Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

MARI202 Ecology and Biology of Marine Invertebrates

Study of the biology, ecology and behaviour of marine invertebrates, with particular emphasis on New Zealand marine species and communities.

Marine invertebrates are astoundingly diverse and interesting, conspicuous in every marine environment on the planet. MARI 202 introduces students to the diversity of marine invertebrate life, with emphasis on examples from the New Zealand region. The different marine invertebrate groups are introduced through examination of their evolution and phylogenetic relationships. Students explore adaptations of invertebrate groups to the marine environment in terms of comparative physiology and body architecture. A section on reproduction, development, larval forms and larval ecology highlights the diversity of reproductive patterns among marine invertebrates.

Next we consider adaptations of invertebrates to specific marine environments (e.g. polar, deep and tropical) to demonstrate the diversity of ecological and biological problems and solutions found in the marine environment.

Lastly, we examine the impacts of humans on marine invertebrates and vice versa (invasive species, aquaculture, fisheries, conservation), with an emphasis on how the basic biology of marine invertebrates influences these interactions.

Paper title Ecology and Biology of Marine Invertebrates
Paper code MARI202
Subject Marine Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

BIOL 112 or MARI 112
Schedule C
Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Miles Lamare
Teaching Fellow: Dr Jean McKinnon


Recommended: Invertebrates (3rd edition), by R.C. Brusca and G. J. Brusca, 2015.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
An appreciation of diversity and relationships among the marine invertebrates is gained through a series of laboratories, while knowledge on the biology, ecology, fisheries and aquaculture of marine invertebrates is obtained from course lectures. Two field exercises related to zonation, community structure and population biology increase student skills in teamwork, data collection, analysis, interpretation and written presentation. All laboratories are assessed, with students required to use the primary literature to complete an essay.

^ Top of page


Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 28-34, 36, 38-41
A2 Thursday 14:00-17:50 28-34, 36, 38-41
A3 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-34, 36, 38-41