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Masters Degrees (Ecosystems)

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Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering is about ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of current and future generations in both the global North and global South. Read more

Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering is about ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of current and future generations in both the global North and global South. Agro- and ecosystems provide a wide range of essential goods and services such as food, water, energy and biodiversity. Yet, the contemporary context of population growth, rapid urbanisation, economic globalisation, climate change, deforestation, soil pollution and degradation challenges the future provisioning of a sufficient quantity and quality of these goods and services. 

What is the Master of Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering all about? 

The Master of Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering (ACE) provides in-depth knowledge of the functioning and management of natural and production-oriented ecosystems. You can choose to focus on either temperate or (sub)tropical settings, or a combination of both. You complement the interdisciplinary core programme with a major specialisation in one out of four different domains: biological production, abiotic and biotic environment, bio-economics, and bio-geo information

Programme

The production major focuses on agro-ecosystems, and includes specialisation tracks in crop production, production forestry systems (achieved trough a semester in Chile) and hortology (achieved trough a semester in South Africa).

The environment major provides to in-depth understanding of the biophysical functioning of both natural and agro-ecosystems with the aim of improving the management of these ecosystems' biodiversity, soil and water resources. The major includes specialisation tracks in soil and water systems, forest and nature systems, and ladscape systems.

The economics major focuses on the economic and policy-related aspects of agro- and ecosystems, with in-depth courses in the field of agricultural, food and natural resources economics.

The information major addresses earth observation and geo-data management technology, with in-depth courses covering both the technological aspects of this area and their applications in the field of terrestrial resources.

International

Are you looking to broaden your horizons? There are ample opportunities to conduct part of your master's thesis research at various partner institutions abroad. In addition, European residents can undertake their master's thesis research at a European or other partner university within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. The Faculty also welcomes initiatives of students who want to do a work placement in a company or organization abroad, as well as exchange programmes with partner universities.

Two optional specialisation packages require one semester to be spent at a partner institution: the Production Forestry package is organised at the University of Temuco (Chile), while the specialisation in Hortology takes you to the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa).

Career paths

The interdisciplinary nature of ACE ensures 

that graduates are sought after by various professional fields related to biological production systems and ecosystem management, with particular emphasis on plant production, natural resource economics and policy, sustainable environmental management, and applications of earth observation and geomatics. 

Abundant employment opportunities exist in public sector organisations, both nationally and internationally, NGOs and private companies, and can be both technical in nature, research-oriented, or at the policy/management level. Finally, ACE provides excellent preparation for undertaking PhD research. 

In Belgium, graduates of the ACE programme are entitled to use the professional title of 'Bio-ingenieur' ('Bioscience Engineer') .



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Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems. Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. Read more

Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Biology or related area

2. Proficiency in English

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:

-A TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90(internet based)

- A IELTS score of >6.5

- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and in the field of communication, business and management or education. Biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students very quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.

What biologists do:

- Researchers at universities or in companies

- Supervisors of clinical trials

- Consultants

- Lecturers

- Policy coordinators

- Teachers

Where biologists work:

- Research/education

- Health care

- Business services

- Industry

- Government

- Trade

Our approach to this field

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

Our research in this field

- Rich programme

This M.Sc. programme not only puts the interactions between organisms into context, it also integrates all levels of organisation from the molecule and the cell up to ecosystems and the landscape. This combination of experience results in a rich and coherent MSc. programme of Master's courses and exciting internships with state-of-the-art research. It prepares you for a career in science, both fundamental and applied, but also provides the necessary knowledge for innovative evidence-based applications in nature and water management.

- Personal tutor

Our top scientist are looking forward to take you with them on a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Radboud University offers you a multitude of research fields to choose from in close collaboration with the

- Academic hospital UMCN St. Radboud;

- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;

- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences;

- Donders Institute.

This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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The Master in Conservation Biology, specialization Ecology, Monitoring and Management of Ecosystems aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of structure, functioning, monitoring, and management of ecosystems submitted to various natural and anthropogenic pressures, in the framework of biodiversity conservation. Read more

The Master in Conservation Biology, specialization Ecology, Monitoring and Management of Ecosystems aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of structure, functioning, monitoring, and management of ecosystems submitted to various natural and anthropogenic pressures, in the framework of biodiversity conservation. Half of the second year is devoted to a personal Master thesis project.

