You are here: Home Student INFO Undergraduate Study Undergradute Admission Info Academic guide

Aquatic Science Core Courses


The Department of Aquatic Science is currently offering one undergraduate programme i.e. Aquatic Resource Science and Management. This programme aims to provide student with a sound understanding of the various aquatic ecosystems and resource so that these resource may be utilized for socio-economic and other benefits in a sustainable way.

The department offers courses that are designed for graduates to have the scientific background, knowledge and expertise to undertake research, development and innovation, especially on exploitation and conservation of aquatic resources. The programme also emphasizes the promotion of public awareness on the importance of preserving and conserving aquatic ecosystems and resources for the benefit of future generations.

At present, this department has 11 academics and 5 support staff members working mutually as a team to assure the highest quality of teaching, learning and research. It is also equipped with research and teaching laboratories as well as up-to-date equipments relevant to the needs of the programme.

The educational objectives of the department are to:

  1. Introduce student to the science of marine, estuarine and fresh-water environments.
  2. Instill student with sufficient background and knowledge in various aquatic resource.
  3. Provide a comprehensive knowledge and skill in the management and conservation of aquatic indigenous resource.
  4. Provide the basis for study and research at the graduate level, should the student choose to pursue an advanced degree.


This is an introduction course to biological components of oceanography. This course is planned to introduce concepts, patterns and components of major biological processes in the ocean. Emphasis is given on the integration of biological components with physical and chemical environment of open ocean, coastal zones and estuaries. Practical sessions include samples collections, water samples analysis, plankton identification and other related topics. A field trip to coastal waters is planned to provide hands-on experience to the students.


Abel, D. C.,McConnel , R. L., Koepfer, E. (2002). Issues in oceanography. Prentice Hall.

Duxbury, A.B. Duxbury, A. C. (1999). Fundamental of oceanography. McGraw-Hill.

Longhurst, A. R. (1988). Ecology geography of the sea. Academic Press. San Diego.

Mann, K. H. Lazier, J. N. (1996). Dynamic of marine ecosystem. Biolgoical - physical interaction in the ocean. 2nd ed. Blackwell Scientific Publication.

Parson, T. R., Takabashi, M. , B. (1984). Biological oceanography. 3rd ed. Pergamon Press, Oxford.

Thurman, H. V. , A. P. (2004). Introduction to oceanography. Pearson Printice Hall.

This is an introductory course to laboratory and field sampling related to aquatic studies. The course will emphasize on hands- on experience in handling basics field-equipments (sampling gears) as well as those used in the laboratory. In addition, this course will cover planning of field trips, safety precautions, basic sampling techniques as well as data analysis. Preparation of field trip report and individual logbook will also be introduced to the students.


Bakus, G.J. (2007). Quantitative analysis of marine biological communities: fieldbiology and environment. England: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Bartram, J., Ballance, R. (1996). Water quality monitoring: a practical guide to the design and implementation of freshwater quality studies and monitoring programmes. London, New York: E & FN Spon

Fowler, J., Cohen, L., Jarvis, P. (2000). Practical for field biology, (2nd ed). England: John Wiley Ltd.

Jones, A., Reed, R.H., Weyers, D.B. (2003). Practical skills in biology (3rd ed.). USA:Prentice Hall.

Southwood, R., P.A. (2000). Ecological methods (3rd ed.) England: Wiley-Blackwell.

This is an extension to the introductory course to laboratory and field sampling related to aquatic studies (STA1223), emphasizing on hands -on experience in handling selected field -equipments (sampling gears) as well as those used in the laboratory. In addition, this course will also include a field trip in order for students to apply the sampling techniques learnt. Furthermore, this course will also covers selected data analysis protocols for aquatic science field biology.


Bakus, G.J. (2007). Quantitative analysis of marine biological communities: fieldbiology and environment.England: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

Fowler, J., Cohen, L., Jarvis, P. (2000). Practical for fieldbiology, (2nd ed). England: John Wiley Ltd.

