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Postgraduate Zoology 2017-2018

ZO5008: MARINE ECOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT

7.5 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course provides an introduction to core concepts in marine biology, ecology and ecosystem management. It provides an understanding of ecological drivers, both biological and physical, in the marine environment and an introduction to fisheries biology and management. The course offers a unique curriculum allowing you to gain both theoretical and practical experience with hands on labs, group presentation and debating skills.  This interdisciplinary course is taught by a range of researchers both in academia and in the front line of implementation by people from Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural Heritage and Joint Nature Conservation Committee. 

ZO5009: MARINE CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT

15 credits

Level 5

Both Sessions

Effective engagement with conservation of marine biodiversity requires an open mind, creativity, patience and an appreciation of shared learning.  This course is structured to help you develop those essential skills while building your understanding of current issues in marine conservation and how conservation professionals engage with these issues. 

ZO5010: FIELD TRIP (CROMARTY)

0 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

This course will provide a background to current coastal zone management issues, and an opportunity to explore how scientific data can be used to support management at the University’s Lighthouse Field Station at Cromarty.  Key case studies will involve an exploration of the management and research requirements for Special Areas of Conservations; marine protected areas that have been established under the European Habitats Directive to protect bottlenose dolphins, harbour seals and salmon.

ZO5011: FISH BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

7.5 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

 

This course will survey fundamental aspects of the biology of different components of the marine fish community through lectures and practicals. At the individual-level, the life cycles and life history strategies of fish will be summarised. Key aspects of population-level biology, including fish migration and population structure, will be covered. Case studies for a range of key Scottish species will also be presented. The relevance of fisheries biology to fisheries management will be highlighted throughout the course

 

 

ZO5303: AQUACULTURE

7.5 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Aquaculture now supplies approximately 50% of all marine food consumed by humans.  Farming of fish and shellfish is the fastest growing food production industry in the world and is predicted to continue grow over the next few decades, within Scotland salmon is the second largest food export.  The demand from the growing human population for high quality food and fish paralleled by the over exploitation of wild fish stocks is driving the expansion of aquaculture.  There are many issues with fish farming including disease control, feeding, controlling life histories, genetics and the environmental load.

ZO5304: POPULATION ECOLOGY

15 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

 

The course is structured as a series of weekly themes, which each reflect areas of current research in animal ecology. The content of the course is research-based, drawing on case studies from research-active staff within the School of Biological Sciences. The topics cover a range of ecological and spatial scales: from single species’ population dynamics to community dynamics, and from local to macro-scale processes, with a focus on the application of current ecological knowledge and theory.

ZO5510: FISHERIES TECHNOLOGIES AND SURVEYS

5.5 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

The course, which includes a significant contribution from Marine Scotland’s Science’s Marine Laboratory Aberdeen, introduces students to fishing gear and fish behaviour in relation to gear, and to fishery independent survey methods to assess abundance and distribution.  Particular emphasis is given to describing the acoustic survey method.

ZO5511: RESEARCH PROJECT PLANNING

7.5 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

Throughout this course students will work independently on a research topic that will have been identified prior to the start of the course, in preparation for the research project carried out in course ZO5902. MSc students will produce a project plan and a literature review on the topic of their research project. PgDip students will produce an assessment on an appropriate topic that will have been identified through discussion with the course coordinator and count towards completion of their degree.

ZO5515: SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

Our PGT students have well developed critical thinking and writing skills. Team working is a skill that is highly valued by employers but on that students may have variable levels of experience of. The goal of the course is to further develop all of these skills prior to your entry into the job market. A Problem-based learning (PBL) approach is used for the course with the exact problem changing from year-to-year. Students work in groups to develop problem solving strategies and undertake the research identified as key. After the second week of the course there are no lectures, allowing students to prioritise group work and independent research.

ZO5516: MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

In recent decades, concern about environmental damage in different parts of the world has led to public pressure on governments to regulate ‘developers’ and others so as to minimise adverse environmental effects, while allowing economic activities to continue. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been developed as a critical component of the approach to achieving sustainable development. It originated in the USA and has since been incorporated into the EU/UK legislative frameworks. It is therefore important to understand the nature of the EIA process and to be able to select, and use, suitable techniques.

ZO5517: APPLIED MARINE ECOLOGY & ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

Decommissioning sciences requires students to have a competent and realistic understanding of both marine ecologic and the wider marine ecosystem. This course allows the impact of perturbations associated with offshore activities to be related to biological responses. This will be done using detailed relevant case studies and engagement with regulators.

ZO5518: MARINE SPATIAL MANAGEMENT

15 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course aims to enable students to appreciate the level of understanding of physical & biological oceanography, biodiversity, trophic interactions, species survival and reproduction issues that are required to implement spatially explicit, sustainable marine conservation.   Students will be able to problem-solve in small groups and integrate diverse data sources. This course will also explore the driving forces underlying changes in the abundance and distribution of marine top predators and consider how potential changes in their populations can provide indicators of ecosystem change.  The course will outline policy and management measures aimed at reducing human impacts upon ecosystems and top predators.

ZO5804: FISHERY ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT

5.5 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course features significant input from professional scientists from Marine Scotland Science (MSS) at the Marine Laboratory, the Scottish Government’s foremost marine science research laboratory, based in Aberdeen.  Computer practical sessions, delivered by MSS scientists, introduce students to the principles and methods of modern fisheries stock analysis and assessments, which ultimately help determine how fishing quotas are set.  The course develops students’ computer programming abilities, adding to their numerate and analytical skills, which are in such high demand from employers in academia and applied science.

ZO5902: RESEARCH PROJECT/DISSERTATION

60 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course involves executing and writing-up an independent research project on a topic relevant to the remit of the programme. In consultation with their supervisor(s), students formulate one or more testable hypotheses, design an investigative approach suitable for testing those hypotheses, analyse the data, and interpret the results.

 

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