Skip to Content

ZO4529: MARINE MAMMALOGY (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

You will take a comparative perspective to develop an understanding of how marine mammals live in the Anthropocene through a series of lectures, practicals and assessments.

Field visits and practical sessions will provide opportunities to develop skills and expertise in identification and comparative anatomy and taxonomy.

Through a student-lead learning approach, you will gain skills in collaborative work and time management and apply your knowledge and understanding of marine mammals to problems related to their ecology and conservation.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor David Lusseau

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either BI1512 Diversity of Life 2 (Passed) or BI2510 Principles of Animal Physiology (Passed)
  • One of BSc Biology (Studied) or BSc Conservation Biology (Studied) or BSc Zoology (Studied) or BSc Animal Ecology (Studied) or BSc Marine Biology (Studied) or BSc Animal Behaviour (Studied) or BSc Behavioural Biology (Studied) or MSci Biological Sciences (Studied) or BSc Biological Sciences (Honours) (Studied) or BSc Plant and Soil Sciences (Studied) or Bachelor Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management (Studied) or BSc Ecology (Studied) or BSc Forestry (Studied) or BSc Forest Sciences (Studied) or BSc Environmental Science (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

In this course, students develop an understanding of the diversity of marine mammals and how this diversity emerged. The course begins with a comparative evolutionary perspective of the three main marine mammal taxa and the processes that drove their evolution.  Following on from the evolutionary work, students will take a comparative approach to life history traits of marine mammals to understand physiological, biological and behavioural adaptations of the three main taxa.  The course concludes with a global overlook of conservation challenges facing marine mammals within the context of their evolution.  In addition to this conceptual framework, students will gain practical skills in comparative vertebrate anatomy and taxonomy, as well as field ecology.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

A short answer online test (30%),

An individual report based on collaborative work (40%),

A set of weekly group presentations (30%).




• Similar to 1st Attempt, with existing pass marks carried forward and the opportunity to resit what was failed previously.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Students will receive individual and group feedback on each assessment through MyAberdeen and will receive informal, verbal feedback during practical sessions and field visits.

Course Learning Outcomes


Compatibility Mode

We have detected that you are have compatibility mode enabled or are using an old version of Internet Explorer. You either need to switch off compatibility mode for this site or upgrade your browser.