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NEW : Marine ecology & biodiversity - PSL Week


Download 2023-2024 planning

Master in Life Sciences, ENS
BIO-M1-S17 | Marine ecology & biodiversity
Year and Semester : M1/M2 | S1
Where : Biology department, ENS
Duration : 30 hours
First and last day of class : November 27 – December 1, 2023


Benoît, Perez-Lamarque, ENS




Marine ecology | biodiversity | planktonic communities | biogeography | marine biogeochemistry.

Course Prerequisites

The targeted audience is advanced undergraduates and graduate students in biology or geosciences. Participants trained in other fields are welcome provided they had exposure to fundamental notions of ecology or oceanography.

Course objectives and description

Aims : The purpose of the course is to provide a thorough introduction to marine biogeochemistry and environmental physics and how they influence biodiversity in the oceans.

Themes : Marine ecosystems are constituted by diverse communities that are shaped by the interplay between their physical and chemical environment, ocean currents, and their biological traits, including their ability to compete and disperse. During this week, we will introduce the fundamentals of life diversity in marine environments, starting with the key notions of oceans’ physics and biogeochemistry. We will then move into the question of ocean’s biodiversity and how organisms disperse and adapt in the marine environment. A focus will be made on marine top predators and how one can study them through tracking approaches and satellite imaging. We will then explore the ‘invisible biosphere’ of marine microorganisms, by paying special attention to diatoms and protists.

Organisation :
The course will be composed of 7 lectures and 1 practical session (computers will be required).


The evaluation will be based on a written exam on Friday afternoon.

Course material
Suggested reading in relationship with the module content

• Brown JM (1995) Macroecology. Univ. of Chicago Press.
• Magurran AE, McGill BJ (2011) Biological Diversity. Oxford University Press.
• Miller CB, Wheeler PA (2012) Biological Oceanography. Wiley-Blackwell.