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OCEN322 Biological Oceanography

Semester Two, 18 points
Lectures: Monday & Thursday at 9am.
Lab/Seminar: Wednesday 2-6pm.
Prerequisites: OCEN 201

Course Coordinator: Dr. Federico Baltar - federico.baltar@otago.ac.nz

We study how physical processes regulate productivity and distribution of organisms in oceanic and coastal ecosystems, from the microscale to the macroscale. We start with the biological effects of diffusion, turbulence and viscosity, fronts, tides, upwelling and mesoscale eddies, and move forward to study the influence of large-scale phenomena like El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on marine ecosystems. To finish, we learn about the biological pump and the importance of marine organisms in the global carbon cycle and climate change. This paper is convenient in view of the current concern about the role of the oceans in climate change due to the increasing need to understand the integrated biological-physical functioning of marine ecosystems and the links between different scales. This paper includes a field trip to study the effect of mesoscale hydrological processes on picoplankton distribution and activity across the Southland Front, offshore Otago.

Download course outline here