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Masters Degrees (Biodiversity Informatics)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Biodiversity Informatics)

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Life Sciences.  is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Life Sciences is one of the strategic research fields at the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary Master’s Programme in Life Science Informatics (LSI) integrates research excellence and research infrastructures in the Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences (HiLIFE).

The Master's Programme is offered by the Faculty of Science. Teaching is offered in co-operation with the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences. As a student, you will gain access to active research communities on three campuses: Kumpula, Viikki, and Meilahti. The unique combination of study opportunities tailored from the offering of the three campuses provides an attractive educational profile. The LSI programme is designed for students with a background in mathematics, computer science and statistics, as well as for students with these disciplines as a minor in their bachelor’s degree, with their major being, for example, ecology, evolutionary biology or genetics. As a graduate of the LSI programme you will:

  • Have first class knowledge and capabilities for a career in life science research and in expert duties in the public and private sectors
  • Competence to work as a member of a group of experts
  • Have understanding of the regulatory and ethical aspects of scientific research
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills for employment in an international and interdisciplinary professional setting
  • Understand the general principles of mathematical modelling, computational, probabilistic and statistical analysis of biological data, and be an expert in one specific specialisation area of the LSI programme
  • Understand the logical reasoning behind experimental sciences and be able to critically assess research-based information
  • Have mastered scientific research, making systematic use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Have the ability to report results in a clear and understandable manner for different target groups
  • Have good opportunities to continue your studies for a doctoral degree

Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.

Pro­gramme con­tents

The Life Science Informatics Master’s Programme has six specialisation areas, each anchored in its own research group or groups.

Algorithmic bioinformatics with the Genome-scale algorithmicsCombinatorial Pattern Matching, and Practical Algorithms and Data Structures on Strings research groups. This specialisation area educates you to be an algorithm expert who can turn biological questions into appropriate challenges for computational data analysis. In addition to the tailored algorithm studies for analysing molecular biology measurement data, the curriculum includes general algorithm and machine learning studies offered by the Master's Programmes in Computer Science and Data Science.

Applied bioinformaticsjointly with The Institute of Biotechnology and genetics.Bioinformatics has become an integral part of biological research, where innovative computational approaches are often required to achieve high-impact findings in an increasingly data-dense environment. Studies in applied bioinformatics prepare you for a post as a bioinformatics expert in a genomics research lab, working with processing, analysing and interpreting Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, and working with integrated analysis of genomic and other biological data, and population genetics.

Biomathematics with the Biomathematics research group, focusing on mathematical modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of topics ranging from problems at the molecular level to the structure of populations. To tackle these problems, the research group uses a variety of modelling approaches, most importantly ordinary and partial differential equations, integral equations and stochastic processes. A successful analysis of the models requires the study of pure research in, for instance, the theory of infinite dimensional dynamical systems; such research is also carried out by the group. 

Biostatistics and bioinformatics is offered jointly by the statistics curriculum, the Master´s Programme in Mathematics and Statistics and the research groups Statistical and Translational GeneticsComputational Genomics and Computational Systems Medicine in FIMM. Topics and themes include statistical, especially Bayesian methodologies for the life sciences, with research focusing on modelling and analysis of biological phenomena and processes. The research covers a wide spectrum of collaborative topics in various biomedical disciplines. In particular, research and teaching address questions of population genetics, phylogenetic inference, genome-wide association studies and epidemiology of complex diseases.  

Eco-evolutionary Informatics with ecology and evolutionary biology, in which several researchers and teachers have a background in mathematics, statistics and computer science. Ecology studies the distribution and abundance of species, and their interactions with other species and the environment. Evolutionary biology studies processes supporting biodiversity on different levels from genes to populations and ecosystems. These sciences have a key role in responding to global environmental challenges. Mathematical and statistical modelling, computer science and bioinformatics have an important role in research and teaching.

