NBIK24001U Marine Animal Diversity, Monitoring, and Habitats

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Biology


Biodiversity, life history traits and sampling methods of benthic and pelagic marine fish and invertebrates are studied by a series of lectures and student presentations based on laboratory exercises including species and habitat identification. All material used in the exercises are collected on-site during field work near-shore by fishing and snorkling and in deeper water using the research vessel Ophelia. The various taxonomic groups and research topics are treated by specialists.


Learning Outcome


This course gives the participants a broad knowledge about

  • Marine animal diversity. 
  • Life history traits and adaptions to the enviroment. 
  • Methods of field collection and monitoring. 
  • Identification of Danish marine fish and invertebrates to species level. 



By the end of the course the students are expected to have achieved the following skills:

  • Describe the morphology,functional traits and taxonomy of the main phyla and classes of marine animals and relate it to environmental and habitat adaptions.
  • Identify Danish marine fish and marine benthic invertebrates to the family, genus and/or species level.
  • Overall knowledge about the phylogeny and evolution of the major groups of marine animals.
  • Use techniques for collection and identification of marine meiofauna, holo- and meroplankton, macrofauna and megafauna.  



By the end of the course the students are expected to have achieved the following competences:

  • Relate the density of inviduals, species density and species composition of specific benthic macrofauna to enviromental and habitat conditions.
  • Be able to choose the optimal and most sustainable collection devise for a given type of benthic fauna survey.
  • Be able to differentiate between sampling gear types used for qualitative and quantitative investigation and to perform a critical evaluation of the methods advantages and limitation for the results and conclusions.
  • Plan and perform a quantitative benthic macrofaunal investigation, including analysis and discussion of the results.

See Absalon

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Field collecting, identification, laboratory experiments, group work, student presentations and lectures.
The course is a residential course with students staying overnight at the Dan hostel in Helsingør. The students pay a supplement to the course expenses covering part of the food costs.
Notice that there is a certain degree of overlap between this course and the course Marinbiologisk Sommerkursus.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 129
  • Practical exercises
  • 32
  • Excursions
  • 22
  • Project work
  • 10
  • Seminar
  • 3
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Continuous assessment
Type of assessment details
The student will be evaluated for their active participation and performance during the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

25 minutes oral examination in fauna identification, habitat relation and life strategies, as well as questions in learning outcome of related themes of the course. No preparation time and no aids. 


Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning outcome