The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES6062 Ecological Marine Parasitology

Module Overview

The module provides an overview of the range of parasitic associations in the sea and the phylogenetic diversity of both parasites and hosts.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To make students aware of marine parasitic phoreses as paradigms of classical and molecular ecology. • To give students an appreciation of the nature of parasitic associations.

Learning Outcomes

Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • team working
  • report writing
  • time management
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • in description of specimens, interrogation, analysis and presentation of raw data
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • knowledge of common marine parasites
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • An awareness of the range and variety of parasitic associations in the sea;
  • An understanding of the evolutionary and ecological aspects of marine parasitism;
  • A practical knowledge of methods of pathogen detection, enumeration and evaluation;
  • A knowledge of medical and economic problems caused by marine parasites.

Syllabus

There are many different kinds of associations between species of organisms. Parasitism is perhaps the most intimate of these, involving very tight integration between the biologies of the interacting species. Contrary to popular belief, parasitic relationships are highly varied and parasitism can be extraordinarily difficult to define. The associations between organisms are often so subtle as to defy easy description. However, the development of molecular techniques over the last twenty years has opened up new means of characterising these intimate associations and the marine fauna provide an unparalleled range of parasitic interactions. Most marine animal phyla include parasitic members and most marine animals are themselves susceptible to infection by co evolved parasitic species. An overview is given of the range of such associations in the sea and the phylogenetic diversity of both parasites and hosts. Other topics covered include: problems faced by parasites and the ways in which they have overcome these; evolutionary and ecological aspects of being a marine parasite; economic and medical marine parasitology.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Lectures: 24 x 45 minute lectures will provide an introduction to the theory underlying an ecological approach to understanding the role of parasitism in marine ecology. Each lecture systematically covers the main concepts and topics by the use of PowerPoint presentations, supported by illustrated handout materials. Where relevant, lecturers’ own research experience in the appropriate fields is brought into the lecturing sessions and, when possible speakers from the parasitology group at the Natural History Museum and the CEFAS Fish Diseases Laboratory, Weymouth will be included in the lecture programme. References to the applicable chapter of course text and/or other relevant journal articles are provided as essential reading for each lecture. Practical sessions: 5 x 2½ hour practicals exemplify the theory covered during formal lectures allowing you to develop particular skills of relevance to: identification of common marine parasites in fish and invertebrates, behavioural modification by hormonal disruption such as serotonin in gammarids, and the molecular detection of parasites. Support: is provided by staff and/or postgraduate demonstrators. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Teaching47
Independent Study103
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (2000 words) 40%
Theory examination  (2.5 hours) 60%
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