Master's degree in marine biology: biodiversity and conservation


Program Description

The Master's Degree in Marine Biology: Biodiversity and Conservation by the University of La Laguna brings together in its approach the great experience of more than forty years of teaching and research in this field developed in the ULL. It will have a strong character of practical and applied training. The student will acquire a sound knowledge of marine biodiversity, particularly the Atlantic-Mediterranean environment, and will also master the tools of know-how in the field of management, conservation and conservation, research and teaching related to the environment , Biodiversity and marine resources.

Justification title

The term "Biodiversity" is relatively recent and although it has become fashionable, it is nothing other than the contraction of "Biological Diversity", understanding this as the structural and functional variety of all life forms, both at the genetic and specific levels. of ecosystems.

From a strictly biological point of view, the conservation of Marine Biodiversity is unquestionable, especially in a territory as fractured and heterogeneous as the Canary Islands, with a high population density and a massive increase in the secondary effects of the overcrowding, much more marked than in other continental areas much more extensive and with lower population density.

Island environments, and in particular oceanic islands, present peculiarities (isolation, simple ecological communities, high number of endemisms, etc.) that make them more susceptible to the various threat factors. They constitute true experimental laboratories that facilitate the understanding and transmission of knowledge about complex ecological and evolutionary processes.

The Canarian region, understood in its broadest sense, has an extraordinarily rich and particular marine biodiversity in relation to the subtropical geographical situation and its high environmental heterogeneity, since it has a continental Sahara sector and another insular one, that of Macaronesia central. The islands, per se, possess a remarkable marine biodiversity, with appreciable variations between islands depending on the gradients of the oceanographic parameters and the geomorphology of the coasts and bottoms.

The island biota is characterized by the presence of macaronesian endemisms and a dominant mix of subtropical and tropical species whose composition varies with the aforementioned abiotic gradients. The continental biota is dominated by a mixture of subtropical and temperate species, a phenomenon associated with the Saharan outcrop and the resulting high productivity.

It is a large and very complex area from the oceanographic point of view, with a high register of species of algae, invertebrates, fish, birds, turtles and cetaceans, including resident populations of the latter, many of which make up very important resources . All these peculiarities mean that the Canary Islands and its surroundings have a huge worldwide interest for the study of marine Biodiversity and the associated biological and productive processes.

Entry and exit profile

Admission Profile

This Master is aimed at those students who are interested in specializing in Marine Biology and the conservation of biodiversity with a view to acquiring knowledge and skills that also allow them to be incorporated into the world of work and which also enables them to delve into fundamental techniques Research, development and innovation in Biodiversity.

The Master is preferably addressed to Graduates or Graduates in Biology, but can also access other graduates (RD 1393/2007, Art. 16), preferably those covering aspects related to biological subjects, such as Graduates or Graduates in Marine Sciences and Environmental Sciences. The required or recommended different subjects of the Master, contained in its teaching guide, prerequisites indicate the background needed and provide a reference for the student.

Graduation profile

Expert in the knowledge of marine biodiversity, its use, management, management and conservation.


  • To know scientifically the structure and function of marine ecosystems, the factors that can potentially affect them and the techniques of detection, evaluation, prevention and correction of the impacts generated in the environment.
  • Acquire skills to apply and integrate comprehensive and multidisciplinary scientific knowledge of biodiversity, conservation and management of the marine environment.
  • Acquire specific practical capabilities in the field of marine biodiversity and conservation (eg, design a sampling plan or evaluate an environmental impact), which allow problem solving in both known and new environments, to deal with the complexity of multidisciplinary problems and Make judgments from fragmentary, incomplete, or limited information.
  • To acquire knowledge on various activities and their impact in relation to the sustainable development of the marine environment, which will enable the development of the capacity to reflect on the social or ethical implications related to the decisions that must be taken on the assessment of the impact of human activities on The coastal ecosystem.
  • Acquire capacities to autonomously access scientific literature and existing databases. These capabilities are closely related to the acquisition of competencies to process information and generate new quality information and make it accessible to the rest of the scientific community and decision makers.
  • Acquire skills to occupy a job as a marine scientist.
  • Acquire skills to communicate their knowledge and the results of their research work to specialists and non-specialists.
  • Acquire new knowledge in the future and learn new techniques in an autonomous way.
  • Acquire teamwork skills.


