BIOS E-116. Marine Biology

This course explores the fundamentals of marine biology. Students learn about the complex lifestyles of organisms whose home spans three quarters of our planet. We take a process-driven approach, focusing first on the fundamentals: the interrelated processes of marine physiology, ecology, and evolution. What biological processes help organisms succeed in the marine environment? How do species traits vary throughout the different environments in the world's oceans? How do gradual and rapid changes in the ocean environment alter the rules of life for marine species? As we build our understanding of these fundamentals throughout the course, we use them as lenses to view, disentangle, and understand larger patterns in the oceans. In particular, we focus on the diversity and distributions of biological functions, patterns of biodiversity, and the growing threats to marine life. Ultimately, students come away with a new understanding of the unique challenges and incredible opportunities that arise from life in saltwater.


Aaron Hartmann







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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2020-2021 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

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