Jones, A., Reed, R.H., Weyers, D.B. (2003). Practical skills in biology (3rd ed.). USA:Prentice Hall.

Southwood, R., P.A. (2000). Ecological methods (3rd ed.)England: Wiley-Blackwell.

This course is intended to introduce to the students the concepts of Physical Oceanography. The course will begin with a brief introduction to the history of ocean explorations and physical properties of seawater. Further discussions will emphasis on major processes occurred in the ocean such as waves, tides, air-sea interaction, currents and formation of sea floor, estuaries and beaches through plate tectonic activities. Other topics that will be learnt include marine provinces, sediment and natural resources. Awareness on the impact of global warming and climate change to the oceans will also be highlighted.


Duxbury, A. B., Duxbury, A.C., Sverdrup, K. A. (1999). Fundamentals ofoceanography. 3rd ed. USA: McGraw-Hill

Garrison, T. (2002) . Oceanography: An invitation to marine science. 4th ed. USA: Thompson Learning

Pinet, P. R. (2000). Invitation to oceanography. 2nd ed. Sudbury, UK: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Thurman, H. V., Trujillo, A.P. (2004). Introductory oceanography. 10th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

This course is intended to introduce to the students the concepts of Limnology which involve the freshwater ecosystems (lakes, ponds and rivers). It covers the biological, chemical and physical factors affecting life in inland waters. This course will begin with a brief introduction on the history of researches in Limnology, water properties and hydrological cycle. Other topics that will be learnt include formation and classification of aquatic ecosystems, water movements, ecological and nutrient cycles. Awareness on the importance of sustainable land use and mechanism of landscape interactions with the surrounding inland waters will also be highlighted.


Dodson, S.I. (2005). Introduction to limnology (1st ed.). USA: McGraw-Hill.

Kalff, J. (2003). Limnology: inland water ecosystems. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Thornton, K.W., Kimmel, B.L. & Payne, F.E. (1990). Reservoir limnology: Ecological perspectives. USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Wetzel, R.G. & Likens, G.E. (1998). Limnological analyses (3rd ed.). The Netherlands: Springer Verlag.

Wetzel, R. (2001). Limnology: Lake and river Ecosystems (3rd ed.). USA: Academic Press.

This course will discuss the ecology and biology of coral reef ecosystem. Discussion in class will include the biogeography and limiting factors, types of coral reefs as well as the structure and calcium carbonate budget and erosion processes. The origin of coral reef will also be taught by discussing some of the earlier theories on the formation of coral reef. Coral taxonomy, systematic classification and life cycle will also be discussed. Various techniques used in coral reef research will be taught. Natural and anthropogenic factors that threatened the existence of reefs, issues related to conservation and management of coral reefs will be discussed in detail.


Mahfuzuddin, A., Chiew, K. & Cesar, H. (Eds.) (2005). Economic valuation andpolicy priorities for sustainable management of coral reefs. WorldFishCenter, Penang.

Precht, W.F. (Ed.). (2006). Coral reef restoration handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Taylor & Francis (2006). Coral Reef Restoration Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.

WorldFish Center (2005). Economic Valuation and Policy Priorities for Sustainable Management of Coral Reefs. Penang.

This course is intended to discuss the basics of aquatic invertebrates' classifications and the current nomenclature used. Emphasis will be given to description of the important morphological characters of the aquatic invertebrate groups and how these characters may have been influenced by the aquatic environment. The importance of the aquatic invertebrates will also be discussed.


Lewbart, G.A. (2006). Invertebrate medicine (1st ed.). Ames, Iowa: Blackwell Publication.

New, T.R. (2005). Invertebrate conservation and agricultural ecosystems. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Pechenick J.A. (2000). Biology of the Invertebrates. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, Boston.

Ruppert, E.E., Fox, R.S. & Barnes, R.D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, A functional Evolutionary Approach (7thed.). Thomson/Brooks/Cole.