Systems biology and medicine with the Genome-scale Biology Research Program in BiomedicumThe focus is to understand and find effective means to overcome drug resistance in cancers. The approach is to use systems biology, i.e., integration of large and complex molecular and clinical data (big data) from cancer patients with computational methods and wet lab experiments, to identify efficient patient-specific therapeutic targets. Particular interest is focused on developing and applying machine learning based methods that enable integration of various types of molecular data (DNA, RNA, proteomics, etc.) to clinical information.



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visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017. Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. Read more

Open Day

visit course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017.

Course Overview

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences.

This course provides in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

Location

This course is a collaboration of Imperial College London (Silwood Park) with the Natural History Museum. This provides an exciting scientific environment of two institutions at the forefront of taxonomic and evolutionary research.

The MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity comprises two terms of taught modules, mostly based at the Natural History Museum, and covers core areas in biodiversity, palaeobiology, phylogenetics, molecular systematics, phylogenomics and taxonomic principles. This is followed by a 16-week laboratory or field-based research project at the NHM or Imperial College’s Silwood Park or South Kensington campuses.

Modules

• Taxonomy of major groups and the Tree-of-Life: An introduction of major branches of the Tree, including identification exercises, presented by NHM experts
• Statistics and Computing: A two-week intensive course at Silwood Park
• Field course: trapping and collecting techniques for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
• Phylogenetic Reconstruction: the principles of building phylogenetic trees
• Molecular Systematics: generating and analysing molecular data; model-based phylogenetics
• Phylogenomics: Genomic techniques for studying evolutionary processes and biodiversity
• Biodiversity (Concepts): speciation, radiation, macroevolution
•Biodiversity (Applied): Measuring biodiversity, geospatial analysis, collection management and biodiversity informatics
• Palaeobiology: Studying the fossil record and what we can learn for biodiversity

Post Study

Students on the course will become the new generation of taxonomists in the broadest sense. They will be familiar with these new tools, as well as the wider concepts of biodiversity science, evolutionary biology and genomics. Most importantly, students gain the abilities to work as an independent scientist and researcher, to be able to solve questions about the future of biodiversity and to communicate them to peers and the public.
Students have many options for future employment in evolutionary and ecological research labs in industry, government and non-governmental organisations, conservation, and scientific publishing and the media. The courses are an excellent starting point for PhD level careers, feeding into various Doctoral Training Programmes available at NHM and Imperial, or elsewhere.

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Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this course offers you an exciting opportunity to train in the discipline of wildlife forensics, in which the University of Chester is a pioneer. Read more
Taught at our Parkgate Road Campus in Chester, this course offers you an exciting opportunity to train in the discipline of wildlife forensics, in which the University of Chester is a pioneer. Wildlife conservation is increasingly urgent in today’s world. With this comes a growing demand for people with specialist academic and practical skills to apply to this problem - something that this course looks to address.

Why Study Applied Wildlife Forensics with us?

We offer this novel area of wildlife conservation in a short course to update or further develop your existing skills. This will be done through the sharing of our expertise in field and lab-based research.

Our staff are passionately involved in pioneering projects, and have helped to lead the development of Wildlife Forensics as an academic subject area, having held the first international conference in October 2010. You will have the opportunity to work closely with staff in this exciting area.

What will I learn?

You will study Wildlife Crime, supported by Conservation Genetics – two disciplines in which the Department has been a pioneer. You will also have the key opportunity to deepen your analytical techniques through the Biodiversity Informatics offering.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is delivered through Moodle, internet discussion boards, and residential school. Residential school includes lectures, lab sessions, field trips and tutorials. Your learning will include tutor-led, self-directed and peer-based learning.

Sessions are typically delivered over a 10-week period; however, some modules are delivered through week-long workshop/lab sessions or field trips.

Modules typically require 200 hours of study time, including:
- 21 hours of lectures, seminars, group discussions and laboratory/ field activities
- 10 hours of tutorial support
- 169 hours of directed self-study.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is via continuous assessment ­ – e.g. lab/essay assignments; critical assessments/reviews; reports; in-class individual/group oral presentations; portfolios and preparation and presentation of posters. There are no examinations.

