Marine biology and ecology

A.Y. 2021/2022
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
BIO/05 BIO/07
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to contribute to the training of master's graduates who have a full understanding of the fundamentals of biotic and abiotic characteristics of the marine environment. In particular the objectives of this course are to provide: a) Knowledge related to: physical and chemical characteristics of the marine environment; functional biology and ecology of marine organisms; conservation measures b) Cultural competences related to: general topics of marine biology and ecology; overview of the threats to the sea and its biodiversity; c) Methodological competences related to: identification of taxa, sampling and collection of data techniques, foundations for a science-based approach to the adoption of conservation measures.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will acquire:
Knowledge of the basic concepts of marine biology (such as: physical and chemical characteristics of the marine environment; distribution of marine fauna and flora).
Knowledge of specific issues (such as: threats to the sea and to its biodiversity).
Knowledge of the mechanisms related to the productivity of the marine environment.
Knowledge of the principles underlying the main techniques for sampling and collection of data.
A general picture of the current knowledge on the evolution and diversity of life on sea and the foundations for a science-based approach to the adoption of conservation measures.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods
Lectures will be provided in synchronous mode on Microsoft Teams platform according to the second semester timetable. Lectures will be recorded and available for the students in asynchronous mode on the same platform. Power point presentations will be also available on the dedicated ARIEL site.

Course syllabus and Teaching Resources
The contents and reference material will not change.

Assessment methods and Criteria
The evaluation criteria include: the degree of acquired knowledge, the ability to appropriately present the topics, the use of a correct terminology.
Final evaluation will consist of an oral exam performed on-line by employing the Microsoft Teams platform. Exams in presence will be held only when permitted by regulation.
During the colloquium the student is required to briefly present and discuss two topics, the first being referred to Marine ecology, the second to Conservation of marine biodiversity, each weighing 50% of the final evaluation. The student skills are evaluated in terms of overall knowledge of marine ecology, ability to cross-connect the different topics, and finally presentation clarity and employment of appropriate terminology. Final evaluation is expressed on a scale of thirty.
Course syllabus
The teaching will begin with an introduction to the marine environment and an outline of its main differences from the terrestrial environment. This part will include a description of the physical and chemical characteristics of the oceans that are relevant to life, of the adaptations of organisms to the marine environment, their life histories, and the functioning and productivity of marine ecosystems. Community ecology will be treated by illustrating the characteristics of the main Phyla subdivided amongst plankton, nekton, benthos and meiofauna. This first part of the course will be complemented by elements of biogeography, oceanography and biodiversity, with a special attention on the Mediterranean case.
The second part of the teaching will examine the different methods for the study of marine biodiversity, the exploitation of marine resources (fishery, aquaculture, marine biotechnology) and the different threats to marine biodiversity (e.g., overfishing, habitat degradation and pollution, bio-invasions, climate change). In this context describe the tools available to address them, including marine protected areas (MPAs), with a special focus on the Italian and Mediterranean ones, more conventional, ecosystem-based management and conservation measures, and the precautionary approach. Finally, aspects related to the ethics of marine conservation will be discussed, and presented within the wider international legal marine conservation framework.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of general biology, in particular of animal and plant biology.
Teaching methods
Teaching modalities are based on frontal lectures supported by Power Point presentations originally produced by the teachers. Students are invited to actively participate with informal questions and/or comments related to the treated topics in order to acquire critical capacities. Course attendance is highly recommended.
Teaching Resources
Castro P, Huber ME. Biologia marina. McGraw-Hill.
Slides and Presentations employed by the teacher: they are updated every year and totally provided to the students on ARIEL site. The teaching will be likely integrated by specific seminars and the discussion of pertinent scientific articles.
https://ariel.unimi.it/ http://gnotarbartolobem.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v3/Home/
Assessment methods and Criteria
Final evaluation will consist of an oral exam. During the colloquium the student is required to briefly present and discuss two topics, the first being referred to Marine ecology, the second to Conservation of marine biodiversity, each weighing 50% of the final evaluation. The student skills are evaluated in terms of overall knowledge of marine ecology, ability to cross-connect the different topics, and finally presentation clarity and employment of appropriate terminology. Final evaluation is expressed on a scale of thirty.
BIO/05 - ZOOLOGY - University credits: 0
BIO/07 - ECOLOGY - University credits: 0
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
By appointment (Microsoft Teams or Skype).