Graduate Studies in Biological Oceanography

The biological oceanography/marine ecology group includes Hannes BaumannAnn Bucklin, Hans DamHeidi Dierrsen,Senjie Lin, Catherine MatassaGeorge McManus, Pieter Visscher, and Evan Ward, as well as research professors Peter Auster (emeritus), Sandra Shumway (emeritus), Jamie Vaudrey, and Huan Zhang.

Our group contains scientists with a broad range of interests, including benthic population and community ecology, marine invasive species ecology, trophic relationships in the plankton, nutrient dynamics of coastal embayments and estuaries, effects of harmful algal blooms in coastal waters, biogeochemistry of microbial mats, gelatinous zooplankton ecology, ecology and biomechanics of shellfish feeding, algal physiology, and the role of marine protected areas in fish ecology.

Marine Sciences biology faculty use both field observations and laboratory experiments to obtain insights into coastal zone processes. Field programs range from coastal Brazil to New Zealand and from Long Island Sound to the Irish Sea. Laboratory techniques include applications of image analysis, high performance liquid chromatography, microelectrodes, video endoscopy, molecular biology, and fluorescence microscopy, along with traditional oceanographic methods for measuring materials and fluxes in the coastal environment.

Our program involves individually-tailored curricula that combine traditional core courses in the oceanographic subdisciplines with interdisciplinary advanced offerings taught by the physicists and chemists in the department, and intensive seminar courses in various biological areas of specialty.
In addition to regularly scheduled seminars and special topic courses, we offer the following biological oceanography courses:


MARN 5010 Biological Oceanography
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.

MARN 5012 Marine Invertebrate Bioloogy
Functional responses of organisms to abiotic factors in the marine environment (light, temperature, salinity, oxygen tension, intertidal exposure).

MARN 5014 Marine Phytoplankton Ecology and Physiology
The physiology of marine phytoplankton, environmental factors affecting their growth and photosynthesis in the ocean, the oceanographic processes responsible for the temporal and spatial distributions of phytoplankton biomass and production, and current topics in phytoplankton research.

MARN 5015 Molecular Approach to Biological Oceanography
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). Application examples in marine ecological studies.

MARN 5016 Marine Zooplankton
The role of bioenergetics, life history, population and community dynamics and their role in biogeochemical cycles of protozoan and metazoan marine zooplankton.

MARN 5017 Plankton Ecology
Ecology of planktonic organisms (bacteria, protista and metazoa). 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 5018 Ecology of Fishes
General concepts in fish ecology such as distribution, feeding, bioenergetics, growth, larval fish ecology, biotic interactions, life history evolution and other contemporary research topics.

MARN 5032 Coastal Pollution and Bioremediation
Overview of processes and compounds leading to pollution in the nearshore marine environment. The impact of pollution on the marine food-web and its response is emphasized. Alleviation of pollution through metabolism of organisms, including bacteria, sea grasses and salt marshes.

MARN 6010 Advanced Biological Oceanography — Pelagic Processes
Pelagic communities, ecosystem structure and function, bioenergetic constraints, population dynamics, consequences of global climate and environmental change, and advances in the field driven by technological innovation.

MARN 6011 Advanced Biological Oceanography—Benthic Processes
Physical and physiological constraints on the benthos, benthic-pelagic coupling, species interactions, community assembly and dynamics, and anthropogenic impacts.

For more information please contact.

Hans Dam Professor of Marine Sciences