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An Introduction to Marine Biology
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A Course Open to the Public

Decreasing fish stocks, decreasing access to the shore, increasing pollution, marine traffic and marine related tourism, the changing climate, and jellyfish and plankton blooms, are some of the issues that most may have heard about in recent years but the consequences of which on our incredibly important and beautiful sea life may not be fully appreciated.  In reply to the increasing demands on and interest in our marine life the Department of Biology of the University of Malta is organising a new course open to the public.

The Course
'Introduction to Marine Biology' is a new course organised by the Department of Biology of the University of Malta which is open to the public, as well as to university students not reading Biology at degree level. The course, which comprises seven two-hour sessions and two field visits, will commence on Wednesday 14 March at the Department of Biology. Lecture sessions will be held between 1800hrs and 2000hrs to facilitate the public's participation. This course carries 2 ECTS credits for university students and provides a certificate of attendance to other participants. This course is coordinated by Dr Adriana Vella.

Topics that will be treated include:

  • an introduction to the general marine environment and the physical, chemical and biological factors that affect the lives of marine plants and animals
  • the characteristic Mediterranean shallow water habitats
  • aspects of marine pollution (Dr Joseph A. Borg)
  • the ecology of the Mediterranean Sea and what makes this sea different from the global ocean and a biodiversity hotspot
  • shores and shore life (Prof. Patrick J. Schembri)
  • fisheries and aquaculture and their socio-economic contribution and environmental sustainability (Prof. Carmelo Agius)
  • dolphins, whales, marine reptiles, sharks and rays
  • aspects of marine conservation biology from molecular genetic diversity to ecosystem conservation, covering issues related to threatened marine species, over-exploitation, climate change and jellyfish blooms (Dr Adriana Vella).
Field Visits
Apart from lectures, participants will benefit from field visits led by their tutors; the aim is to illustrate and expand upon some of the topics covered.  This year field visits will cover the biota of Maltese rocky shores and the adjacent shallow water and visits to local conservation areas where the discussion will focus on the reasons why marine conservation areas are set up and how they are managed.

Further Information
Course details are available online.

For further information contact the course coordinator, Dr Adriana Vella or Ms Tiziana Micallef on +356 2340 2272.

Dolphin  Ramla 

Seagrass  Fishfarm 

Turtle  Jellyfish

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