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Marine Ecology, 15 cr


Course description

The course is an advanced course in aquatic ecology and the aims with the course are to:

  1. Describe and analyse the structure, functions and dynamics of benthic and pelagic marine ecosystems.
  2. Describe and analyse human impact on marine ecosystems at the local and the global scales.
  3. Describe, explain and apply sampling and analytical methods used in marine ecology.
  4. Apply the scientific approach: analyse a problem, hypothesize, independently design experiments/field investigations, interprete and present results orally and in writing.
  5. Interprete, evaluate and present results from scientific literature orally and in writing.

The course presents the structure and function of different marine ecosystems (mainly the Swedish, but also oceanic, the deep-sea and coral reefs are treated). Trophic interactions, flows of energy between land, air and the marine environment, and human impact on marine ecosystems are also treated.

The course contains practising of chemical analyses, sampling techniques, species knowledge within plankton, invertebrates, macroalgae and fish. The teacing and learning activities are lectures, field work, laboratory work, seminars and group discussions.


The course contains a one week excursion where we compare marine ecosystems in the Baltic Sea with the Swedish west coast, concerning their structure and function. We travel with mini-buses, stays at hostels and bring a motor boat on a trailer as well as sampling and analytical equipment. During the field days, we sample different parts of the ecosystems (the pelagic system, zonation of macroalgae and associated fauna, hard- and soft benthic fauna and fish communities). The excursion work is performed as group projects that have been planned and designed in advance by the students. There is also a field day with a larger research vessel, where we study the benthic fauna at larger depths in northern Öresund.


The group projects from the excursion week are presented both orally and written. There is also an individual project during the course that contains problem formulation, litterature search, and presentation (oral and written). The purpose of the projects are to train experimental/field planning and presentation techniques, but also to train synthesis in marine ecological scientific information.


The marine ecological knowledge is assessed by an individual written exam. This corresponds to 50% of the final grade. The rest is based on the performance of the student during excursions, group work and the individual project.

Future perspectives

The course makes up a basis for continued advanced studies within the limnological field and for a professional life in the aquatic ecology field. This course gives authority to study River Restoration in Europe (BIOR42), Fisheries ecology (BIOR67) and Aquatic ecology (BIOR68). This course (Aquatic ecology) is for you if you want a deeper understanding of aquatic ecology and/or you are planning to do a master degree project in Limnology, Marine ecology or Water management.

Page Manager:

Study coordinator

Lotta Persmark
Study advisor
Education office

Telehone: +46 46-222 37 28
E-mail: Lotta [dot] Persmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course coordinator

Per Carlsson
Associate Prof.
Aquatic ecology

Telephone: +46 46-222 84 35
E-mail: Per [dot] Carlsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Course literature

See the schedule

Course period

The course is offered the first part of the autumn term. The medium of instruction is English.


Preliminary schedule (pdf; 215 kB)

Course evaluation

The latest evaluation (pdf)

Resit exam occasions

Resit exams