The Master is a two-year course. In the first year, the course design is based upon the idea that biodiversity conservation must be based on a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology, and including recent technical advances in numerical ecology, molecular ecology, wildlife monitoring and ecosystem management. The course content is rooted in our established strengths in functional ecology (ecosystem structure and function, population and community ecology), paleoecology (long-term evolution of ecosystems), ecotoxicology (fate and effects of pollutants), epidemiology (transmission of zoonotic pathogens), conservation biology (status and threats of patrimonial animal and plant species), numerical ecology, ecological modelling and research design. The master degree program is further enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, with the aim to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision making procedures.

The specific course objectives are to develop abilities to:

  • critically engage with concepts and theory in functional ecology from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level,
  • critically assess the ability of populations and communities to react, cope with and adjust to environmental changes occurring over different spatial and time scales,
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on ecosystem monitoring and management,
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and field work to identify and develop innovative applied or fundamental research questions and designs.

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, class tutorials and practical training in the field and in the laboratory, which provide in-depth exploration of key issues. The teaching philosophy is to stimulate discussion and debate between academic staff and students to identify and explore theory, methods and practices in an academic space that encourages a critical dialogue.

Field courses allow students to apply in the field the methods and ideas presented in the classroom. Each year, they will attend one week-long fieldtrip and several field courses. One of these field courses (in the framework of the teaching unit “Conservation Biology and Ecosystem Management”) allows them to test a hypothesis dealing with the potential impact of anthropogenic disturbances on plant or animal populations or communities, in the context of the various activities taking place in the Jura Mountains, known for their outstanding landscapes, typical ecosystems (e.g. peatbogs, wood-pastures) and patrimonial species (e.g. boreal lynx). Other field courses address the assessment and the management of ecosystems, and the monitoring of plant and animal wildlife.

Students must pass the examinations taken during the first year (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS) in order to proceed without further selection into the second year.

The second year is mainly devoted to the thesis project within a research team or a professional structure (NGOs, consultancy companies, governmental agencies…) with the support of an academic supervisor, specialist of the related research domain. Half of this second year is devoted to researching and writing a thesis of about 12,000 words. The research topic will be devised at the end of the first year. The thesis accounts for half the marks for the second year.

Graduate destinations

The aim of the course is to train future scientific leaders in functional ecology, ecotoxicology and epidemiology as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. In that respect, the course combines functional ecology and conservation biology as two major disciplines with some other relevant topics – paleoecology, ecotoxicology, epidemiology, ethics and deontology, epistemology, environmental regulation and socioeconomics of conservation, structure and management of environmental organizations, in addition to the hard science of biodiversity.

The Master’s Alumni Office helps alumni keep in touch with each other and organises alumni events.

Application

Available spots: 16 in M1 and M2

Students already registered in a French university apply online on eCandidat. All information available on ttp://http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/emme/en/.

Non-registered students should rather look at http://www.univ-fcomte.fr/pages/fr/menu1/accueil-international-131.html

Candidacy file:

  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae with personal, training, internship, professional, and other information allowing the recruitment committee to assess the quality of the candidacy.
  • Evidence of completion of upper secondary school (high school) in the form of final and official diploma and transcripts. Note that the transcripts must specify all coursework completed.
  • Cover letter.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

Application examination:

Examination by the recruitment committee of the Master EDGE

After a first examination of all complete files by the recruitment committee, some candidates may be called for an interview with some members of the recruitment committee.

Selection criteria:

  • Previous training in line with the Master EDGE objectives
  • Quality of the training (marks, ranks, distinction)
  • Internships and/or professional experiences in line with the Master EDGE objectives
  • Motivation and career objectives
  • Recommendation

General requirements:

To meet the general entrance requirements for programme studies at the Master’s level, you must have graduated from an accredited university with a degree equivalent to at least a Swedish Bachelor’s degree (180 ECTS). Please note that you must provide adequate supporting documentation in the form of diplomas or official transcripts specifying all courses completed, including any transferred credits from previous schools, both in the original language and translated into English or French.

Specific requirements:

Specific entrance requirements consist of previous university studies within the following subjects: biology, ecology, and statistics.

English requirement

In order to be eligible, the English language entry requirement corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in France.

GRANTS

Up to five fellowship grants (800 € per month, during up to 10 months) will be awarded each year to high quality foreign students, with a particular attention to applications coming from Mediterranean countries and Caribbean island nations and territories.



