Marine animals with complex life cycles may move passively or actively for fertilization, dispersal, predator avoidance, resource acquisition, and migration, and over scales from micrometers to thousands of kilometers. This diversity has catalyzed idiosyncratic and unfocused research, creating unsound paradigms regarding the role of movement in ecology and evolution. The emerging movement ecology paradigm offers a framework to consolidate movement research independent of taxon, life-history stage, scale, or discipline. This review applies the framework to movement among life-history stages in marine animals with complex life cycles to consolidate marine movement research and offer insights for scientists working in aquatic and terrestrial realms. Irrespective of data collection or simulation strategy, breaking each life-history stage down into the fundamental units of movement allows each unit to be studied independently or interactively with other units. Understanding these underlying mechanisms of movement within each life-history stage can then be used to construct lifetime movement paths. These paths can allow further investigation of the relative contributions and interdependencies of steps and phases across a lifetime and how these paths influence larger research topics, such as population-level movements.


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