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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jody W Deming
OCEAN 533
Seattle Campus

Marine Benthic Ecology

Analyzes marine communities associated with the porous boundaries of the ocean, from sedimented seafloor and hydrothermal vents to sea ice (inverted benthos); emphasizing nutrition to these communities, including sinking organic aggregates, themselves porous habitats, and the role of symbiosis. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered: W, even years.

Class description

The official UW description of this course does not reflect its recent evolution, in which it has expanded beyond the original focus on soft substrata (sediments). We now also consider the biology of other porous boundaries of the ocean -- sea ice cover, erupting seafloor structures (hydrothermal vents), and the subseafloor biosphere. The overall goal of the course is thus to provide and explore (in assignments based on student-selected study questions) fundamental information about life in the ocean at its various boundaries, complementing the other graduate-level courses in biological oceanography which all focus on life in the pelagic realm. The link between these courses (also addressed in Marine Benthic Ecology) is the descent of organic aggregates through the water column, not only providing nutrition to organisms that live at depth in the ocean but also serving as small-scale habitats themselves. In Winter 2014, this course will be co-taught with new faculty member Alex Gagnon whose areas of interest include biological responses to ocean acidification and life in the deep sea. Laurenz Thomsen from the Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, will also contribute to the course, including video coverage of his benthic crawler currently operating in NE Pacific waters. Note that this course qualifies as an out-of-option course for non-biology students in Oceanography. It will meet Mon and Wed 11:00-12:20 in OTB 205.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jody W Deming
Date: 11/08/2013