Global marine ecosystems, their diversity and resilience in a changing world.

Faculty: Science
Subject: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Year / Level: 2
Theme(s): Climate Science; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation



Introduction to diversity of marine habitats and ecosystems; hydrothermal vent, intertidal, coral reef, estuarine, deep sea, and polar ecosystems; impacts of ecosystem change; evolution of ocean plankton; invasive species; climate change; pollution.

This course offers an introduction for biologically focused undergraduate majors students into the coupling of biological, physical and chemical processes in the oceans. Through a number of ecosystem specific examples, students are exposed to the diversity of marine ecosystems, including what factors determine and regulate ocean habitats and how marine ecosystems develop in response. Ecosystems properties, including diversity, resilience (or lack of resilience) to environmental change and its impact on neighboring ecosystems will be developed.

Learning Goals

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the diversity of marine ecosystems on horizontal, vertical and latitudinal scales;
  2. Elucidate the challenges of life in the different marine ecosystems and how organisms adapt to them;
  3. Explain ecological, physical and chemical processes and interactions that define marine ecosystems;
  4. Discuss some human impacts on these ecosystems;
  5. Compare and contrast habitat and ecological processes between any number of marine ecosystems;
  6. Analyze how the inherent characteristics of an ecosystem may make it resilient or susceptible to anthropogenic threats;

For more information on Brian Hunt see Twitter: ‎@UBCpelagic or his Lab Webpage:


Check SSC to see if the course is currently offered and if you meet pre-requisites etc.



Read a copy of the course syllabus to see reading lists, assignments, grading, and more.



Brian Hunt

"Come and learn about the incredible diversity of marine ecosystems, how they work and connect with each other, and why they are essential for healthy oceans."