spring 2023
BIO-2010 Marine Ecology - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Concerns only admission to singular courses. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is available for students at the study program Bachelor in Biology and exchange students at a biology study program. The course is available as a singular course. Students are encouraged to also take BIO-2516 Ocean Climate and BIO-2513 Marin biodiversitet (Please note! Norwegian taught course).

Admission requirements

Applicants from Nordic countries must have:

Generell studiekompetanse, samt følgende spesielle opptakskrav:

Matematikk R1 eller matematikk S1+S2 og i tillegg ett av følgende programfag:

  • Matematikk (R1+R2)
  • Fysikk (1+2)
  • Kjemi (1+2)
  • Biologi (1+2)
  • Informasjonsteknologi (1+2)
  • Geofag (1+2)
  • Teknologi og forskningslære (1+2)

Application code: 9197 (Nordic applicants).

It is a requirement that students have minimum 30 ECTS of biology and ecology and some prior knowledge of chemistry and mathematics. (Participants must have taken introductory level university courses, and achieved pass grades, in these subjects).

Maximum 35 students due to limited capacity on the boat.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

BIO-2514 Marine ecology 10 stp
BIO-1501 Aquatic Ecology 5 stp

Course content

This course is an introduction to the marine ecosystems in northern and Arctic areas. We study the influence of physical parameters, currents and topography on populations of pelagic and benthic organisms, as well as biological interactions between them. We discuss the factors that trigger the vernal bloom and initiate feeding, reproduction and dispersion in the pelagic realm, and the fate of this biomass in the ecosystem. Students will work in groups to prepare oral presentations about selected topics. A one-week cruise will give the students practice in collecting and analyzing with samples of plankton, benthos and fish, work in groups and organize work under guidance. Students will prepare a written report describing the cruise sampling and results.

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-2513 Marine Biodiversity

Objectives of the course

After having completed the course, students will be able to


  • explain how the physical environment affects marine organisms and communities, including dispersal and zonation of populations, and climate effects.
  • describe the differences between estuarine, coastal and oceanic biotopes
  • compare the general features of the classical marine food chain and the microbial loop
  • discuss the importance of seasonal variations and the consequences for life cycles in pelagic populations
  • describe processes that link pelagic and benthic environments
  • give examples of how pollution and human activities may impact marine habitats


  • Use common field sampling gear and standard lab equipment for the investigation of different types of marine organisms
  • Choose appropriate methods for simple investigations of marine organisms and biotopes
  • Estimate abundance and biomass of pelagic and benthic organisms
  • Interpret diagrams from a CTD-instrument and explain what this means for marine organisms

General competence

  • work independently and in collaboration with the processing of marine scientific samples and data
  • to collect and summarize scientific information from articles and web sources
  • present scientific results in written and oral form

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars, lab. exercises and research cruise. The laboratory course and cruise is mandatory. Necessary safety training will be given.

Information to incoming exchange students

This course is available for inbound exchange students at a biology studyprogram.

This course has academic prerequisites. Please see the «Admission requirements» section for more information.

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty: https://en.uit.no/education/art?p_document_id=510412

Recommended reading/syllabus

Pensumliste for BIO-2010 Marine Ecology - V23


Examination: Grade scale:
Oral exam A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Cruisereport Approved – not approved
Labreport Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

Re-sit examination

There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-2010