Teaching

Prof. Bellwood teaches three popular undergraduate/postgraduate subjects relating to marine biology at James Cook University each year. Members of the lab assist in these subjects, especially in terms of practical coursework. 

Prof. Bellwood and students from the Evolution and Ecology of Reef Fishes class on a field trip at Orpheus Island, GBR. ©Gemma Molinaro.

Prof. Bellwood and students from the Evolution and Ecology of Reef Fishes class on a field trip at Orpheus Island, GBR. ©Gemma Molinaro.

Prof. Bellwood dissects the head of a snapper during a practical at James Cook University, 2016. ©Augustine Crosbie.

Prof. Bellwood dissects the head of a snapper during a practical at James Cook University, 2016. ©Augustine Crosbie.

A fossil rabbitfish, Ruffoichthys spinosus

A fossil rabbitfish, Ruffoichthys spinosus

Evolution and ecology of reef fishes

This subject examines the biology of coral reef fishes with an emphasis on species from reefs and adjacent waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The subject covers the ecology, morphology, systematics and evolution of coral reef fishes.

Practical work includes a laboratory and field program that introduces functional morphology, ecology and field identification of coral reef fishes. This subject also provides an introduction to laboratory and field research methods.


Evolution and biogeography of marine organisms

This subject examines the basic concepts of evolution, systematics and biogeography as they relate to the marine realm. It focuses on the application of methods used to study evolution and biogeography and draws on a wide range of evidence from molecular data, through distribution records, the fossil record and life history traits to larval duration to explain biodiversity in the marine environment.

Prof. Bellwood reviews several case histories to demonstrate the role of historical events in determining distributions of marine taxa, and contrasts this with the role of ecological factors in maintaining marine populations.

World map showing the area of greatest marine biodiversity 50 million years ago.

World map showing the area of greatest marine biodiversity 50 million years ago.


Lab member Rob Streit watching a cuttlefish. 

Lab member Rob Streit watching a cuttlefish. 

Functional biology of Marine Organisms

This subject examines tropical marine habitats and identifies key biological features of each. In doing so this subject investigates the functional biology of selected vertebrate and invertebrate marine groups with comparative treatments of benthic and nektonic, planktonic and pelagic organisms.

Additionally the subject identifies the structural and functional features of key marine organism assemblages in reef, mangrove, benthic and oceanic environments.

Guest lecture by Prof. Howard Choat in the evolution and ecology of reef fishes class.

Guest lecture by Prof. Howard Choat in the evolution and ecology of reef fishes class.