Yule, C.M. & Yong, H.S. (2004). Freshwater invertebrates of the Malaysian region. Kuala Lumpur: Akademi Sains Malaysia.

This course will discuss basic concepts and inter-relatedness between conservation, genetic diversity and evolution. It will emphasize on the usage of molecular biology techniques in conservation. Among the highlights of this course are discussions on (i) genetic detective work with reference to the use of mtDNA information to advance knowledge about marine turtle patterns of nesting and migration, (ii) using genetics to assess biogeography/biodiversity hotspots (iii) genetics role as complement to traditional data in re-validating systematic, (iv) hybridization issues, stock identification and management in aquaculture system. Finally, the scope and limits of conservation genetics will be discussed.


Avise, J.C. & Hamrick, J.L. (1997). Conservation Genetics. The Netherlands: Springer Verlag.

Allendorf, F. W. (2007).Conservation and the genetics of populations. Malden, MA : Blackwell.

Bert, T.M. (2007). Ecological and Genetic Implications of Aquaculture Activities (Reviews: Methods and Technologies in Fish Biology and Fisheries). TheNetherlands: Springer Verlag.

Frankham, R., Ballou, J.D. & Briscoe, D.A. (2002). Introduction to Conservation Genetics. UK: Cambridge University Press.

This course describes the basic concepts of the estuarine and mangrove ecosystems. Highlights include discussions on the two ecosystems in terms of (i) their importance, (ii) factors that influence their health, (iii) diversity of flora and fauna that exist within them and (iv) basic principles on their sustainable management. The course also includes a field trip to a selected mangrove and estuarine ecosystem in order to gain hands-on experience and enhance appreciation of these ecosystems.


Gong, W.K. (2004). Perubahan gobal dan ekosistem bakau. Siri Syarahan Umum, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang.

Kennish, M.J. (2004). Estuarine research, monitoring, and resource protection. CRC Press.

Lacerda, E.D. (2002). Mangroves ecosystem: Function and management. The Netherlands: Springer-Verlag.

Sam, T.W., Mashhor, M. & Ratnam, K.J. (2004). The natural habitat. Research at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Thampanya, U. (2006). Mangrove and sediment dynamics along the coasts of Southern Thailand. New York: Taylor and Francis.

This course discusses the history of aquaculture industry and its roles as sources of protein as well as important factors that need to be considered in choosing sites for aquaculture pond and species to be cultured. Topics include culture techniques, economic factors, wastes produce from aquaculture industry and its impact to the surrounding environment especially rivers and surrounding water bodies. The course also discusses possible techniques used to minimize the impact of these wastes to the environment.


Beaumont, A., P. Boudry and K. Hoare. (2010). Biotechnology and Genetics in Fisheries and Aquaculture. Wiley-Blackwell.

Bandyopadhyay, S. (2008). Water Quality Management for Coastal Aquaculture.Daya Publishing House.

Stickney, R.R. (2005). Aquaculture: An Introductory Text. Cambridge: CABI Publication.

Stottrup, J.G. and L.A. McEvoy. (2007). Live feeds in marine aquaculture. Blackwell Science Ltd.

Wallingford, O. (2005). Urban Aquaculture. CABI Publication, Cambridge. 285 pp.

This course will introduce to the students diversity, adaptation and evolution, systematic, physiology, anatomy, ecology and behavior of vertebrate organisms, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. This course will also expose the students to important ideas/concepts in the fields of adaptation and evolution, ecology, systematic, and morphology, as they relate to aquatic vertebrate organisms. The mechanisms involved in sensory and locomotion, osmoregulation and extraction, respiration, circulatory, feeding and reproduction of aquatic vertebrates also will be covered in this course.


Moyle, P.B. & Cech Jr., J.J. (2003). Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.

Randal, D.J. & Farrell, A.P. (1997). Deep sea fish. San Diego, USA: Academic Press.

