Full Title:Aquatic Science
Module Code:ENVR S7009
Credits: 7.5
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 1 programme(s)
Module Description:The purpose of this course is to provide students with a thorough introduction to some key concepts of aquatic ecology and management including freshwater and marine systems, aquatic ecotoxicology and fisheries management and conservation. In addition, a thorough grounding in fundamental ichthyology with an emphasis on aspects of fish anatomy, biology and form and function will ensure the student has a critical undertanding of how aquatic populations interact with the environment in which they live.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Examine the fundamentals of lake, marine and estuarine ecology, the impacts of human activities on these ecosystems and appropriate control measures.
  2. Evaluate the basic principles of aquatic ecotoxicology and the methods used in aquatic toxicity testing.
  3. Conduct an appropriate environmental assessment of an aquatic habitat or population, including the analysis, presentation and interpretation of results.
  4. Examine the fundamentals of ichthyology with an emphasis on fish taxonomy, anatomy, biology and form and function.
  5. Recognise the importance of the role of appropriate management techniques in fisheries ecology and conservation.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Freshwater and Marine Ecology
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of lakes and marine enviroronments. Primary productivity. Zonation, stratification and mixing. Trophic status of lakes; causes and effects of acidification and eutrophication. Marine pollution issues. Sampling and analytical techniques. Legislation.
Aquatic Ecotoxicology
Introduction to toxicology; toxic pollutants; dose and response; risk assessment. Types of toxicity; acute, chronic, lethal, sublethal, cumulative. Metabolism and effects of some environmental toxins. Antagonism and synergy. Ecotoxicology; classes of toxic pollutants and routes of entry; reactions to pollution stress; effects of pollutants on communities. Tolerance and regulation; biological transformation. Biomarkers and risk assessment. Methods for measuring the effects of pollution. Toxic pollutants in the aquatic environment and their effects. Environmental factors affecting toxicity. Measuring toxicity using aquatic test organisms. Bioavailability and bioaccumulation. Methodology and manipulation/presentation of data; LC50, EC50, NOEC, probit analysis, toxicity curves.
Fundamentals of Icthyology
Fish diversity and anatomy; adaptations, external and internal and anatomy, jaw structure, scale and fin morphology and evolution. Basic sensory systems. Forces and movements involved in fish swimming. Fish life histories; reproduction, feeding and growth and aging processes that define the course of a fish’s life. Physiology; respiratory, blood, circulatory, osmoregulatory and thermal biology systems.
Fisheries Management and Conservation
Fisheries management and conservation; habitat improvement, climate change, quotas, by-product and by-catch. National and EU legislation and governance and management (e.g. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Marine Institute, Inland Fisheries, Fish producers' organisations, etc.). Aquaculture; production and control of waste, disease control, effects on wild fish stocks.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work50.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Practical/Skills Evaluation Practical skills will be evaluated each week in the laboratory. 1,2,4,5 25.00 0 0 Every Week 0
Project Students will carry out a survey of a lake or marine habitat or population. A report will be produced outlining results. 1,2,3,5 15.00 0 0 Sem 2 End 0
Presentation Students will present on the findings of their project to their class. 1,2,3,5 10.00 0 0 Sem 2 End 0
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4,5 50.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0
Reassessment Requirement
A repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Practical No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Directed Reading No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Independent Study No Description 4.00 Every Week 4.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 13.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 6.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Wetzel, R. 2001, Limnology, 3rd Ed., Academic Press London [ISBN: 978-0-12-744760-5]
  • Barnes, R.S.K. & Hughes, R.N. 1999, An Introduction to Marine Ecology, Blackwell Science
  • Walker, C.H., Hopkin, S.P., Sibley, R.M. & Peakall, D.B. 2005, Principles of Ecotoxicology, Taylor and Francis
  • Helfman, G., Collette, B.B., Facey, Gene Helfman, Bruce B. Collette, Facey, D.E. and Bowen, B.W. 2010, The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Evolution, and Ecology, 2nd edition Ed., Wiley-Blackwell UK [ISBN: 978-1-4051-2494-2]
  • King, M. 2007, Fisheries Biology, Assessment and Management, 2nd edition Ed., Wiley-Blackwell [ISBN: 978-1-4051-5831-2]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Baird, C. 2007, Environmental Chemistry, Freeman
  • Mason, C.F. 2002, Biology of Freshwater Pollution, Pearson, Prentice & Hall
  • Laws, E.A. 2000, Aquatic Pollution – an introductory text, Wiley
  • Kaiser et al. 2005, Marine Ecology: Processes, Systems & Impacts, Oxford University Press
  • Fahy, E. 2013, Overkill!: The euphoric rush to industrialise Ireland's sea fisheries and its unravelling sequel, 1st edition Ed., Edward Fahy
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SAPBI_7 Bachelor of Science in Applied Bioscience 5 Elective