Postgraduate Visit Opportunities

If you are interested in this courses we have a number of opportunities to visit us and our campuses. To find out more about these options and to book a visit, please go to: https://www1.chester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/postgraduate-visit-opportunities

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to know more about the University please request a prospectus at: http://prospectus.chester.ac.uk/form.php

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Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. Read more
Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.

Why this programme

-This programme encompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
-It covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.
-You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbria (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or environmental consulting firms whenever possible.
-The uniqueness of the programme is the opportunity to gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects, which will enhance future career opportunities, including entrance into competitive PhD programmes. For example, there are identification based programmes offered elsewhere, but most others do not combine practical field skills with molecular techniques, advanced informatics for assessing biodiversity based on molecular markers, as well as advanced statistics and modelling. Other courses in epidemiology are rarely ecologically focused; the specialty in IBAHCM is understanding disease ecology, in the context of both animal conservation and implications for human public health.
-You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunites to actively participate in internationally recognised research. Some examples of recent publications lead by students in the programme: Blackburn, S., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Ogutu, J. O., Matthiopoulos, J. and Frank, L. (2016), Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12632. Rysava, K., McGill, R. A. R., Matthiopoulos, J., and Hopcraft, J. G. C. (2016) Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 30:1461-1468. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7572. Ferguson, E.A., Hampson, K., Cleaveland, S., Consunji, R., Deray, R., Friar, J., Haydon, D. T., Jimenez, J., Pancipane, M. and Townsend, S.E., 2015. Heterogeneity in the spread and control of infectious disease; consequences for the elimination of canine rabies. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 18232. doi: 10.1038/srep18232.
-A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.

Programme structure

The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.

You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in:
-Monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
-Quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation
-Ethics and legislative policy – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.

Core courses
-Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, advanced linear models, experimental design and power analysis)
-Measuring biodiversity and abundance
-Programming in R
-Independent research project

Optional courses
-Molecular analyses for biodiversity and conservation
-Biodiversity informatics
-Molecular epidemiology and phylodynamics
-Infectious disease ecology and the dynamics of emerging disease
-Single-species population models
-Multi-species models
-Spatial and network processes in ecology & epidemiology
-Introduction to Bayesian statistics
-Freshwater sampling techniques
-Invertebrate identification
-Vertebrate identification
-Human Dimensions of Conservation
-Principles of Conservation Ecology
-Protected Area Management
-Animal welfare science
-Legislation related to animal welfare
-Enrichment of animals in captive environments
-Care of captive animals
-Biology of suffering
-Assessment of physiological state

Career prospects

You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, environmental consultancies, government agencies, ecotourism and conservation biology, and veterinary or public health epidemiology.

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The current environmental changes affect both natural ecosystems and civil societies. Global change refers to planetary-scale changes occurring in complex socio-ecological systems, which are affected by climatic and non-climatic drivers (e.g., changes in human society). Read more
The current environmental changes affect both natural ecosystems and civil societies. Global change refers to planetary-scale changes occurring in complex socio-ecological systems, which are affected by climatic and non-climatic drivers (e.g., changes in human society). Understanding the intricate, medium- to long-term changes in our land, air and water requires advanced scientific knowledge in measurement, modelling and prediction.

This joint international MSc course between the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science and Justus-Liebig University (JLU) Giessen, Germany is the response to these global change challenges and will suit skilled motivated science graduates wishing to develop a scientific career in ecosystem research as well as those aiming to contribute to evidence-based environmental policy.

You will be involved in active research groups in both countries, contributing to their ongoing ecosystem studies in order to experience the process of creating scientific knowledge in ecosystem science. In addition to acquiring skills in measuring, analysing and understanding what is behind scientific data you will have the opportunity to develop your analytical, presentation and communication skills to enable you to participate in the policy making process.

Key Fact

Graduates will receive a joint international degree from two well-established universities combining their complementary and multidisciplinary research profiles and cutting-edge expertise. Through the 6-8 weeks work placement in in a company or institution of your choice, you will acquire transferable skills which will make you a sought after and effective employee.

