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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Biological Sciences
Course coordinatorDr Richard Reina (School of Biological Sciences)


Marine and freshwater biology is the study of plant and animal life in aquatic environments, from their biochemistry to their ecology, in environments ranging from ephemeral lakes through tropical reefs to the depths of the ocean.


On completion of the sequence in marine and freshwater biology students will:

  • have developed an understanding of the biological structure and ecological processes that characterise marine and freshwater environments including diversity, ecology and eco-physiology of marine and freshwater organism, dynamics of energy and nutrient fluxes and trophic interactions. These topics will be placed in the context of examining specific marine and freshwater ecosystems including coastal and estuarine habitats, coral reefs, and open oceans, upland streams, lowland rivers and adjacent floodplains, shallow and deep lakes, wetlands and temporary water bodies and the effects of natural and human disturbance and impact, and associated management issues.
  • have developed practical skills in experimental methods relevant to marine and freshwater biology, which may include plant and animal identification, plant and animal physiology techniques, and ecological field methods including those that are pertinent to management issues associated with aquatic resource management
  • be familiar with principles of experimental design and data collection and interpretation
  • have developed skills in critical and independent thinking, synthesis of literature, and written and oral communication
  • be fully prepared for further study, teaching, research and employment in one of these areas of biological sciences.

Sequence requirements

Major sequence in marine and freshwater biology (48 points)

A list of related units are provided in the biological sciences entry in this section of the Handbook.