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Many challenges facing society depend on the interaction between ecological systems, the environment and human wellbeing. Yet our current understanding of these complex systems is mostly insufficient for science-based intervention. Read more

Course Overview

Many challenges facing society depend on the interaction between ecological systems, the environment and human wellbeing. Yet our current understanding of these complex systems is mostly insufficient for science-based intervention. Imperial College’s Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment Initiative is based at its Silwood Park campus; an internationally recognised centre of excellence for ecology research, and aims to fill this gap with a unique and innovative Masters in Research course.

This MRes gives students the opportunity to work on active projects alongside leading academics from many different disciplines, allowing them to create real-world impact during the course of their research.

The course will provide students with a cutting-edge interdisciplinary programme, providing high-level research training in the latest developments in the conservation of ecosystems and the environment, covering the physical, life, and social sciences, as well as an understanding of how to ensure that research has real-world impact. This will best prepare students for a career in Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment research and possible PhD studies.

Research Project

Students complete 9 months of project-based research training. The projects are designed to give practical experience of desk-based or field research and provide the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills that build upon those taught earlier in the course.

This MRes comprises projects which can be based in the lab of any Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment member (with guidance and support from any participating department in College or in the University of an International Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment member), and are designed to provide students with experience of contributing to essential research which will provide real-world impact on an active project. Fully desk-based projects are also available.

Course Structure

The course involves 8 weeks of full time teaching of core skills and 9 months of project-based research training.

Taught Elements

* Environmental and biological data sources and GIS
* Statistics and programming
* Understanding and modelling changes in the physical environment
* Understanding and modelling changes in biological systems
* Understanding and modelling changes in social-ecological systems
* Understanding and modelling policy responses to grand challenges
* Communicating your message, including scientific writing and engaging with stakeholders

Additionally, MRes students are able to attend many transferable skills courses that include:

* A one week induction course, including a series of seminars in Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment research
* Attendance at workshops and guest lectures within the Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment initiative
* A one-week summer school on ‘Grand Challenges in Ecosystems and the Environment’
* Training in complementary skills, personal development and business
* Weekly reading groups
* Preparing a CV

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This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. Read more
This course provides you with an exceptional grounding in marine environmental research. You’ll develop your understanding of key concepts and issues. You’ll also develop the skills and qualities required for a career in academia or industry.

Through a combination of taught and research modules, our course develops your understanding of:
-The roles of science, policy, technology and economic development in the marine environment
-Marine environmental issues, their origins and possible solutions
-The principal processes maintaining and altering structure, function and ecosystem services of coastal waters
-The key concepts and methodologies used in ecosystem, environmental management and conservation science
-The context, purpose and implementation of resource mapping and evaluation
-The theory, principles, concepts and practices in marine governance

Our staff have over 30 years of research and teaching experience, both in the UK and overseas. Their expertise spans the natural and social sciences in coastal-marine science and management.

Our taught modules will ground your understanding of marine ecosystem dynamics, research methodologies and environmental governance. You will develop your research skills by designing and completing a supervised project.

Major sites for projects include the:
-Red Sea
-Maldives
-Bahamas
-Northumberland coast (UK)

The project will develop a detailed knowledge of your chosen research topic by drawing on the research communities within the School of Marine Science and Technology. These include:
-Marine Biology, Ecosystems and Governance (MBEG)
-Oceans and Climate (OC)

These research groups have had notable successes in their work on:
-Coral reefs (Prof John Bythell, Prof Alasdair Edwards, Prof Nicholas Polunin)
-Physical oceanography and climate modelling (Prof Andrew Willmott, Dr Miguel Maqueda)
-Marine spatial mapping and systems planning (Dr Clare Fitzsimmons)
-Marine protected areas and management (Prof Nicholas Polunin, Prof Selina Stead)
-Food webs (Prof Nicholas Polunin)

They are also active in:
-Marine mammal monitoring (Dr Per Berggren)
-Citizen science and outreach (Dr Jane Delaney)
-Deep sea ecology and marine time series (Dr Ben Wigham)

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The Conservation Management of African Ecosystems programme is a unique, double Masters programme implemented jointly with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania. Read more

The Conservation Management of African Ecosystems programme is a unique, double Masters programme implemented jointly with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania. A key feature of the programme will be, following a taught component in Glasgow, the opportunity to carry out an in-depth research project over 15 months in one of the major conservation areas of Tanzania. Successful students will qualify with a masters degree from the University of Glasgow and a masters degree from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology.

