Coastal and Marine Ecology for biologists

CMM03A Core Course 6 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Ireen Vieweg


This is a course in marine ecology and the coastal environment. While emphasizing ecosystem patterns and processes, this course works with ecological principles of both population and community ecology and strives to relate ecological knowledge to the broader context of the many global environmental challenges we face today.


i) Concepts: Diversity of life, distribution and dispersal, principles of population growth and species interactions. Primary production, decomposition and nutrient cycling in marine ecosystems, their trophic dynamics and food webs. Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability and ecosystem functioning, disturbance and succession of communities.

ii) Human induced impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems, including fisheries, aquaculture and climate change as well as 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.


Knowledge and understanding

  • The student understands the role of ecology in environment and natural resources studies and management and its importance for decision-making.
  • The student understands ecological principles of population, community and ecosystem ecology as well as the main patterns and processes of the marine ecosystems.
  • The student knows and understands the consequences of the major human induced impacts on marine ecosystems.

Practical ability and skills

  • The student will gain practice in reading and writing sections of scientific papers.
  • The student will be able to link human impacts on marine ecosystems to potential management actions.
  • The student can read scientific papers in ecology and critically review and discuss basic ecological subjects in an oral and a written form.