2019-2020 / OCEA0092-1

Biology of benthos and necton animals : invertebrates


15h Th, 15h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Patrick Dauby, Mathieu Poulicek


Mathieu Poulicek

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Within the framework of this course we will try to systematically describe a series of facets relating to all the marine invertebrate phyla (from unicellular through to chordates). For each group we will describe: the structural plan and its variations in the phylum, larvae and methods of reproduction, any methods of movement and how nutrients are taken, and finally we end up with a few comments of an ecological scale (abundance and diversity, impact on the environment, ...). This course is routinely illustrated with slides (classic or Powerpoint) in order to show the organisms as well as overheads to illustrate the structures.<br /><br /> Behaviour of marine fishes, particularly of mediterranean wrasses, shows different adaptations, social structures, reproductive strategies in close relation with environment. For more than 40 years, our researchers studied them and their works allow better perception of diversity.<br /><br /> The course begins with a synthetic approach of reef cnidaria (morphology, biology, systematics, symbiosis functioning, mainly concerning warm water settings). Then we review several aspects of the structure and functioning of reefs : paleontological origin of the reef phenomenon, structure and zonation, geological evolution of reef morphology (fringing, barrier, plateau reefs and atolls), zoogeographical aspects and description of animal communities associated to different ecological niches within the reef, trophic functioning ...

At the end we approach socio-economic aspects of reefs and dangers suscetible to affect reefs : touristic impacts, global change, bleaching and other pathologies, ressources overexploitation...

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

To draw up a complete table of the world of marine invertebrates (non-planktonic) and to teach students how to recognise and situate them in this table.<br /><br /> Illustrate key aspects of the adaptive behavior of marine fish, particularly through research undertaken at ULG. Encourage students to ask themselves the right questions and find the answers.<br /><br /> To propose an integrated synthesis of the reef world.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge of the animal kingdom.<br /><br /> Basic scientific knowledge, level Bachelor in Biology (or similar).
Basic knowledge of fish biodiversity.
Clemency towards a teacher of good will, but anglophone by necessity.<br /><br /> Basic knowledge in biology and ecology.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Other than a few visits to the Zoology museum, practical work will be integrated into the fieldwork organised jointly with Sylvie GOBERT, "Marine Ecology", STARESO oceanographic Station (Corsica)<br /><br /> 5 laboratory periods devoted to macro- and microscopic morphology (1) and systematics (1) of corals, pictures and video recordings analysis about structure and biogeography of reefs with ReefCheck software (2), and quantitative analysis of some bleaching phenomenons with the devices and softare CoralWatch.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

6 to 8 times a 2-3 hours theoretical learning<br /><br /> 4 lectures during first quadrimester, including theoretical presentation, presentation of our works, and discussion.<br /><br /> 5 courses basing on powerpoint documents, schedule to be discussed.

Recommended or required readings

A collection of all the overheads used during the courses will be distributed at the end of each course.<br /><br /> Presentation slides and bibliography.<br /><br /> Syllabus available at 1st course and CD-rom with all powerpoint files and a copy of the software used during laboratory periods (ReefCheck and CoralWatch).

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination: two overheads to be commented, and ten slides to be recognised (justify ?).<br /><br /> After main lectures, every participant will receive a question that a biologist observing the marine environment could asked to himself. He was asked to think about an experimental program that would answer this question.
This program will be sent for a precise time and examinated in details !<br /><br /> Oral exam : 1 theoretical question (40%), 1 slide to comment (40%) and 1 "object" to identify and situate in its context (20%)

Work placement(s)

Field trip in the Marine Station STARESO (Corsica), during one week, joint to the practicals of the course of Marine Ecology.

Organizational remarks

see course "Marine Ecology"<br /><br /> The course schedule is communicated in September, it is set in the first semester.<br /><br /> none


Mathieu Poulicek: Phone 04 366 50 67 Email mpoulicek@ulg.ac.be Patrick Dauby: Phone 04 366 33 22 Email pdauby@ulg.ac.be<br /><br /> C. Michel Tel : + 32 (0)4 366 5007 - Fax : + 32 (0)4 366 50 93 e-mail : Christian.Michel@uliege.be(Christian.Michel@ulg.ac.be<br /><br /> Mathieu Poulicek)
Unité d'Ecologie marine, Laboratoire d'Ecologie animale et Ecotoxicologie
Institut de Chimie (Bât. B6c)
B-4000 Sart Tilman
Tél : 04 366 50 67
Email : mpoulicek@ulg.ac.be