Why This Programme

  • This programme will provide insight into the principles of conservation management, biodiversity measurement, applied ecology, the human dimension of conservation and the epidemiology of diseases that threaten endangered species.
  • It will develop students’ competence in study design, data analysis, scientific writing and communication skills in a quantitative and scientific context appropriate to enable independent research and publication of high quality outputs, as well as communicating to a broader range of audiences (e.g. for government policy making and public outreach). It will also train students in a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and analyses required for state-of-the-art research and management in conservation biology.
  • The programme will provide the opportunity to study in-depth a choice of current issues in conservation management through an extended research project that involves setting your own results in the wider context through critical evaluation of the evidence base in that field, assimilation and synthesis of information relevant to your specific study, with reference to the latest literature and identification of the strengths and weaknesses in your own approach and results.
  • The University of Glasgow has a wide range of experience, expertise and long-term cooperation with partners in northern Tanzania. This Programme offers students the opportunity to benefit from well-established teaching and support at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and combine that with research work in one of the major conservation areas of Tanzania.

Programme Structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses based at Glasgow: see 'Core and optional courses' below.

Following the Glasgow taught courses the student will travel to Tanzania to undertake training and research at one of the major conservation areas in Tanzania. During this time they will be registered with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, northern Tanzania.

A final three months of the research period will be linked to the University of Glasgow but, by common agreement with the supervisors, the student may remain in Tanzania for this period, or study back at Glasgow.

Successful completion of the full course will lead to the award of two master's degrees: one from the University of Glasgow, and one from the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. The Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology will recognise the credits from the taught courses at Glasgow as part of the NMAIST Masters degree. An exit point following successful completion of the taught parts of the course without completion of the research component may be awarded a PgDip from the University of Glasgow.

A total of 180 credits are required, with 30 flexible credits in term 2. See the accompanying detailed course descriptions found in the IBAHCM Masters Programme Overview. When selecting options, please email the relevant course coordinator as well as registering using MyCampus.

Please refer to the website for full details glasgow.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/conservationmanagementafricanecosystems



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As the global population exceeds seven billion, the agricultural industry is one of the largest and most vital in the world. However, it is fundamentally unsustainable. Read more

As the global population exceeds seven billion, the agricultural industry is one of the largest and most vital in the world. However, it is fundamentally unsustainable. The need to produce enough to feed our population, without compromising future generation's' ability to do the same, is becoming ever more important.

This MSc combines cutting-edge theory with the practical, applied skills you'll need to become an effective researcher or industry specialist. Our teaching draws directly from our research, meaning you'll be working with academics who are leading the field. You'll benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and expertise from Department of Biology staff with close links to the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products and the York Environmental Sustainability Institute.

This course is an ideal next step for students with a BSc who are interested in pursuing a career in research or the environmental sector.

Key features

-Learn how basic biomedical research is conducted and translated by scientists in one of the UK’s top-ranked biological sciences departments

-Develop the skills to pursue a PhD in biodiversity and ecosystem research or other specialist career paths within the environmental  sector, either in the UK or overseas.

Taught modules

-Biodiversity, Ecosystems and Ecology

-Data Analysis and Programming in the Biosciences

-Research, Professional and Team Skills

-Optional modules in topics including Conservation ecology & biodiversity, Environmental microbiology, Plant-Soil Interactions

Research projects

You will complete an independent study project during the Summer Term, which is designed to give you experience in managing and completing a project in a cutting-edge research context. This is an opportunity to further develop and apply your skills to a current research question, and specialise in a particular area or research technique within biodiversity research​.

Most students choose to complete a project in collaboration with an academic supervisor within the University, but you may opt to complete this project as an external placement. You will have full access to our dedicated Masters workspace whilst completing your project.

Research and transferable skills

We will equip students with the key skills of the modern researcher, including critical thinking, data interpretation, statistics, programming, and the written, oral and graphical presentation of scientific data and ideas.



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Sustainable food production is increasingly important as the human population grows. we need to produce more food, more sustainably. Read more
Sustainable food production is increasingly important as the human population grows: we need to produce more food, more sustainably. This MSc, taught by world-class researchers, provides a unique opportunity for you to gain a rigorous scientific background if you are aiming for a career in habitat management, crop production, plant physiology, ecological research, scientific communication or agricultural policy.

Cutting-edge programme topics include sustainable agricultural intensification and food production; agri-environment schemes; organic farming; land sparing; genetically modified crops; emerging crops; effects of climate change and mitigation measures; interactions between managed species and the environment; ecosystem services including pollination; pest/disease control; and maximising production while minimising environmental impacts.

