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Biology of Aquatic Populations

Head of the Module Jean LAROCHE (Professor, UBO)
Type Compulsory
Number of hours 72
Learning outcomes The module will give students an integrated approach to understanding how natural populations function, using methods from population dynamics, population genetics and evolutionary biology.
Aims The conceptual parts of the course will be accompanied by case studies (practicals) to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge about the biology of populations.
Course content


  • Population dynamics (dispersal, recruitment determinism...)
  • Population genetics (genetic structure, life cycles, phylogeographic approaches)
  • Functioning of exploited marine metapopulations
  • Evolutionary Biology (heritability, phenotypic plasticity, genotype?environment interactions)
  • Conservation Biology (small populations, habitat fragmentation, conservation units)
  • Extinction dynamics (interactions between anthropogenic impacts, inbreeding, loss of genetic diversity and demographic instability)


  • Spatial structure of macroalgae
  • Bioenergy?biometric approach on a population of limpets
  • Metapopulations: example of seabass in the Atlantic and Mediterranean
  • Population genetics of marine bivalves
  • Conservation genetics: the pike, an endangered species
  • Selection pressure: the example of the Pacific oyster
  • Evolution of life history traits in aquatic and terrestrial populations
  • Conservation biology: the importance of demographic and genetic factors
  • Restoration of populations by establishing Marine Protected Areas
Teaching methods