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Education & Awareness

Online Courses

 

Adults & children

  

Marine Biobasics course: a foundation in marine biology

R1,000.00

Meet the course coordinator

Xavier Zylstra is a Deputy Head at the Aquarium Foundation’s Environmental Education Centre.

Born and bred in Cape Town, Xavier received his Bachelor of Science and Higher Diploma in education, concentrating on natural sciences, from the University of Cape Town. He taught high school biology at several Cape Town schools, including Rondebosch Boys’ High School, where he was subject head for over a decade. He joined the staff at the Two Oceans Aquarium in April 2009.

Xavier has always been fascinated by natural history and is passionate about marine biology and the fauna and flora of the Western Cape as well as local geology and archaeology. What he most enjoys about teaching at the Aquarium is being able to concentrate on promoting marine environmental awareness, conservation and sustainability. His most recent project has been the production of the marine biology content for ‘Marine Sciences’- a new national Matric subject, launched at pilot schools in 2020.

In this current Covid environment, he has been working remotely from Cape Infanta, where he has been focusing on the development and presentation of the new Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation online courses.

He coordinates the Marine Biobasics course and will be the main presenter throughout. 

Course content
The below content will be covered in the live sessions and complimented with additional information on our e-learning platform.
  1. South African marine ecosystems
    1. The two ocean basins of South Africa
    2. Cold temperate region
    3. Warm temperate region
    4. Sub-tropical region
  2. Life processes and classification
    1. Introduction
    2. Movement
    3. Respiration
    4. Sensitivity
    5. Growth
    6. Reproduction
    7. Excretion
    8. Nutrition
    9. Classification
  3. Evolutionary trends
    1. Introduction
    2. Evolutionary trends
    3. Levels of organisation
    4. Body plans
    5. Symmetry
    6. Life patterns
    7. Support
    8. Locomotion
    9. Nervous coordination
    10. Nutrition/feeding
    11. Circulation and internal transport
    12. Gaseous exchange
    13. Excretion and osmoregulation
    14. Thermoregulation
    15. Reproduction
  4. Protists
    1. Introduction
    2. Foraminiferae
    3. Radiolarians
  5. Plankton
    1. Introduction
    2. A community of organisms
    3. Subdivisions according to time spent in community
    4. Widespread distribution
    5. Migration
    6. Food chain
  6. Porifera (sponges)
    1. Introduction
    2. Structure
    3. Protection, support and nervous coordination
    4. Nutrition, transport and reproduction
  7. Cnidaria (sea anemones, jellies, corals and hydroids)
    1. Introduction
    2. Structure
    3. Nervous coordination
    4. Nutrition and gaseous exchange
    5. Reproduction
    6. Cnidarian classes
    7. Schyphozoa
    8. Cubozoa
    9. Anthozoa
    10. Phylum Ctenophora
  8. Platyhelminthes (flatworms)
    1. Introduction
    2. Characteristics
    3. Symmetry
    4. Body plans
    5. Locomotion and nervous coordination
    6. Nutrition
    7. Gaseous exchange and excretion
    8. Reproduction
  9. Other unsegmented worms
    1. Introduction
    2. Nemerteans
    3. Nematoidea
    4. Sipunculacea
    5. Chaetognatha
  10. Annelida (segmented worms)
    1. Introduction
    2. Symmetry and body plan
    3. Segmentation
    4. Locomotion
    5. Nervous coordination
    6. Nutrition
    7. Circulation
    8. Gaseous exchange
    9. Excretion
    10. Reproduction
    11. Marine annelid examples
  11. Arthropoda (crabs, lobsters, shrimp)
    1. Introduction
    2. Symmetry and body plan
    3. Segmentation
    4. Locomotion
    5. Nervous coordination
    6. Nutrition
    7. Circulation
    8. Gaseous exchange
    9. Excretion
    10. Reproduction
    11. Marine arthropod groups
    12. Crustaceans
  12. Mollusca (sea snails, cephalopods, mussels)
    1. Introduction
    2. General characteristics
    3. Locomotion
    4. Nervous coordination
    5. Nutrition
    6. Circulation
    7. Gaseous exchange
    8. Excretion and osmoregulation
    9. Reproduction
    10. Marine mollusc classes
  13. Bryozoa (moss/lace animals)
    1. Introduction
    2. Autozooids
    3. Heterozooids
  14. Echinodermata (sea urchins, sea stars)
    1. Introduction
    2. Protostomes and deuterostomes
    3. Symmetry and body plan
    4. Locomotion and nervous coordination
    5. Nutrition and circulation
    6. Gaseous exchange and excretion
    7. Reproduction
    8. Asteroidea (sea stars)
    9. Ophiuroidea (brittle stars)
    10. Crinoidea (feather stars)
    11. Echinoidea (sea urchins)
    12. Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers)
  15. Chordata (sea squirts)
    1. Introduction
    2. Urochordates
  16. Vertebrata
    1. Introduction
  17. Agnatha (jawless fish)
    1. Introduction
    2. Hagfish
  18. Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays and skates)
    1. Introduction
    2. Characteristics
    3. Body covering
    4. Locomotion
    5. Nervous coordination
    6. Nutrition
    7. Circulation and gaseous exchange
    8. Excretion and osmoregulation
    9. Temperature regulation
    10. Reproduction
  19. Osteichthyes (bony fish)
    1. Introduction
    2. Body covering
    3. Locomotion
    4. Nervous coordination
    5. Nutrition and circulation
    6. Gaseous exchange
    7. Excretion and osmoregulation
    8. Temperature regulation
    9. Reproduction
    10. A phenomenal adaptation
  20. Terrestrial vertebrate classes
    1. Introduction
    2. Amphibia
    3. Returning to the sea
  21. Seaweeds (macroalgae)
    1. Introduction
    2. Photosynthetic pigments
    3. Habitat
    4. Structure
    5. Reproduction
  22. Green and red seaweeds
  23. Brown seaweeds
    1. Introduction
    2. Characteristics
    3. Reproduction
    4. Sea bamboo
  24. Vascular plants
    1. Introduction
    2. Magnoliophyte biology
    3. Sea or eel grasses
    4. Mangrove trees