The programme covers a broad but highly applied subject area; the focus ranges from the molecular to the global level. You will also develop transferable skills including statistics, data handling, scientific writing, and research methods. This programme may provide a springboard to PhD research or lead to a career in industry, including management and technical career paths, policy, conservation, charities or NGOs, or ecological consultancy.

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Exploring the principles of marine ecology and management, the dynamics of marine ecosystems and how human activity affects the marine environment. Read more
Exploring the principles of marine ecology and management, the dynamics of marine ecosystems and how human activity affects the marine environment.

Overview

The relationships between coastal and marine ecosystems and human activity make for fascinating study.

With a worldwide consensus that the marine environment needs better management there is a growing demand for people who have been trained in marine resource management. This MSc will equip you to work for a wide range of marine environmental organisations or to progress to a PhD.

Course Content

Our MSc in Marine Environmental Management provides exceptional teaching across a range of marine management modules. You'll be introduced to different marine ecosystems, key species and the impact of humans, now and in the past.

You'll get a chance to examine contemporary marine issues, including:
-Problems associated with fishing including: over-fishing, bycatch, habitat destruction and illegal fishing
-Aquaculture
-How a multitude of human activities affect marine ecosystems
-Marine protected areas.

You'll undertake two research dissertations: one based in York, the other with an external organization.

Modules
For the Masters you will need to take a 80 credits of taught modules as well as 50 credits for your dissertation and 50 credits for your summer placement. There are two core modules, giving 30 of your 80 required taught credits:
-Fisheries Ecology and Management (10 credits)
-Research Skills and Statistical Methods (20 credits)

You'll also choose 50 credits from a range of optional modules:
-Marine Ecosystems (10 credits)
-Ocean and Coastal Science (10 credits)
-Spatial Analysis (10 credits)
-Maldives (10 credits) - requires at least 12 students to run and incurs additional cost
-Current Research in Marine Conservation (10 credits)
-Environmental Impact Assessment (10 credits)
-Ecotoxicology (10 credits)
-Biodiversity Conservation and Protected Areas (10 credits)
-Environmental Governance (10 credits)

Your 5,000 word dissertation is chance to explore in depth a research project in an area that interests you. You can design your own dissertation in consultation with potential supervisors or you can chose from a list compiled by the department.

Before you submit your dissertation you'll give a presentation that summarises your work and allows you to get some feedback on your progress.

Careers

This course is for people who want to work in marine conservation or marine resource management. Potential employers will value the experience you'll get on your placement. The MSc is also an ideal basis for progression to a PhD.

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The programme includes the following profiles. Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences . This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Read more

The programme includes the following profiles:

Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences 

This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Courses of this profile span multiple levels of biological organization, from whole organisms down to the molecular level. Students choosing this profile not only receive up-to-date knowledge on these topics but also acquire the laboratory skills required to engage in cutting-edge research.

Ecology and Biodiversity 

This profile allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.

Herpetology

This unique profile addresses biology students with a passion for amphibians and reptiles. An international team of visiting scientists organizes lectures on diversity, ecology, physiology, behavior, evolution and conservation biology and prepares students for a professional career in herpetology. Ecological and herpetological field courses in European and tropical countries form an important part of this programme. As a student, you will be in a stimulating environment, with fellow students and top-experts sharing your passion. For more information, have a look at http://www.herpetology.be.

Human Ecology

This profile focuses on the interaction between humans and their natural environment. The increasing impact of the human population on ecosystems worldwide stresses the urgent need for researchers with a multidisciplinary background, that engage in developmental plans for a durable use and management of natural resources. The profile Human Ecology addresses an international audience of students and offers a course programme that, besides scientific topics, also addresses technological, socio-economical and political aspects. For more information, have a look at http://www.humanecology.be.

EMMC Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme. http://www.tropimundo.eu



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Goal of the pro­gramme. Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Climate change and issues of air quality and extreme weather are matters of global concern, but which are inadequately understood from the scientific point of view. Not only must further research be done, but industry and business also need environmental specialists with a strong background in natural sciences. As new regulations and European Union directives are adopted in practice, people with knowledge of recent scientific research are required.

Upon graduating from the Programme you will have competence in

  • Applying experimental, computational and statistical methods to obtain and analyse atmospheric and environmental data
  • Knowledge applicable to solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication
  • Making systematic and innovative use of investigation or experimentation to discover new knowledge
  • Reporting results in a clear and logical manner

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

Pro­gramme con­tents

The six study lines are as follows:

Aer­o­sol phys­ics

Aerosol particles are tiny liquid or solid particles floating in the air. Aerosol physics is essential for our understanding of air quality, climate change and production of nanomaterials. Aerosol scientists investigate a large variety of phenomena associated with atmospheric aerosol particles and related gas-to-particle conversion using constantly improving experimental, theoretical, model-based and data analysis methods.

