ENVB40020 Marine Community Ecology

Academic Year 2023/2024

Communities are the groups of populations of species that co-occur at a given place and time. Current understanding of processes affecting community structure in benthic marine habitats will be critically appraised. The main focus will be on temperate and tropical coastal habitats, such as rocky shores, kelp forests and mangrove forests. We will consider how oceanic, atmospheric and geological processes interact with biological processes such as reproduction, dispersal, herbivory and predation to cause variations in community structure. Against this background of natural variation, we will assess how the impact of man's activities can be detected and reduced.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Recognise the defining characteristics of a range of coastal benthic habitats;
- Explain current models of processes structuring coastal benthic communities;
- Explain the ways in which processes can interact to generate pattern at a range of spatial and temporal scales;
- Recognise the variability of marine communities and its implications for assessment of human impacts;
- Discuss how the above ideas are developing through a range of research activities;
- Critically assess and synthesise ecological literature;
- Demonstrate enhanced key skills including teamwork and oral communication.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module comprises 10 lectures. Student presentations are integrated into a subset of lectures and presented in additional lecture slots as necessary. The presentations involve group work to summarise and critically review research articles. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Summary and critical review of research article, briefly presented to class. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

For the oral presentations, written feedback is provided and oral feedback is available. Generic feedback on presentation skills is provided to the class. An offer is made to all students to provide feedback on draft essays developed by students in preparation for the terminal exam. Grades and annotations are recorded on exam scripts and are available to students on request.

Name Role
Dr Paul Brooks Lecturer / Co-Lecturer