  • Ability to identify, categorize and classify living marine organisms and the populations and communities they constitute.
  • Ability to perform sampling, inventory and analyze populations and communities, and design experiments related to biodiversity and its conservation.
  • Ability to select and apply the most appropriate instrumental and analysis techniques to address the study of the marine environment, its biodiversity and its conservation.
  • Ability to develop and advise on conducting studies and practical work on marine biodiversity and its conservation.
  • Ability to estimate and quantify population and interspecific diversity.
  • Ability to carry out environmental impact studies on marine biodiversity.
  • Ability to analyze the geological, physical and chemical processes of the marine environment for the purpose of the conservation of its biodiversity.
  • Ability to assess the state of conservation of marine biota, and identify and monitor the causes that affect its conservation.
  • Ability to assess the vulnerability of marine biota.
  • Ability to categorize, follow up on threatened marine species and evaluate their populations.
  • Ability to recognize invasive marine species, know how to promote strategies of control and eradication, and propose solutions to the environmental problems they cause.
  • Ability to propose actions against conservation problems.
  • Ability to develop and develop research projects in the field of marine biodiversity and its conservation, including ecological restoration projects and marine species recovery plans.
  • Ability to evaluate and manage natural marine areas, and design marine reserves, taking into account the principles of island biogeography.
  • Ability to combine thematic maps and generate new information on the management, conservation and management of marine species, communities and ecosystems.
  • Ability to apply the legislative aspects that affect the marine biota and its conservation.
  • Capacity to assess and promote the sustainable use of marine ecosystems and the rational exploitation of renewable natural resources.
  • Ability to organize and manage parks and museums related to marine biodiversity and its conservation.
  • Ability to promote innovations in the field of environmental education related to marine biodiversity and its conservation.
  • Ability to interpret the physiological processes of marine organisms and develop innovations in the field of sustainable aquaculture.

Orientation and tutoring

Students enrolled in the master will have an interview with their tutor, within the Master's Action Plan Tutorial. In addition, there will be an act of presentation in order to guide the student in everything related to the training program and the Tutorial Action Plan. It will also inform on the operation of the Faculty, the University, the general services and own of the Departments involved, particularly to students coming from other centers or from abroad. All these actions are developed within the framework of the PR-10 procedure "Student Orientation" contemplated in the quality manual of the Faculty of Biology. This procedure contemplates the development of an annual student orientation plan that includes the host actions, the tutorial plan, the academic guide of the degree and support for the training.

External practices

There are or are agreements being developed with thirty organizations or official centers and companies. You can consult the list of companies and centers with agreements for external internships in the following link.

There is also the possibility of a special internship program to be developed for about ten days of field work and a cabinet in one of the Canarian marine reserves.

Master's thesis

Report or study in which the student applies and develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the Master in a subject or line of research that is of particular interest. It will be done under the supervision of the tutor assigned by the Academic Committee of the Master.

The elaboration of the final master's work will also contribute to the student completing the acquisition of transversal competences related to the ability to know how to communicate their conclusions, the knowledge and reasons that sustain them to specialized and non-specialized audiences in a clear and unambiguous way , as well as completing the specific competences related to the line of research of their work.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad ... Read More

La Universidad de La Laguna ha ejercido una importante función de liderazgo educativo, científico y cultural en Canarias durante sus dos siglos de historia, impulsando el progreso de nuestra comunidad y contribuyendo decisivamente a su modernización. Read less
Santa Cruz de Tenerife