AEW-51806 Introduction Marine and Estuarine Ecology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical51
Group work3
Excursion (one day)4
Course coordinator(s)dr. MJA Christianen
dr. ir. ing. NJ Diepens
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MFLLW Lürling
WD Beekman-Lukassen
Msc ME Vollebregt
dr. MJA Christianen
dr. ir. ing. NJ Diepens
ir. TBM Dekkers
dr. MJ Baptist
Examiner(s)dr. MJA Christianen
dr. ir. ing. NJ Diepens

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety and ZSS06200 Fieldwork Safety

Continuation courses:

AEW-22806 Marine Systems; AEW-20706 practical Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality.


Note: This course has a maximum number of participants. Students from the minor Marine Living Resources get priority. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. For the planning of the Academic Year see ( -> Registration for Courses.
Students are introduced in the functioning of marine and estuarine ecosystems. The structure of the course reflects the integrated approach to marine ecology that is necessary to answer many of today’s key marine environmental and conservation challenges.
An interdisciplinary approach is taken to understand underlying physical, chemical, biological processes in key marine and estuarine ecosystems. Lectures will focus on processes, ecological concepts, impacts of anthropogenic disturbances, global change, and management and conservation strategies. Lectures cover a wide range of topics and ecosystems and include the most recent scientific insights and hot topics in marine ecology. Next to the theoretical part this course also has a large practical component.
On the island of Texel, the students will use their theoretical training to perform a series of field experiments and observations of which one is designed by the students themselves. Field excursions to the Wadden Sea and North Sea will include, but are not restricted to, tidal migration, mass transport from the sea to the island and vice versa, food webs on mudflats in relation to sediment type, fish community composition, vegetation surveys, bird predation pressure and algae blooms. Students will also go on an excursion to visit Burgers Zoo to get acquainted with oceans and tropical marine ecosystems including corals and mangroves.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the main physical, chemical and biological processes in marine and estuarine systems;
- explain important ecological concepts in marine and estuarine systems;
- explain main effects of anthropogenic disturbances and global change on marine and estuarine systems;
- write a research proposal for a field experiment/observation including technical set up and planning;
- perform experiments/observations independently in the laboratory and field using marine research methods;
- report the main findings of the field experiments/observations.


- following (guest)lectures;
- make a research proposal for an experiment;
- perform experiments in the field and laboratory;
- analyse and present the results;
- excursion to Burgers Zoo.


Final mark will be based on:
- written examination (40%);
- individual performance (20%);
- presentation general experiments (10%);
- research proposal (10%) and presentation of results (20%) own experiments.
Results of partial interim examinations (deelcijfers) are valid for three years.


A manual and lecture notes will be distributed, and the book Marine Ecology will be used during the course.
Marine Ecology - Processes, Systems, and Impacts - Third Edition.
Michel J. Kaiser, Martin J. Attrill, Dr. Simon Jennings, David N. Thomas.

Compulsory for: WUMLRBSc Minor Marine Living Resources6WD