Course Content and Structure

This is a 120 CP programme comprising 70 CP of taught modules, 20CP of work placement and 20 CP of independent research project. The first semester is based at UCD, Dublin, followed by a 6-8 week work placement in a company or institution of your choice. We have established links with organisations such as FAO, UNFCCC, ISEO, EFI, ICLEI and NOAA as well as European and national EPA agencies and many research institutes.
The second taught semester is based in JLU, Giessen between March and August and the third semester (Sept-Dec) is devoted entirely to the individual research project, which can be undertaken in either UCD, JLU or another approved research institute.
Samples of topics include:

• Global change (soil, air, water): modelling and advanced techniques
• Science and policy
• Research in ecology
• Environmental law and policy
• Man in past climates
• Policy consultancy
• Plant-soil-atmosphere interactions
• Biodiversity informatics
• Data analysis and interpretation
• Economics and environmental management
• Environmental impact assessment


For more information on module description and available scholarships, visit http://globalchange.ucd.ie/

Career Opportunities

Graduates may pursue roles as policy advisers, scientific analysts or researchers in government, international organisations, NGOs, research institutes or consulting companies. There are also many opportunities for further studies. The skills you acquire, particularly through the completion of the minor thesis within a 4 month period, provide a strong foundation for PhD research.

Prospective employers include the national Environmental Protection Agency, governmental departments, European Commission as well as policy consultancy firms such as European Environment Agency and also international organisations (e.g. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; United Nations Environment Programme; Food and Agriculture Organisation; International Union for the Conservation of Nature).

Facilities and Resources

• A climate change station at JLU hosts one of the world longest-running Free Air Carbon dioxide (FACE) experiments.
• The Program for Experimental Atmospheres and Climate (PEAC) at UCD is a state-of-the art plant growth room facility to investigate past and future climatic scenarios.
• The UCD Earth Institute is a centre for resource and environment research aimed at leading Ireland’s response to climate change and the global energy crisis.

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The MSc in Environmental Informatics aims to provide students with a multi-disciplinary education and training in geographical information systems in the context of environmental science, enabling them to gain employment in public/private agencies/ businesses that deal with the sustainable management of natural resources(including conservation, planning, and environmental management). Read more
The MSc in Environmental Informatics aims to provide students with a multi-disciplinary education and training in geographical information systems in the context of environmental science, enabling them to gain employment in public/private agencies/ businesses that deal with the sustainable management of natural resources(including conservation, planning, and environmental management).

Core Modules:
Introduction to GIS
Research Design and Methods in Geography
Geographic Visualisation
Theories, Concepts and Applications of Sustainable Development
Dissertation

Optional Modules:
Programming for Spatial Scientists
Spatial Information Science
Earth Observation and Remote Sensing
Environment, Space and Society
Global Climate and Environmental Change
Biodiversity Conservation and Global Change: Tropical East Africa (Kenya field trip)
Environmental Economics
Sustainable Management of Biological Resources

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This MRes is designed for students with a passion for the diversity of life on earth, and who wish to be trained in cutting-edge biological research. Read more
This MRes is designed for students with a passion for the diversity of life on earth, and who wish to be trained in cutting-edge biological research.

New technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing are revolutionising biology.

There are also huge amounts of biodiversity data to be collated and meta-analysed to respond to urgent research needs in a world of rapid global changes.

This course will offer an intensive one-year full-time programme designed to provide you with postgraduate-level training in research skills.

Uniquely, it will start with seven-week intensive training modules in the latest developments of informatics and genomics for whole-organism research.

This is followed by a single nine-month research project in the Division of Ecology and Evolution.

Project opportunities include genetics, conservation, tropical and environmental biology; they will either be purely analytical or have strong field and/or laboratory components.

It will also provide you with a solid grounding in a range of professional and transferable skills and the opportunity to make a more informed decision on the area of research and specific PhD project you wish to pursue in the future.

It will be ideal training for those who wish to pursue a career in academic, government or non-governmental organisations engaged in research into biodiversity.

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