Marine Biology Minor


This minor requires at least 15 credits of 2000-level or above course work.

Required courses are: MARN 3014/EEB 3230MARN 4010*

In addition, students must take at least three of the following courses**: MARN 3012 or EEB 4275,MARN 3016 or 3030/5032, 3015/5015, 3017/5017, 3811, 5014, 5016; EEB 32504200. Students may use MARN 48934895, or other MARN courses towards one or more of these electives with prior approval of the Department Head.

* Students who have taken both MARN 2002 and 3001 may substitute these for MARN 4010 

** Marine Sciences majors may use only one 2000-level or above MARN elective course to count for both the major and the Marine Biology minor.

A Plan of Study for the Minor in Marine Biology needs to be approved by an advisor in the Department of Marine Sciences and submitted to the Degree Audit Office during the first four weeks of the semester when the student expects to graduate. Details of this minor are given in the undergraduate catalog.

Substitutions are not allowed for courses in a minor.


Required Courses

MARN 3014/EEB 3230: Marine Biology

First semester (Storrs), second semester (Avery Point).  3 credits.   This course examines the kinds of marine organisms and their distributions.   Particular attention is paid to biotic features of the oceans, organism-habitat and relationships and general ecological concepts influencing marine populations and communities.  Field trips are required.

MARN 4010: Biological Oceanography*

Second semester.  3 credits.  This is an advanced course in biological processes in oceanic and coastal waters. Emphasis is on empirical and theoretical concepts of marine ecosystem dynamics, primary and secondary production and detrital cycling.


Course Electives (students must take at least 3 of the following courses**)

MARN 3012:  Marine Invertebrate Biology: Adaptations and Community Structure   or   EEB 4275: Invertebrate Zoology

MARN:  First semester (alternate years). 3 credits.  This course examines the comparative examination of major adaptations and functional responses of marine invertebrates to biotic and abiotic factors in the marine environment. Field trips required.

EEB: First semester (alternate years).  4 credits. This course focuses on body organization, functional morphology and evolution compared among major invertebrate phyla.  Field trips required.

MARN 3013:   Environmental Physiology of Marine Animals

First semester (alternate years).  3 credits.  This course is an introduction to the study of marine environmental physiology; behavioral and physiological adaptations of marine animals to different environments (intertidal, estuarine, coastal, oceanic); compensatory responses to changing ambient conditions; and basic animal energetics.   The laboratory exercises focus on food consumption, energy transformations, and principles of physiological measurement.

MARN 3015/5015: Molecular Approaches to Biological Oceanography

First semester  (alternate odd years).   3 credits.  This course focuses on the principles and technology in nucleic acid purification and manipulation, DNA fingerprinting, gene cloning and sequencing, phylogenetic analysis, and detection of gene expression (mRNA and protein) through application examples in marine ecological studies.

MARN 3016: Marine Microbiology   or   MARN 3030/5032: Coastal Pollution and Bioremediation

3016: First semester (Avery Point) second semester (Storrs).  3 credits.  This course is a general survey of the taxonomy, physiology and ecology of marine microorganisms.

3030:  First semester (alternate years).  3 credits.  This course provides an overview of processes and compounds leading to pollution in the near-shore marine environment.  It emphasizes the impact of pollution on the marine food-web and its response to such disturbances.  It also highlights methods of alleviating pollution through the metabolism of organisms, including bacteria, seagrasses, and salt marshes.

MARN 3017/5017:  Plankton Ecology

First semester (alternate even years).  3 credits.  This course focuses on the ecology of planktonic organisms (bacteria, Protista and metazoa).   It also explores the evolutionary ecology concept, methods of research, special features of aquatic habitats; adaptations to aquatic environments; population biology; predation, competition, life histories, community structure, and role of plankton in ecosystem metabolism.

MARN 3811: Seminar on Marine Mammals

First semester.   3 credits.  This is a joint program with Mystic Marinelife Aquarium.  It is a one 3-hour class period; one field trip. It is offered at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium.  There is a prerequisite of one year college laboratory biology and permission of instructor.  Instructors from different areas of expertise discuss the natural history, evolution, anatomy, physiology, husbandry, and conservation of marine mammals.  Current research is emphasized. (Special registration and fee: Contact Mystic Marinelife Aquarium, Mystic, CT 06355. 860-572-5955.)

EEB 3250: Biology of the Algae

First semester (alternate years).  4 credits.  This course is a laboratory and field-oriented study of major groups of algae, emphasizing structure, function, evolution, systematics, and ecology.

EEB 4200: Biology of Fishes  

Second semester (alternate years).  4 credits.  This course is an introduction to the biology of fishes, with an emphasis on adaptation and evolutionary diversification.  Topics include the evolution of major groups, morphology, physiology, behavior, and population and community ecology. There are lectures, critical discussions of current journal articles, student presentations, and exercises in the field and laboratory. Field trips required.




For more information please contact.

J. Evan Ward Professor of Marine Sciences
Email: evan.ward@uconn.edu