This course will provide an overview of the marine environment. Various aspects of the oceans will be discussed including biological, chemical, and geological topics.
Lecture 1: The five oceans- geography, creation through plate tectonics, ocean hydrodynamics (the global conveyor belt).
Lecture 2: Ocean chemistry- Seawater composition, the carbonate system, gradients, elemental cycling.
Lecture 3: Ocean history- Origin of life, great oxygenation event, ice ages, snowball earth
Lecture 4: Ocean ecology- Primary production, oxygen minimum zone, food webs and the microbial loop.
Lecture 5: Phytoplankton- Life cycles and evolution, major ecological phyla.
Lecture 6: Biological calcification- Crystal growth, polymorphs and physiology.
Lecture 7: Biological silicification- Silicon chemistry, oceanic silicon cycling, silicifying organisms.
Lecture 8: Ocean bacteria- Abundance, diversity, and various life styles.
Lecture 9: Marine symbioses- Physical and chemical interactions between marine organisms.
Lecture 10: Climate change in present and past oceans- Anthropogenic influences on the marine environments and climate reconstructions.
Lecture 11: Field trip to Sdot Yam marine station.