Coastal and Marine Ecology

Námskeið: CMM 03

Kennari: Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir

Námskeiðslýsing í kennsluskrá

Um námskeiðið

The course explores patterns and processes of marine ecosystems. The main emphasis of the course is on the population and community ecology of marine ecosystems, relating such ecological knowledge to the broader context of the environmental challenges faced by marine organisms and humans on a global scale.

Lectures provide in depth understanding of concepts such as: i) the diversity of life, distribution and dispersal, principles of population growth, species interactions, primary production, decomposition and nutrient cycling in marine ecosystems, trophic dynamics and food webs, biodiversity, ecosystem stability and function, as well as disturbance and succession of communities; ii) human induced impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as an introduction to ecosystem conservation.

Discussion sessions and writing assignments serve to deepen the understanding of selected theoretical and practical concepts, approaches or applications as well as to train students in reading and writing scientific papers.


Guðbjörg Ásta Ólafsdóttir has been the director of the University of Iceland's Research Centre of the Westfjords since fall 2007. She received her BSc in Biology from the University of Iceland in 2000 and a PhD in Zoology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland in 2005. Both her PhD and postdoctoral work have focused primarily on understanding the formation and maintenance of biodiversity, using fish as a model species.

Her current research involves both theoretical issues and more applied questions concerning variation in natural populations, both in marine and freshwater environments. Her projects commonly combine multiple biological approaches, population ecology, molecular ecology, behaviour ecology and modelling.