Geo­phys­ics of the hy­dro­sphere

Hydrospheric geophysics studies water in all of its forms using physical methods. It includes hydrology, cryology, and physical oceanography. Hydrology includes the study of surface waters such as lakes and rivers, global and local hydrological cycles as well as water resources and geohydrology, the study of groundwater. Cryology focuses on snow and ice phenomena including glacier mass balance and dynamics, sea ice physics, snow cover effects and ground frost. Physical oceanography covers saline water bodies, focusing on describing their dynamics, both large scale circulation and water masses, and local phenomena such as surface waves, upwelling, tides, and ocean acoustics. Scientists study the hydrosphere through field measurements, large and small scale modelling, and formulating mathematical descriptions of the processes. 

Met­eor­o­logy

Meteorology is the physics of the atmosphere. Its best-known application is weather forecasting, but meteorological knowledge is also essential for understanding, predicting and mitigating climate change. Meteorologists study atmospheric phenomena across a wide range of space and time scales using theory, model simulations and observations. The field of meteorology is a forerunner in computing: the development of chaos theory, for example, was triggered by the unexpected behaviour of a meteorological computer model. Meteorology in ATM-MP is further divided into dynamic meteorology and biometeorology. Dynamic meteorology is about large-scale atmospheric dynamics, modelling and observation techniques, whereas biometeorology focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the underlying surface by combining observations and modelling to study the flows of greenhouse gases and energy with links to biogeochemical cycles, for example.

Biogeo­chem­ical cycles

Biogeochemistry studies the processes involved in cycling of elements in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by integrating physics, meteorology, geophysics, chemistry, geology and biology. Besides natural ecosystems, it also studies systems altered by human activity such as forests under different management regimes, drained peatlands, lakes loaded by excess nutrients and urban environments. The most important elements and substances studied are carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, water and phosphorus, which are vital for ecosystem functioning and processes such as photosynthesis. Biogeochemistry often focuses on the interphases of scientific disciplines and by doing so, it also combines different research methods. It treats ecosystems as open entities which are closely connected to the atmosphere and lithosphere. You will thus get versatile training in environmental issues and research techniques. As a graduate of this line you will be an expert in the functioning of ecosystems and the interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere in the context of global change. You will have knowledge applicable for solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication.

Re­mote sens­ing

Remote sensing allows the collection of information about the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. Various techniques are applied for monitoring the state and dynamics of the Earth system from the ground, aircraft or satellites. While Lidar and radar scan from the surface or mounted on aircraft, instruments on polar orbiting or geostationary satellites permit measurements worldwide. In atmospheric sciences remote sensing has found numerous applications such as observations of greenhouse and other trace gases, aerosols, water vapour, clouds and precipitation, as well as surface observations, for example of vegetation, fire activity, snow cover, sea ice and oceanic parameters such as phytoplankton. Synergistic satellite data analysis enables the study of important processes and feedback in the climate system. Remote sensing advances climate research, weather forecasting, air quality studies, aviation safety and the renewable energy industry.

At­mo­spheric chem­istry and ana­lysis

Atmospheric chemistry studies the composition and reactions of the molecules that make up the atmosphere, including atmospheric trace constituents and their role in chemical, geological and biological processes, including human influence. The low concentrations and high reactivity of these trace molecules place stringent requirements on the measurement and modelling methods used to study them. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter and plays an essential role in the development of science. Environmental analysis consists of the most recent procedures for sampling, sample preparation and sample analysis and learning how to choose the best analytical methods for different environmental samples. Physical atmospheric chemistry studies focus on the reaction types and reaction mechanisms occurring in the atmosphere, with emphasis on reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and modelling methods.



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Biodiversity loss remains one of the key environmental concerns of our time, and conservation work requires experts who understand the science underpinning practical activities. Read more

Biodiversity loss remains one of the key environmental concerns of our time, and conservation work requires experts who understand the science underpinning practical activities. The MSc Biodiversity and Conservation will develop your understanding, providing excellent preparation for careers in ecological consultancy or conservation management.

