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 biomineralisation, 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.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorGiuseppe Posterino

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites BIO2POS and one of (ZOO2FE or ZOO2AP)


Incompatible subjects ZOO3EPB

Equivalent subjectsN/A

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

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.

Full scientific report and preliminary essay on a topical related question. Written exam.

02. Collect, summarise, analyse, evaluate and interpret scientific data collected via experiments, laboratory procedures, field surveys and literature review.

Conduct scientific experiments using a variety of research tools.

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

Full scientific report and preliminary essay on a topical related question. Written exam

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Summer, Off Campus


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment size40

Enrolment information Quota due to limited resources. Merit based quota. Assessed on academic performance in one of the two prerequisite options: ZOO2AP or ZOO2FE.

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorGiuseppe Posterino

Class requirements

Field Trip Week: 49
One 8.0 days field trip per study period in week 49 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 elementComments% ILO*
One 2-hour examThe 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.50 01
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.50 01, 02, 03