The establishment of the Aquarium Foundation, their non-profit partner, has allowed the legacy of the Aquarium to continue. The legacy that evokes so much appreciation and love for the ocean so that you want to spend time in nature, and to learn about the animals. They also make you want conserve the ocean, because it is a miracle on display. That is the impact the online Marine BioBasics course has had on me.

Chloe van Deventer

Course details:

Dates: 5 October to 4 November 2021
Duration: Five weeks (10 two-hour sessions)
Total time commitment: 30 hours
Format: Zoom sessions with our teachers and content on our e- learning platform
Live sessions: 17h30 to 19h30 (GMT+2) Tuesdays and Thursdays
Cost: R1000 per learner

All participants will be issued with a certificate of completion at the end of the course. There is also an optional assignment to complete, which will make a competency certificate available that reflects a final result for the assignment.

If you have graduated from the volunteer or rocky shore biology course, or feel you are ready for a slightly more detailed introduction into marine biology, the Marine Biobasics course is perfect for you. This will be a more in-depth look at most of the marine animal phyla, from single-celled protists, all the way to mammals, and an overview of marine algae, seaweeds and plants.
The broad overview of the entire marine animal kingdom will allow participants to be able to identify almost any marine animal to, at least, the phylum and, more often, class level. This will enable aspirant animal identifiers to accurately home in on a particular animal (or plant) far more quickly, when using marine guides.
Each two-hour session, with a break in the middle, will be facilitated by teachers from the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, using presentations and short video clips. Detailed, illustrated notes and longer video clips will be available on our online platform.

This course is open to anyone 16 years or older.

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