Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Science, Malaysia


Associate Professor Catherine Yule



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit examines the biology of tropical aquatic ecosystems. It focuses on South East Asia, (the Malaysian region in particular) but will also encompass aquatic environments in other parts of the tropics. The ecology and diversity of communities in coral reefs, oceans, sandy and rocky shores, estuaries, lakes, rivers and swamps is examined. The students will gain an understanding of the physical and chemical factors that affect these environments. Conservation and management issues such as the impacts of tourism, pollution, fisheries, wetland drainage and river regulation are studied.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the diversity and ecology of freshwater and marine environments in the tropics with particular reference to the Malaysian region;

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the conservation and management issues relating to aquatic ecosystems;

  1. Design and analyse sampling programs to examine the flora and fauna of aquatic habitats and to assess changes;

  1. Demonstrate the ability to identify aquatic animals and plants from tropical Malaysian ecosystems;

  1. Demonstrate advanced scientific report writing skills;

  1. Make effective oral and visual presentations;

  1. Work collaboratively and effectively in the field in tropical environments.


Essay: 15%
Mid-semester test: 20%
Field trip assignment: 5%
Field trip practical report: 20%
Final examination: 40%

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical session or equivalent (field trips) per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


One of BIO2011, BIO2810 (recommended) or STA2216, plus 6 points of ENV or level two BIO