BI2036 - Marine Biodiversity


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignments 30/100
Home exam 70/100 4 hours
School exam 70/100 4 hours D

Course content

Marine bio-diversity at different organizational levels (from genes to ecosystems). Overall differences in marine biodiversity in polar (examples from Arctic and Antarctica), temperate (mid-Norway) and tropical (eg. Australia) ecosystems. How key-environmental variables (eg. light regime, temperature, salinity and nutrients) affect marine bio-diversity – relation to climate induced processes. The importance of endosymbionts and kleptoplasty in species development. Relate bio-diversity at different levels to organisms at sea-surface, water column (nekton and plankton) and sea-floor (benthos). Biodiversity and age of ecosystems (time important development factor). Mass extinctions/explosions and human influence on biodiversity.

Learning outcome


  • Important definitions in marine biodiversity (from genes, organelles, species, groups, habitats, ecosystems).
  • Biodiversity versus key environmental variables.
  • Impact of endosymbionts, kleptoplasty, environment stability and time in species development.
  • Sampling of plankton and larvae, fish and benthos using different techniques and equipment (vessel, nets, grab, corer, trawl, dredge, SCUBA and ROV)
  • Impact of climate variation, fisheries and aquaculture on marine bio-diversity.
  • Learn to sample organisms from sea surface, water column and seafloor using different platforms (boat, SCUBA diving and Remotely Operated Vehicle- ROV) using different types of sampling gear.
  • Learn practical skills related oceanographic cruises on a research vessel.


  • Understanding of the relationship between organisms and their environment in Nature
  • Understanding why endosymbionts, time, humans and environmental variables affect extinction and development of new species
  • Understanding how to sample species and groups of interest for further studies (field course)
  • Understanding differences in species biodiversity in "hot spots and deserts" in polar, temperate and tropical environment
  • Understand the major biodiversity taxa and their importance in the Ecosystem
  • Ability to communicate with colleagues in adjacent disciplines

Learning methods and activities

The course is taught intensively over four weeks in September-October

Presentation material are given in English and lectures in Norwegian if all students understand Norwegian. If not, lectures are given in English. 

In adition to traditional lectures, the students are divided indo groups during a 5-day field cruise with RV Gunnerus (mandatory), of which each group is given a theme (inside the curriculum) upon which they shall give an oral presentation with slides, of maximum 25 minutes. 

Admission to this course is restricted Students with admission to Bachelor in Biology or Teacher Education program (MLREAL), major in Marine Biology and Aquaculture, are given priority .

Further on evaluation

The course consists of two evaluation parts, where each part is graded. The overall grade in the course is given if both assessments are passed. One part consists of a written exam that counts for 70% of the total grade, the other part consists of assignments (lab report and group presentations) that counts for 30% of the total grade.

In the event of improvement (repetition) of the written examination, it will be possible to take the examination at the next semester, regardless of teaching schedule of the course. When improving the assignments (lab report and group presentations), this is done by following the teaching and submission of assignments during the next teaching semester.

If you do not pass the written exam, you have the opportunity to take a postponed exam at the next semester, regardless of teaching schedule of the course. If you do not pass the assignments, you must take part in teaching and complete the assignments again next teaching semester.

The written exam can be changed to an oral exam in the semester when the course is not taught.

Due to the nature of the assignments the grade for this evaluation part cannot be appealed. The written exam can be appealed within three weeks after the grade is given

Specific conditions

Limited admission to classes.

Course materials

Curriculum: All lectures, papers and own Powerpoint-presentations (group work) will be placed on BlackBoard. In addition the text book for BI2036 is 

Norse EA and Crowder LM (2005). Marine Conservation Biology - The Science of Maintaining the Sea's Biodiversity. Island Press. Isbn:1-55963- 662-9 

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2021-06-13

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Aqua Culture
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Ecology
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biology


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignments 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Home exam 70/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 70/100 D 2022-05-12 15:00 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignments 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU