Institute of Marine Science


Undergraduate courses

Stage II courses provide an overview of Marine Science while Stage III courses are designed to give a more detailed and specific conclusion to your undergraduate majors and prepare you for possible postgraduate study.

A Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Marine Science degree must include the following courses:

Undergraduate advisers

Dr Neill Herbert
Building 608 (Leigh Marine Laboratory), room 210
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 83604
Email: n.herbert@auckland.ac.nz

 

MARINE 100G:The Oceans Around Us


An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the importance of our oceans as the driver of our climate, source of sustenance, and focus of domestic and international political, economic and legal negotiations. It is framed around physical and biological processes in the ocean which raise questions for ocean management in NZ and internationally, allowing real-world debate about the future of the ocean realm.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Andrew Jeffs
Points:15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites:No formal prerequisite, although an understanding of Stage 1 level science is assumed.
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 100G: Antarctica, the frozen continent


A general introduction to Antarctica and its environs including the Southern Ocean and the sub-Antarctic islands. Emphasis will be placed on
the evolution of Antarctica and how resident plants, animals and microorganisms are adapted to cope with the extreme environment. Specific
topics to be addressed include the history of Antarctic exploration and its impact on the development of Antarctic science, Antarctic ecosystems, Antarctica as a wilderness region, and the impact of humans including the exploitation of resources and the effects of pollution.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Caroline Aspden
Points:15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: This course is suitable for students with both science and non-science backgrounds.
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 104: New Zealand Ecology and Conservation


An introduction to the diversity of animals and plants in New Zealand including endemic, native and introduced species; biogeographical and evolutionary relationships; community structure and inter-relationships; behaviour and ecology; Maori perspectives in biology; and current conservation, environmental, social, animal welfare, and economic issues relevant to New Zealand biology.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Rochelle Constantine
Points:15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites:
Timetable: Check SSO

MARINE 202: Principles of Marine Science


This course forms an introduction to the physical and biological structure of the oceans, sea floor, coastlines and the biological communities that inhabit them. Subject matter includes an overview of the nature and scope of marine science globally and within the New Zealand and Auckland contexts. A wide range of marine science issues are covered, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary examples.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Melissa Bowen
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: No formal prerequisite, although an understanding of Stage I level science is assumed.
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 206: Principles of Ecology


Ecology is the study of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes), their relationships with one another and with their environment. This course examines ecosystem processes, factors that affect distribution and interactions of organisms, population ecology, and applications of ecology such as restoration and conservation. The key principles of ecology are taught in a New Zealand context emphasising an experimental approach.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: TBA
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101, 104 and 15 points in either STATS 101 or 108
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 208: Invertebrate Diversity


Invertebrates make up over 95% of animal species. This course explores the biology of invertebrates with an emphasis on structure, function, life histories, behaviour and ecology. Invertebrate diversity is examined in a variety of environments, using New Zealand examples where possible, and provides the basis for advanced courses in Conservation and Marine Ecology.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Associate Professor Mary Sewell
Points
: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 101 and BIOSCI 103.
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 209: Biometry


An introduction to statistical methods for biological and environmental scientists. Students will learn how to carry out various statistical analyses using computer packages, as well as how to interpret and communicate the results. The topics covered include: experimental design and sampling, regression and analysis of variance models, analyzing frequencies and counts, and basic multivariate techniques commonly used in biology.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Dr Andrew Balemi (Statistics) / Nick Shears (Marine Science)
Points: 15
Restrictions: STATS 201, 207, 208
Prerequisites: 15 points in either STATS 101 or 108 and 30 points from Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or Geography.
Timetable: Check SSO

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STATS 201: Data Analysis


The courses STATS 201/8 teach computer based data analysis. They are particularly useful for Business and Economics, and the Biological, Medical and Social Sciences. They are useful for anyone who will do research, or even just read research papers in any discipline where research makes use of statistical analyses.

Topics studied include: Exploratory Data Analysis, the analysis of linear models including two-way analysis of variance, experimental design and multiple regression, the analysis of contingency table data including logistic regression, the analysis of time series data, and model selection.

Semester: Semester 1 and 2
Coordinator: David Smith (ex85390), Andrew Balemi (ex85713)
Points: 15
Restrictions: You may take only one of STATS 201, 207 and STATS 208
Prerequisites: 15 points from STATS 101-108, 191
Timetable: Check SSO

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GEOG 250: Geographical Research in Practice


A critical exploration of the research experience in geography. Case studies and field work demonstrate approaches to understanding the complex interactions of social and environmental processes. Students will develop practical skills in problem identification, research methodologies, ethics and analytical practices.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Joe Fagan (Environment)
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: No
Timetable: Check SSO

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MARINE 302: Dynamics of Marine Systems


This course deals with fundamental processes in the marine environment with an emphasis on interdisciplinary linkages in the functioning of marine ecosystems. Topics include the role of fluid dynamics in the lives of marine animals and in the shaping of the physical marine environment and interdisciplinary studies of marine ecosystems.

A residential field course at the Leigh Marine Laboratory during the Semester 2 mid-semester break is compulsory and fulfils the practical requirements of the course.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Alwyn Rees
Points: 15
Restrictions: ENVISCI 302
Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, although an understanding of marine science to the level of MARINE 202 will be assumed.
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 301: Introduction to bioinformatics


An overview of the methods and applications of bioinformatics with specific reference to: Internet accessible database technology, database mining, applications for gene and protein sequence analysis, phylogenetic analysis, three dimensional protein prediction methods, and genome sequence analysis.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Dr Klaus Lehnert
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 30 points at Stage II in Biological Sciences.
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 328: Fisheries and Aquaculture


Harvest and capture of aquatic organisms and inter-relationships with aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture are treated not as distinct disciplines but in the context of integrating exploitation and sustainable environmental integrity. Case studies include deep sea and coastal fisheries, and shellfish culture.

A residential field course at the Leigh Marine Laboratory during the Semester 1 mid-semester break is compulsory and fulfils the practical requirements of the course.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Dr Neill Herbert
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 207 or 208
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 329: Biology of Fish


This course offers a comprehensive coverage of the biology of fishes including their evolution, diversity and organism biology. Coverage includes habitats of particular interest to New Zealand such as Antarctica, the deep sea, coral and temperate reefs and New Zealand’s lakes and rivers.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Prof Kendall Clements
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 330: Freshwater and Estuarine Ecology


The structure, biodiversity and ecology of lakes, streams, wetlands and estuaries and linkages with near-shore marine habitats. Emphasis is placed on the role of science in monitoring and managing these ecosystems. Case studies include impacts of Auckland’s urban sprawl on stream, estuarine and near-shore marine habitats, and local estuaries as nurseries for fish.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Dr Richard Taylor (Marine Science)
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 206, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205, or 207 or 208 and STATS 101 or 108.
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 395: Pacific Biogeography and Biodiversity


The Pacific Ocean with its many remote archipelagoes represents the grand stage for the study of Island Biogeography and Insular Biodiversity. This course will examine those processes across the Pacific. A multidisciplinary approach, involving the study of both plant and animal systematics and biogeography, will be a feature of the course.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Dr. Shane Wright
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 30 points at Stage II in either Biological Sciences or Geography..
Timetable: Check SSO

BIOSCI 333: Marine Ecology


Marine ecology includes patterns and processes in the ecology of benthic and pelagic plants and animals, including how environmental factors and physiology influence species distribution and abundance.

Lectures cover:

  • measuring biodiversity at population (including molecular), species and ecosystem levels
  • ecology of phytoplankton and seaweeds including factors that influence their growth and productivity
  • plant-herbivore interactions and chemical ecology
  • invertebrate reproduction
  • case studies related to research at the University (e.g. on cetaceans).

Practical work includes ecological data analysis in the computer lab, an ecological field survey and a laboratory study of nutrient uptake in seaweeds.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Dr Rochelle Constantine 
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 206, or 104 and 15 points from BIOSCI 205, or 207 or 208 and STATS 101 or 108.
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 335: Ecological Physiology


Ecological (environmental) Physiology focuses on physiological diversity in relation to the environments in which organisms live. This course is about how animals cope with the physiological challenges of the environment. We consider animals at the interface between physiological, biological, biochemical or molecular approaches on the one hand, and ecology on the other. The effects of environmental factors on bio-energetics, nutrition and structural composition are emphasised. The adaptive and evolutionary strategies employed by a range of species in response to factors such as temperature, oxygen, water, pH, pressure and food availability, are considered. There is an emphasis on aquatic species reflecting the research interests of participating staff. The course aims to meet the needs of people with ecological interests wishing to apply an experimental approach to solving problems in environmental biology. We attempt to achieve the course aim through the use of research-based teaching. Because of the extensive literature in Ecological Physiology, the information presented is highly selective and cannot cover every field. We offer insights into specialised research fields that form the basis of an active postgraduate group in Biological Sciences.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Tony Hickey
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 15 points from BIOSCI 207, 208
Timetable: Check SSO

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BIOSCI 394: Conservation Ecology


Conservation Ecology deals with conservation of species and ecosystems.

