We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $285.99

608 pp.
8.5" x 11"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP US

Marine Biology

Sixth Edition

Jeffrey Levinton

Levinton's Marine Biology is highly acclaimed and regarded by many as the best, most authoritative text for the sophomore/junior/senior marine biology course. The text is characterized by its exceptionally clear and conversational writing style, comprehensive coverage, and sophisticated presentation featuring organismal and ecosystem ecology topics from an evolutionary perspective. Over the course of five editions, Jeff Levinton has balanced his organismal and ecological focus by including the latest developments from the world of molecular biology, global climate change, and oceanic processes.

Readership : Upper-level biology students in a marine biology course.


  • "[O]verall, it is a great text and I have enjoyed using it for years. [...] The writing is exceptionally accessible in my opinion. The breadth of topics, that are critical to modern ecology is significant, even as I am hoping for more."
    --Sarah Cohen, San Francisco State University

  • "This Marine Biology text's organismal focus is enhanced by including latest research and oceanic processes. The text has a conversational writing style and it serves as an educational tool for students at various levels of preparedness."
    --Sabine Alshuth, Nova Southeastern University

  • "A comprehensive and logically organized marine biology textbook that would work well for a marine biology/ecology course that has a majority of natural science students enrolled. The textbook goes into good depth and detail, which is important for students to have a reference source and as an added perspective to lecture material presented. Research presented is associated with people and places, which will help students make a connection."
    --Michael Berger, Washington State University

1. Sounding the Deep: Marine Biology as a Discipline
2. The Oceanic Environment
3. Climate Oscillations and Climate Change
4. Ecological and Evolutionary Principles of Marine Biology
5. The Chemical and Physical Environment
6. Life in a Fluid Medium
7. Reproduction, Dispersal, and Migration
8. Plankton
9. Marine Vertebrates and Other Nekton
10. The Open Sea
11. Processes in the Water Column
12. Productivity, Food Webs, and Global Climate Change
13. Benthic Microorganisms, Seaweeds, and Sea Grasses
14. The Diversity of Benthic Marine Invertebrates
15. Benthic Life Habits
16. The Tidelands
17. The Shallow Coastal Subtidal
18. Benthos from the Continental Shelf to the Deep Sea
19. Polar Marine Biology
20. Biodiversity and Conservation of the Ocean
21. Fisheries and Food from the Sea
22. Environmental Impacts of Industrial Activities and Human Populations

Instructor Resources:
Lecture and Figure Slides
Test Bank
Video Guide
Student Resources:
Key Concepts
Hot Topics
Web Links and Explorations

Jeffrey S. Levinton is distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at Stony Brook University (PhD Yale, 1971). His research focuses mainly on the population and community-level processes of marine-bottom species, including such important East Coast species as bivalves (like oysters) and fiddler crabs.

Marine Ecology - Edited by Michel J. Kaiser, Martin J. Attrill, Simon Jennings and David Thomas
Marine Community Ecology and Conservation - Mark Bertness, John Bruno, Brian Silliman and Jay Stachowicz
Oceanography and Marine Biology - David W. Townsend
Ecology of Aquatic Systems - Mike Dobson and Chris Frid
Exploring Marine Biology - Paul A. Haefner, Jr.

Special Features

  • Most readable text. Clear, thorough explanations written in an highly-engaging style that students actually enjoy reading.
  • Principles-driven approach. Focus on interaction of basic biological principles makes the material digestible and governs the text's three major themes: functional biology; biodiversity; and ecological processes.
  • Philosophy of getting students excited. The author introduces highly relevant real-world topics as well as the latest scientific discoveries to engage students' interest and imaginations.
  • Unique Chapter 1 "Sounding the Deep" introduces the scientific method and focuses attention on how science is done, rather than on the memorization of facts.
  • Robust pedagogical support. "Key Concept" headings serve as running summaries within chapters; "Basic Facts" succinctly summarize all-you-need-to-know about various marine organisms; thought-provoking end-of-chapter exercises get students thinking critically, "Going Deeper" boxes highlight and segregate quantitative coverage.
  • Hot-topics. A beloved feature of the text that ties Levinton's high-level concepts to approachable, engaging examples.
New to this Edition
  • Updated examples and chapter content to account for recent developments in Marine Biology.
  • Increased focus on economic impacts of climate change.
  • New comparative tables to aid learning.
  • Additional content on diversity of planktons within Chapter 8.
  • Expanded coverage of habitats within Chapter 17, inclusive of non-coral reef habitats such as sea grasses.
  • 4-5 Revised "Hot Topics in Marine Biology, such as "Is the Gulf of Mexico Adapted to Oil"?
  • Integration of phylogenetic trees.
  • Reorganization and revision of review questions.
  • Simplify and increase visual appeal of select illustrations.
  • Revised video guide.