Introducing your degree

The conservation and enhancement of our biodiversity relies upon highly skilled environmental scientists. Our MSc Biodiversity and Conservation course draws on our world-class reputation for environmental research and provides an industry-relevant masters education for a career as an environmental scientist in conservation.

Through this course you will be able to accurately monitor species diversity, change, population abundance and distribution, all key skills in the protection and enhancement of our ecosystems.

Overview

In your first semester, you will develop the fundamental skills required for a career in ecology. You will learn about Environmental Impact Assessment, deepen your understanding of freshwater ecosystems and their management, whilst developing skills in spatial ecology and conservation. In the second semester, you will learn to action global change by analysing ecosystems and their impact on populations and communities.

Each semester, you have the option to specialise in modules related to your interests and career aspirations, from Environmental Pollution to Deep Sea Ecology to Environmental Law and Management. You will have the chance to apply geographical information systems, modelling and spatial analysis and acquire the interdisciplinary skills required for effective research project management. We provide students with the knowledge and ability to accurately monitor species diversity, change, population and distribution, in order to protect and enhance our ecosystems, individual species and habitats.

The final part of the year will centre on individual research. You will complete an advanced research project and be encouraged to work with industry to apply your newly deveoped knowledge.

View the specification document for this course



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The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. Read more

MSc Biology

The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food.

Programme summary

Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological progress of modern society. They are central to global concerns about how we effect and are affected by our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The MSc Biology allows students to get a broad overview of the latest developments in biology, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss the newest scientific developments in the biological sciences. Within their area of specialisation, students deepen their knowledge and skills in a certain subject. To prepare for a successful international career, we strongly encourage our students to complete part of their programme requirements abroad.

Specialisations

The MSc Biology offers nine specialisations:

Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology
This specialisation focuses mainly on subjects as adaptation, mechanisms involved in these adaptations and behaviour of animals.

Bio-interactions
In this specialisation, you obtain knowledge about interactions between organisms. You learn to understand and interpret interactions on different levels, from molecular to ecosystem level.

Molecular Ecology
In this specialisation, you learn to use molecular techniques to solve ecological questions. You will use, for example, molecular techniques to study the interaction between a virus and a plant.

Conservation and Systems Ecology
This specialisation focuses initially on fundamental processes that play a key role in ecology. You learn to interpret different relations, for example, the relation between chemical (or physical processes) and bioprocesses. Furthermore, you learn to analyse different ecosystems. You can use this knowledge to manage and conserve these ecological systems.

Evolution and Biodiversity
The systematics of biodiversity in an evolutionary perspective is the central focus of this specialisation. Subjects that will be addressed in this specialisation are: evolution, genetics, biosystematic research and taxonomic analysis.

Health and Disease
This specialisation focuses on regulatory mechanisms that have a central role in human and animal health.

Marine Biology
Choosing this specialisation means studying the complexity of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, you learn about the impacts of, for instance, fishery and recreation on this ecosystem or the interaction between different species in this system.

Molecular Development and Gene Regulation
This specialisation focuses on gene regulations and the different developmental mechanisms of organisms.

Plant Adaptation
This specialisation focuses on the adaptations that different plants gained in order to adjust to various conditions. You learn to understand the regulation processes in plants that underlie these adaptations.

Your future career

Many graduates from the MSc Biology study programme enter careers in fundamental and applied research or go on to become PhD students. Some find a position as communication officer, manager or policymaker. Compared with other Dutch universities, many biology graduates from Wageningen University find a position abroad.

Alumna Iris de Winter.
"I work as a PhD student at Wageningen University. In my research, I aim to understand the effect of human disturbance on the parasites prevalence in lemurs. I also look at the potential risks of the transmission of diseases and parasites from lemurs to humans, but also vice versa, from humans (and their livestock and pets) to wild lemur population. I alternate my fieldwork in Madagascar with parasite identification, analyses and writing manuscripts in the Netherlands. With this research, I hope to gain more insight in the factors that increase parasite prevalence in natural systems and hereby to improve the protection of both lemurs and their natural habitat."

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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Overview. How do humans, animals and plants adapt to changing environments?. Concerns about how organisms and the environment affect each other is an issue of modern global society. Read more

Overview

How do humans, animals and plants adapt to changing environments?

