BI8061 - Biological Oceanography


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Report 20/100
School exam 60/100 4 hours D
Oral presentation 20/100 20 minutes E

Course content

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.

Learning outcome


  • 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's 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.

Learning methods and activities

Classes are given in English, including slides in English. Classes are multinational and include students outside Ocean Resources. In addition to traditional lectures, there is an emphasis on active learning in a seminar format. The students are divided into groups of 4-6 students to work in teams on specific topics (inside the curriculum).

Group work shall be summarized as (1) group term paper and (2) presented as an oral presentation of the group (max. 20 minutes).

Group term papers account for 20% and group presentations for 20% of the group work. Lectures and seminars are integrated for each topic.

Participation in all activities is mandatory.

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved Seminar/Project Work

Further on evaluation

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department. In the case of a postponed examination/re-sit examination the exam is also held in the semester the course is not taught.

Delivery and approval of group work is mandatory prior to exam (group presentation, group term paper assignments)

Exam can be changed from written to oral in semesters where class is not taught.

Specific conditions

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
BI3061 7.5 AUTUMN 2010
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2024
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2024-06-01

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Marine Technology
  • Aqua Culture
  • Marine Biology
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 School exam 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Report 20/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Oral presentation 20/100 E
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD School exam 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Report 20/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral presentation 20/100 E
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