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Marine Biodiversity



Course format On-site
Datum 2020-08-17 - 2020-12-20

Marine bio-diversity at different organizational levels (from genes to ecosystems). Overall differences in marine biodiversity in polar (examples from Arctic and Antarctica), temperate (mid-Norway) and tropical (Australia) ecosystems. How key-environmental variables (eg. light regime, temperature, salinity and nutrients) affect marine bio-diversity – relation to climate induced processes. The importance of endosymbionts and kleptoplasty in species development. Relate bio-diversity at different levels to organisms at sea-surface, water column (nekton and plankton) and sea-floor (benthos). Biodiversity and age of ecosystems (time important development factor). Mass extinctions and explosions.


Recommended previous knowledge

Topics in taxonomy/systematics, eco-physiology, evolution theory. BI1002

Learning outcomes


  • Important definitions in marine biodiversity (from genes, organelles, species, groups, habitats, ecosystems).
  • Biodiversity versus key environmental variables.
  • Impact of endosymbionts, kleptoplasty, environment stability and time in species development.
  • Sampling of plankton and larvae, fish and benthos using different techniques and equipment (vessel, nets, grab, corer, trawl, dredge, SCUBA and ROV)
  • Impact of climate variation, fisheries and aquaculture on marine bio-diversity.
  • Learn to sample organisms from sea surface, water column and seafloor using different platforms (boat, SCUBA diving and Remotely Operated Vehicle- ROV) using different types of sampling gear.
  • Learn practical skills related oceanographic cruises on a research vessel.


  • Understanding of the relationship between organisms and their environment in Nature
  • Understanding why endosymbionts, time, humans and environmental variables affect extinction and development of new species
  • Understanding how to sample species and groups of interest for further studies (field course)
  • Understanding differences in species biodiversity in “hot spots and deserts” in polar, temperate and tropical environment
  • Understand the major bio-diversity taxa and their importance in the Ecosystem
  • Ability to communicate with colleagues in adjacent disciplines


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