Concerns about how organisms and the environment affect each other is an issue of modern global society. How humans, animals and plants adapt to their environment is the central question in Nijmegen's Master's in Biology. The mechanisms that lie underneath this adaptation are studied at all levels, ranging from the smallest living entities, such as molecules and cells to larger entities such as ecosystems, and entire populations.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology

Specialisations within the Master's in Biology

You can choose one of the following specialisations:

- Adaptive organisms

- Communities and Ecosystems

- Microbiology

- Water and Environment

Rich programme

This MSc. programme does not only put the interactions between organisms into context, but also integrates all levels of organisation from molecule and cell up to ecosystems and landscapes. This combination results in a rich and coherent programme of Master's courses and exciting internships with state-of-the-art research. It prepares you for a career in science, both fundamental and applied, and also provides the necessary knowledge for innovative evidence-based applications in nature and water management.

Personal tutor

Our top scientists are looking forward to guiding you on a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Radboud University offers you a multitude of research fields to choose from in close collaboration with the

- Academic hospital UMCN St. Radboud;

- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;

- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences;

- Donders Institute.

This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

The Nijmegen approach

The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the people working, exploring and studying there. It is no wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, in direct and have open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.

Studying by with the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personalized Master's in Biology.

Quality Label

This programme was recently rated number three in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids Masters 2013 (Guide to Master's programmes) in the category Biologie (Biology).

Career prospects

This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and/or work in the field of communication, business and management or education. Biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students very quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.

What biologists do:

- Researchers at universities or in companies

- Supervisors of clinical trials

- Consultants

- Lecturers

- Policy coordinators

- Teachers

Where biologists work:

- Research/education

- Health care

- Business services

- Industry

- Government

- Trade

Our approach to this field

How do humans, animals and plants adapt to a changing environment?

Concerns about how organisms and the environment affect each other is an issue of modern global society. How humans, animals and plants adapt to their environment is the central question in Nijmegen's Master's in Biology. The mechanisms that lie underneath this adaptation are studied at all levels, ranging from the smallest living entities, such as molecules, cells and pollen to larger entities such as ecosystems, river courses and entire populations.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. Read more

Food production has tripled in the last forty years, but one billion people still go hungry every year. On average 30% of all food produced is wasted in the pathway from ‘field to fork’. With the global human population set to rise from seven to over nine billion by 2050, we urgently need sustainable solutions that will allow us to increase the global food supply while preserving the integrity of agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems.

Our trees and forests face new plant health threats which in turn threaten areas of great natural beauty and diversity, and affect both rural and urban landscapes. Our unique MSc Sustainable Plant Health will give you the opportunity to develop your understanding of the vital role of plant health, applying your skills by conducting laboratory and field studies.

This programme is primarily aimed at graduates wishing to pursue a career in plant protection in agriculture, horticulture, forestry or urban settings, and also careers in policy development and implementation, plant health inspection, academic and industrial research, consultancy and conservation management, and private industry.

Programme structure

This 12 month programme involves two semesters of classes followed by an individual research project. Students will take 80 credits of compulsory courses, with the opportunity to choose two optional courses. Field trips will also form a crucial part of this course.

Compulsory courses typically will be*:

  • Fundamentals of Plant Health
  • Forensic Plant Health
  • Plant Health in a Global Context
  • Research Skills and Field Trip
  • Dissertation

Option courses may include* (select two):

  • Applications in Ecological Economics
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Case Studies in Sustainable Development
  • Ecology of Ecosystem Services
  • Ecosystem Service Values
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • Foundations in Ecological Economics
  • Frameworks to Assess Food Security
  • Human Dimensions of Environmental Change and Sustainability
  • Interrelationships in Food Systems
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Soil Ecology and Taxonomy
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Soil Science Concepts and Application
  • Sustainability of Food Production
  • Understanding Environment and Development

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course our graduates will have gained:

  • Specialist knowledge and understanding of plant health, and its evaluation, impact and management
  • Skills to detect and identify agents detrimental to plant health
  • An understanding of the nature and diversity of plant health interactions
  • The ability to develop strategies for plant health management taking into account their impact on agricultural and non-agricultural ecosystems
  • Knowledge of the relevance of plant health to sustainability and food security
  • Improved analytical skills and critical thinking

Career opportunities

Plant health scientists are employed in a range of vocations: environmental consultancy, research, overseas development, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, urban planning, policy development, plant inspection and management. Long term career prospects are strong as agricultural scientists will continue to be needed to balance increased output with protection and preservation of ecosystems.

Our graduates will gain particularly valuable skills due to our programme's unique approach looking at impacts across ecosystems. They also benefit from the applied nature of the course allowing them to use their practical skills in a range of field trip environments with expert supervision.



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