This module provides the opportunity to learn field skills used to study the behaviour, distribution and abundance of large marine vertebrates and provides an overview of the taxonomy, physiology, behaviour, and current research on seals, whales, dolphins and turtles.
The core of this module is a residential field course based in Scotland, made on research vessels to study common and grey seal behaviour at local haul-out sites and to conduct transect surveys for porpoise, minke whale and basking shark in the area of Arran. Time is spent at sea studying minke whale and other cetaceans on research and commercial whale watching boats. Coastal observations and observing otters in local sea-lochs, also forms part of this module.
The field course itself takes place during the vacation before semester 7, with continuing work through semester 7.
This module is taken by Marine Biology BSc students only, however is co-taught with students from other universities.