University of Technology Sydney

91157 Marine Phycology

Requisite(s): 91154 Ecology
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.


Marine phycology is the study of marine algae, from the microscopic phytoplankton in our oceans to the towering kelp inhabiting our temperate rocky shorelines. Marine algae hold unprecedented importance in our oceans, they are responsible for 50% of the oxygen in our atmosphere, are key players in ocean biogeochemical cycles and as the base of the marine foodweb, sustain all marine life. In this subject, students learn about the biology, physiology and ecology of marine algae. With a focus on problem-based learning and practical experience, students learn to design and execute multifactorial experiments both for the field and laboratory, examining how algae adapt and respond to changing environmental conditions. Combining theory and practice, this subject integrates lectures, collaborative learning, group discussion, experimental approach and data analysis techniques and practical research in both laboratory and field settings*, through which students gain insight into how marine algae live, thrive and struggle within marine habitats. At completion of this subject, students are able to explain the role of marine algae in shaping the environment and evaluate how they, in turn, are shaped by the environment. Students have a secure understanding of the biology, physiology and ecology of marine algae and their unparalleled importance in marine ecosystems.

*Field work is undertaken during a three-day excursion to Pearl Beach. Due to this excursion, numbers are limited, and preference is given to second-year marine biology students.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

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