Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject covers the physiology of corals and various marine organisms and the structure and development of coral reefs. Topics focus on biomineralization, osmotic and ionic regulation, influence of temperature and climate change on physiological processes, respiratory adaptations, and sensory capacities in various marine organisms. Deep sea vent communities, physiology of bivalve molluscs, whole-body transparency, buoyancy, diving and adaptations to deep oceans are also covered. The subject is run completely (lectures and practical classes) at the Heron Island Research Station, Great Barrier Reef.

SchoolLife Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorGiuseppe Posterino

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsZOO3EPB

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyMerit based quota management

Quota-conditions or rulesAssessed on academic performance in one of the two prerequisite options: ZOO2AP or ZOO2FE.

Special conditionsThe field course has an additional cost to be payed by student that covers travel, accommodation and meals.

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Use scientific terminology to describe and explain the fundamental biological concepts and current issues of the discipline area of Marine physiology.
02. Collect, summarise, analyse, evaluate and interpret scientific data collected via experiments, laboratory procedures, field surveys and literature review.
03. Produce clear, concise, grammatically correct written and spoken work that presents coherent evidence-based explanations and communicates the results of scientific experiments, current scientific/discipline issues, or theoretical concepts to peers

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Summer, Off Campus


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size40

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorGiuseppe Posterino

Class requirements

Field TripWeek: 49 - 0
One 8.00 days field trip per study period from week 49 to week 0 and delivered via face-to-face.
The field course runs out of session in December due to availability of the Research Station and prevailing weather conditions


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

One 2-hour exam
The exam (2 hours plus 15 mins. reading time) is conducted on the island along with all lectures. The exam is open book to take into account the short time associated with lecture delivery and study time. Word equivalency of 2000 words.

N/AOther written examIndividualNo50 SILO1

Scientific Report (2000 words)The report will be on one of the 4 practicals conducted on the island and students will be randomly allocated one of the practicals to write up on. All students will participate in each practical whilst on the island but the report will not be due until early January (~3 weeks after returning). The report is 2000 words.

N/AReportIndividualNo50 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3