Skip to main content

Biological Oceanography



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-17 - 2020-12-20

The course introduces the students to biological oceanography. Subjects covered include: Marine life in the oceans, biochemical adaptations to environmental variables, life-history traits, reproduction, hydrography, ocean geography, water masses, seawater characteristics, current systems, thermohaline circulation, ocean conveyor belt, deep and bottom water formation, Ekman transport, marine optics, primary and secondary production, nutrient availability and limitation, nutrient cycling, global carbon flux, microbial loop, biological carbon pump, upwelling, marginal seas, ocean divisions, seafloor and continental margins, impact of climate change, eutrophication, exploitation of the ocean, trophic interactions, plankton communities, benthic ecosystems, sediment characteristics, deep sea habitats, sampling techniques, benthopelagic coupling, nekton.


Recommended previous knowledge

BI 2060, BI 2061 or equivalent

International students: Knowledge in marine science, oceanography, biology corresponding to the above

Learning outcomes


  • Students should be able to provide major definitions and explain key concepts in the field of biological oceanography by their own words.
  • Students should gain knowledge on important ocean environments and ecosystems and should train to describe the key role of the oceans in the earth’ environment.
  • Students should be aware of the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on marine organisms and be able to describe potential threats of climate change, pollution and harvesting activities to the marine environment.


  • The students should gain competences in describing the coupling between ocean and atmosphere and how the oceans’ chemical and physical properties can affect marine life.
  • The students should explain and discuss how abiotic conditions affect the relationship between marine organisms and their environment and how marine communities respond to changes in biotic and abiotic conditions.

General competency (attitudes):

  • Students should develop scientific, analytical skills and practice to contribute actively to scientific discussions.
  • Students should develop distinct, objective evaluation criteria.
  • By applying these criteria to own written reports and oral presentations, students will improve their writing and presentation skills.
  • Students should be encouraged to communicate with peer students from adjacent disciplines and get confident in reflecting scientific contents and developing critical views.


ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography