) hours available to students:
45 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Life Sciences (School of)

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.