Marine & Freshwater Ecology

Unit code: RBF3110 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
RBF1310 - Biology 1
RBF1320 - Biology 2
RBF2640 - Australian Animals
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit builds on units Biology 1 and Biology 2 and provides an overview to the ecology and management of freshwater, estuarine and marine ecosystems in southern Australia. The material covered includes: ecology of upland and lowland-floodplain rivers (including impact of flow regulation and environmental water allocations); ecology of lakes and reservoirs (including algal bloom control and impacts of recreation); wetland ecology and management (including international conventions on waterbirds); seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh ecology and management; significance of rocky shore habitats in southern Australia; estuarine ecology (with particular emphasis on Port Phillip Bay and Victorian Lakes) and environmental degradation and repair of aquatic systems.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish and evaluate marine and freshwater environments found in southern Australia in contrast to that found in other parts of Australia;
  2. Adapt skills in biological techniques utilised in marine and freshwater ecology to solve complex problems in the area;
  3. Assess forms of environmental degradation that occur in marine and freshwater environments and provide creative strategies to mitigate them;
  4. Differentiate amongst different management strategies applied in marine and freshwater ecology and critique their effectiveness in application in wide ranging context; and
  5. Articulate clearly, diagrammatically and in writing, complex information on a range of ecologically important concepts in relation to marine and freshwater ecosystems.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Literature Review
Grade: 20%
Literature review and research proposal
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 30%
Field report
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 20%
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 30%

Required reading

Refer to VU Collaborate for recommenced reading and other resources.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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