[Ocean Research] Introduction to Biological Oceanography


General information

Course name Introduction to Biological Oceanography
Course type  
Course code bioc-101
Course coordinator Prof. Dr. Johannes F. Imhoff
Faculty Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Examination office Examination Office of the Department of Biology
Short summary This module will provide a broad overview of the functioning of marine ecosystems and the interactions between organismal groups that determine the cycling of bio-reactive elements in the ocean. Topics to be covered include: Physicochemical conditions in the ocean: large and small scale heterogeneity. Functional groups: micro-organisms, phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos animals, algae, fishes, sea birds, mammals. Ecophysiology: light and photosynthesis, physiology of picoplankton, primary production, nutrients, microbial loop. Populations and communities: distribution, growth, age structure and demography, interactions, food webs. Biogeochemical cycles: classification of elements and their residence times, sources and sinks of elements, linking c to N, Si, P and Fe, microbiology of C-, N- and S-cycle. Diversity: patterns, significance and loss.Global Change: ocean acidification, global warming and “The Future Ocean”.

Information about study level

Study level Master
Also possible for  

Information about credit points, evaluation and frequency

Evaluation Written Examination
Frequency Winter semester

Information about teaching language

Teaching language English
Minimum language requirement B2
Further information on the teaching language  

Information about requirements

Recommended requirements A bachelor’s degree in a biological discipline.

Information about course content, reading list and additional information

Course Content On completion of this module students should be able to discuss and link key concepts in biological oceano- graphy and fish ecology. They should have an understanding of the importance of functional groups of orga- nisms both in shaping the food web including nekton as well as in elemental fluxes. Students should have enough knowledge to able to read and critically judge current literature on the topics covered.
Reading list  
Additional information