Topics include:

  • population ecology
  • population growth
  • harvesting and pest control
  • marine and terrestrial conservation practice
  • forest and fisheries management
  • impacts and control of invasive species
  • population viability analysis and case studies in the conservation of threatened species
  • international conservation.

This course assumes competence in statistics - students are strongly advised to enrol concurrently in BIOSCI 209 if they have not previously passed a first or second year statistics course. BIOSCI 104 is an ideal precursor to this course and ecological knowledge equivalent to its content is assumed.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Jacqueline Beggs
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: BIOSCI 104 and 30 points at Stage II in either Biological Sciences or Geography.
Timetable: Check SSO

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GEOG 330: Research Methods in Physical Geography


This course gives students direct involvement with the research process, as practised in physical geography. Emphasis is given to research design, methods and techniques from the component fields of physical geography. The focus of the course is a compulsory residential field trip. On this field trip students will apply selected research methods and techniques to a research project. Lectures and laboratories before the field trip will be used to guide students through the research design process, and after the field trip to assist with data analysis, interpretation and reporting.

Semester: Semester 2
Coordinator: Murray Ford
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: GEOG 250 and GEOG 201 plus at least one of GEOG 331, 332, 334, 351, or equivalent.
Timetable: Check SSO

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GEOG 351: Coastal and Marine Studies


An examination of advanced material on the processes at work in coastal and marine environments that shape coastal landforms. The morphodynamics of coastal landforms are explored with specific consideration of how process controls on coastal change vary depending on the timescale and spatial scale of interest. Specific topics include: wave, tide and current processes and sediment fluxes that control short-term coastal change; styles and rates of morphological change of different coastal landforms; sea level and sediment supply controls on the evolution of coastal landforms. Understanding the controls on coastal landform development and change provides the framework for discussion of coastal management issues in New Zealand. Two one-day field trips are used as a basis to support development of key laboratory skills and to evaluate critical models used in coastal dynamics.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Mark Dickson
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 45 points at Stage II, including 15 points from GEOG 201, EARTHSCI 260-263, or equivalent.
Timetable: Check SSO

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EARTHSCI 303: Sedimentary Paleoenvironments


Given that 75% of exposed rocks on Earth’s surface are sedimentary in composition, the ability to interpret them is significant for any practicing Earth Scientist. This advanced course uses research-led teaching to critically examine an array of ancient sedimentary environments from the geologic record. Reconstruction of sedimentary paleoenvironments utilises a multi-proxy approach, incorporating facies analysis, taxonomy, paleoecology, taphonomy, geostatistics and sequence stratigraphy. Paleontological and sedimentological case studies are examined and integrated exercises are used to interpret complex 3D and 4D dynamic environmental models.

Two field trips to Waiheke (one day) and Taranaki (two days) are used as the basis for in-depth class research projects.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Associate Professor Kathy Campbell
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: An understanding equivalent to GEOLOGY 202 or 203 is desirable.
Timetable: Check SSO

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EARTHSCI 360: Climate and ocean processes


This course is not offered in 2017

EARTHSCI 361: Exploration Geophysics


An introduction to geophysical methods and their applications. The course will give a comprehensive overview of the seismic methods commonly used for hydrocarbon exploration. The course will also provide an introduction to techniques used for mineral exploration, such as electromagnetic and gravity, as well as methods for studying the shallow sub-surface for geotechnical, archaeological, and groundwater investigations, such as electric, magnetic, and radar. An overview on methods used for study of the deep Earth, in particular earthquake seismology and GPS will also be given. Emphasis is on the application of these methods via practical experience in the acquisition (including field work), processing, and interpretation of geophysical data. Upon course completion, students will have gained an overview of key geophysical techniques and their applications for commercial and scientific subsurface exploration.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Ingo Pecher
Points: 15
Restrictions: No
Prerequisites: 15 points from GEOLOGY 201-204, PHYSICS 230, 231. Understanding of basic Maths covered in MATHS 102 and basic Geology covered in GEOLOGY 103 is assumed.
Timetable: Check SSO

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GEOPHYS 331: Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean


The application of fluid dynamics to the motion of the atmosphere and oceans. Marine topics include ocean structure, oceanic circulation, underwater acoustics, tides and waves. Atmospheric topics include boundary layer meteorology and the microphysics of clouds and precipitation. A weekend field trip is a component of the course.

Semester: Semester 1
Coordinator: Professor Geoff Austin
Points: 15
Restrictions: GEOPHYS 332, 333
Prerequisites: PHYSICS 230 or 231 and one of PHYSICS 211, MATHS 253, ENGSCI 211. PHYSICS 213 is recommended preparation.
Timetable: Check SSO

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