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MARI301 Marine Ecology and Ecosystems

The ecology of marine organisms, their interactions, biotic and abiotic factors that influence patterns and ecological processes in benthic and pelagic environments.

The seas around New Zealand and its Antarctic territories encompass a great diversity of marine habitats and endemic species, making this one of the most exciting places globally to study Marine Ecology. Marine Ecology is the scientific study of marine habitats, populations and interactions among organisms and the surrounding environment. During this paper you will have an opportunity to investigate the influence of a key functional group on abiotic and biotic factors with a hands-on field manipulation experiment. The field work and laboratory sessions are designed to complement the lectures, which focus on four themes:

  1. Patterns in the marine environment
  2. Processes including primary production, decomposition and secondary production
  3. Fundamental concepts in marine ecology
  4. Management and applied ecology

Many of these themes overlap in the lectures and associated practical sessions.

Paper title Marine Ecology and Ecosystems
Paper code MARI301
Subject Marine Science
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One of (BIOL 112, BIOL 123, EAOS 111, ECOL 111, MARI 112) and 36 200-level points from Science Schedule C
Recommended Preparation
MARI 202, ECOL 211, ZOOL 221
Schedule C
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Dr Candida Savage
Teaching Fellow: Dr Jean McKinnon

Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Learn about key ecological processes and how to measure them
  • Understand and use primary literature as a basis for research
  • Design and carry out a robust experiment: from hypotheses to statistics
  • Become multidisciplinary: using analytical tools and models to measure processes
  • Write a journal article
  • Communicate science to the public
  • Apply ecological information to real management questions

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 10-11, 21
A2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 10-11, 21
A3 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 10-11, 21
AND one stream from
B1 Saturday 07:30-16:20 11
B2 Sunday 07:30-16:20 11


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 12-13, 16-17
A2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 12-13, 16
Friday 14:00-17:50 17
A3 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 12-13, 16
Thursday 14:00-17:50 17


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 9, 14, 18-20, 22
A2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 9, 14, 18-20, 22
A3 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 9, 14, 18-20, 22