Sloman, K.A., Wilson, R.W. & Balshine, S. (2006). Behaviour and physiology of fish. San Diego, California: Elsevier Academic Press.

Wotton, R.J. (1994). Ecology of teleost fish. New York, USA: Chapman & Hall.

This course will introduce the students to the diversity, classification and ecology of photosynthetic organisms of aquatic environments, including the major phytoplankton groups, macroalgae and seagrasses. The economic importance of each aquatic plants group will also be discussed.


Graham, L.E., Higgins, J., Graham, J., Graham, J.M. & Wilcox, L.W. (2008). Algae. Benjamin Cummings.

Larkum, A.W.D., McComb, A.J. & Shepherd, S.A. (1989). Biology of seagrasses Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.

Lobban, C.S. & Harrison, P.J. (1994). Seaweed Ecology and Physiology. Cambridge University Press.

Sze, P. (1993). A biology of the algae (2nd ed.). Wmc. Brown Publishers.

This course begins with discussion on different types of coastal zones, their importance and potential human impacts on them. Discussion will also emphasis on different types of coastal zone management including the strategic approach to coastal zone management namely Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). Several case studies will be used as examples in order to enhance understanding about relevant issues related to coastal zone management.


Beatley, T., Brower, D.J. & Schwab, A.K. (2000). An Introduction to Coastal Zone Management (2nded.). USA: Island Press.

Becker, H.A. & Vanclay, F. (2003). The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment: Conceptual and Methodological Advances. Edward ElgarPublishing.

Bird, E. (2008) . Coastal Geomorphology: An Introduction (2nd ed.). England: John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

French, P.W. (1997). Coastal and Estuarine Management. Routledge Environment Management Series, London.

Martínez, M.L. & Psuty, N.P. (2004). Coastal Dunes: Ecology and Conservation. Springer Pub.

This course will begin with an introduction to relevant terminologies and historical perspectives followed by identification of sources, types and properties of toxicants. The fate of toxicants and their effects on populations, communities and ecosystems, in particular in the aquatic ecosystem will also be discussed. Through the problem based learning and assignments , the course aims to increase the capacity of the students to engage in scientific discussion and report writing on topic related to the management of aquatic environments in relation to aquatic pollutions.


Botana, L.M. (2000). Seafood and Freshwater Toxins: Pharmacology, Physiologyand Detection. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Connell, D., Lam, P., Richardson, B. & Wu, R. (1999). Introduction to Ecotoxicology. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd.

Hayes, A.W. (2007). Principles and methods of toxicology.USA:CRC Press. Hoffman, D.J., Rattner, B.A., Burton, A. Jr. G. (2003). Handbook of

ecotoxicology. USA:CRC Press.

Moriarty, F. (1999). Ecotoxicology: The Study of Pollutants in Ecosystems (3rd ed.). USA: Academic Press.

Walker, C.H., Hopkin, S.P., Sibly, R.M., Peakall, D.B.(2006). Principles of ecotoxicology. USA:CRC Press.

This course discusses the current status, problems, conflict, impacts and socio-economic importance of coastal and inland fisheries. Topics include destructive and non-destructive fishing methods, catch per unit effort, maximum sustainable yield, maximum economic yield, stock assessment and resources exploitation. This course also discusses fish dynamics and resource prediction techniques as well as sustainable management and economics of fisheries resources.


Barnabe, G., Barnabe, R.Q. & Watson, J. (2007) . Ecology and Management ofCoastal Waters: The Aquatic Environment. USA: Springer Praxis Books.

Symes, D. & Philipson, J.(2001). Inshore fisheries management-Reviews: Methods and technologies in fish biology and fisheries. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Welcomme, R. (1991). Inland Fisheries: Ecology and Management. USA: FAO Publication.


BJRST - New Release


i-FoRST - New Release



Quick Jump

+6082-58100 ext 3129 / 3126 / 3124 / 3106
+6-082- 583160
+608258100 ext 3196 / 3171 / 3170 / 3161

Coming Soon

Loading ...