An introduction to Oceanography
Discover Oceanography

Lesson E: Plankton Police

A body has been washed ashore. How can the police decide if the victim was drowned or if the body was dumped in the sea after death? In this lesson students investigate the difference between Zooplankton and Phytoplankton and the role they play in the ecosystem. Samples from Southampton Water can be provided or collected during a Discover Oceanography boat trip and used for identification purposes.

You will need:

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson Presentation (main or higher)
  • Equipment for identification practical
    • Petri dishes
    • 10ml sample of Southampton Water
  • Identification keys


All of the presentations and files can be downloaded here. The student Area of this website contains information about independent study activities.