Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)
Marine Macrophytes
Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)

Marine Macrophytes


Introduction to marine botany with focus on marine macroalgae (seaweed, kelp) and, to a lower extent, seagrasses. The course covers aspects of phylogeny, development, and physiology, ecological relevance, ecosystem services, applications and commercial relevance, the human impacts on seagrass beds and kelp forests, and their restoration potential.

The course runs over 1 semester with recorded lectures, and physical meetings with seminars, group work, a field trip, and a microscopy lab. Throughout the course, you will gradually obtain the background knowledge, presentation skills, and critical thinking to design your own research project that aims to fill current knowledge gaps in macrophyte research and development.

The total workload is estimated to about 280hours and divides into:

  • 20 hours recorded lectures and/or video material
  • 15 hours discussion seminar
  • 8 hours practicals
  • 227 hours literature studies, ca. 450 pages at ca. 2 pages/hour
  • 10 hours development of presentation for oral exam

The evaluation will be based on the hand-in of assessment tasks and an oral exam at the end of the course.

For studens admitted to the following programmes:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology
  • Master in Bioscience
  • Nordic Master in Sustainable production and utilisation of marine bioresources
  • Exchange students to Nord in the field of biosceinces

Alternatively; admission to the course follows the admission requirements of the study program BSc in Biology.

On successful completion of the course the student


  • is expected to have broad knowledge of current research topics, theories, issues and methods within the field of phycology and seagrass biology that paves the way for career paths in fundamental or applied research and development in the field. Topics include the ecological importance, physiology/photosynthesis, the economical value/use, farming techniques, diversity of species, life forms, and life-cycles, human impacts, restoration and management.
  • can update his/her knowledge in the fielld


  • can identify, characterize, and classify local macroalgae species, their habitat preferences and biology to facilitate research-based farming, monitoring, and restoration activities.
  • can characterize and interpret biological material under the microscope (e.g. life cycle stages) to support hatchery- and seed-bank-based research for cultivation and restoration.
  • can find and evaluate information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a concise manner that allows for effective communication with future peers.
  • masters scholarly tools, techniques and forms of communication

General Competencies:

  • can extract/compile and present current research or innovation gaps and, thus, make well-founded predictions of attractive future directions of research and innovation in the field.
  • can present in front of an audience and can lead and contribute to discussions related to academic theories, problems and solutions, to facilitate network-building within the scientific and professional field.
  • can understand and discuss the societal relevance, and potential ecological and social issues associated with commercial use and human-driven habitat destruction of marine macrophytes to contribute to a sustainable development of industries associated with this field.
  • can plan and carry out varied assignments and projects over time, alone or as part of a group, and in accordance with ethical requirements and principles, as a preparation for project management.
No tuition fees. Semester fees and cost of course literature apply. The student is expected to own a laptop with camera and microphone, and a laboratory coat.
  • Asynchronous (recroded) lectures/webinars, synchronous seminars, and group work;mainly on campus
  • Field excursion
  • microscopy lab
  • Self-study of videos, podcasts, texts and literature posted on Canvas
  • Exercises and writing reflective texts around the build-up of a project idea

Compound evaluation, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail.

All compounds must be passed to pass the course as a whole.

  • Assessment tasks (AK), comprises 0/100 of the grade, grading scale Approved - Not approved. There will be 5 assessment tasks in total, one with focus on the microscopy lab, one on the field trip, and 3 in which you recapture the theoretical lessons and reflect on the progress towards your project idea that you will present in the final oral exam.
  • The oral exam will be 10 minutes per student in form as an oral presentation followed by an open discussion in groups. The students should be present at the presentations of all students and ask questions/ contribute to discussions related to the other student's presentations. Comprises 100/100 of the grade, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail.