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Masters Degrees (Evolutionary Biology)

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Goal of the pro­gramme. Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species. Read more

Goal of the pro­gramme

Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species.

In the master's degree program, you can become familiar with a wide variety of topics in three areas: ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. You can choose studies from any of these areas, as well as from other master's degree programmes. The programme is diverse and multidisciplinary: teaching is done with lectures, laboratory and computer training courses, interactive seminars, study tours and field courses. The field courses range from the northern subarctic region to tropical rainforests.

Our wide expertise extends from molecular ecology to population and community biology. The Centres of Excellence of Metapopulation Biology and Biological Interactions are located in our department.

Our programme offers you a wide range of options: evolutionary biology or genetics for those interested in ecological genetics and genomics, as well as the ability to take advantage of the high-quality molecular ecology and systematics laboratory; conservation biology for those interested in regional or global environmental problems; and ecological modelling skills for those interested in computational biology. Our training also offers Behavioural Ecology. 

Ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology are not only fascinating topics for basic research, they also have a key role in addressing global environmental challenges.

Upon graduating from the Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology programme, you will:

  • Have mastered the main theories and methods in ecology and evolutionary biology and be able to apply them to practical problems
  • Be able to plan and carry out a scientific research project
  • Have read the relevant scientific literature and be able to utilise your expertise in different types of work
  • Be able to work as an expert in your field
  • Be able to to write good scientific English
  • Be able to work in research projects and groups
  • Be able to continue on to doctoral studies

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

Pro­gramme con­tents

The Master's degree program includes studies of ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. The studies are organised in modules. You can affect the content of the studies by planning your personal curriculum. You can study the following themes:

  • Ecology studies the abundance and distribution of species (animals, plants, microbes) and the interactions among them and with the environment. The perspective ranges from the molecular to the ecosystem level. In ecology, a central question is: Why are some species able to invade new habitats and displace native species? Which species are able to adapt to environmental change or migrate with the changing climate, and which species will become extinct?
  • Evolutionary biology examines the processes which support biodiversity on its various levels (genes – individuals – populations – species – ecosystems). You will learn about the theory of evolution and how to use population genetics and genomics methods in researching evolutionary issues.
  • Conservation Biology studies the depletion of biodiversity, its causes and consequences. You will learn to apply ecological theory to the problems of environmental conservation, to assess the effectiveness of methods of conservation, as well as to resolve the problems relating to conservation e.g. by modelling and computational methods. The training emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary education in the area of conservation.


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The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution. Read more
The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology is embedded in the Master's programme in Ecology and Evolution. The Top Programme Evolutionary Biology explores the interface between ecology and evolution.

The hallmark is to explore the interface between ecology and evolution. You will benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise in these fields. You will acquire top quality research competences. The programme is specifically designed to acquire the right research competences and prepare you for conducting top quality research.

The Top Programme is administered by the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES), a centre of excellence in ecological and evolutionary research and the lead partner in the national Research School Functional Ecology and Biodiversity. This central position ensures that students can benefit from a wide spectrum of national and international expertise across the fields of ecology and evolution. Via advanced theoretical and practical training you will become highly attractive for research positions in the area of Evolutionary Biology.

We also offer an Erasmus Mundus programme in Evolutionary Biology: A joint project between four European universities. Students will start the programme at one of these universities and will spend at least one semester at a partner university.

Why in Groningen?

- Acquire Top Quality Research Competences
- Coaching by Personal Mentor
- CHE Excellence Ranking in Biology since 2007

Job perspectives

These programmes are specifically designed to prepare you for conducting top quality research. Often you continue your career by starting PhD research.

Job examples

- PhD research position

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Sussex has long been a centre of excellence for evolutionary biology, counting John Maynard Smith among its founding members. By studying with us you’ll develop into a researcher capable of contributing to the grand challenges of antibiotic resistance, cancer and environmental change. Read more
Sussex has long been a centre of excellence for evolutionary biology, counting John Maynard Smith among its founding members. By studying with us you’ll develop into a researcher capable of contributing to the grand challenges of antibiotic resistance, cancer and environmental change.

This research-focused degree is based on our strengths in evolutionary biology, from the evolution of sociality, symbioses and sexual conflict to the process and effect of mutations. You’ll study how and why organisms are the way they are, and how this affects fundamental parts of our lives.

How will I study?
In the autumn and spring terms, you’ll have access to a variety of taught modules, including our unique field modules in tropical rainforest and Mediterranean regions.

From the spring term onwards, you’ll be researching real-world problems in close contact with your supervisor. This forms part of the in-depth research project that forms a core part of this course, and ultimately aims to produce a scientific publication.

Taught modules are assessed via:
-Essays
-Reports
-Presentations

The project is assessed with a dissertation.

Scholarships
Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor's International Scholarship (2017)
-25 scholarships of a 50% tuition fee waiver
-Application deadline: 1 May 2017

Geoff Lockwood Scholarship (2017)
-1 scholarship for Postgraduate (taught) of £3,000 fee waive
-Application deadline: 24 July 2017

HESPAL Scholarship (Higher Education Scholarships Scheme for the Palestinian Territories) (2017)
-Two full fee waivers in conjuction with maintenance support from the British Council
-Application deadline: 1 January 2017

USA Friends Scholarships (2017)
-A scholarship of an amount equivalent to $10,000 for nationals or residents of the USA on a one year taught Masters degree course.
-Application deadline: 3 April 2017

Faculty
The degree is delivered primarily by faculty in the Evolution, Behaviour and Environment subject group in the School of Life Sciences.

We are an enthusiastic and dynamic group of researchers, working with a diverse range of organisms, from plants, social insects and fruit flies, to Trinidadian guppies and humans.

Some of our research topics include:
-Understanding the evolutionary biology of sociality
-Rates of adaptive evolution and mutation in genomes
-Links between genotype, phenotype and selection
-Evolution of symbiosis and host-parasite relationships
-Evolutionary neuroscience
-Evolutionary genetics of sexual conflicts and sexually antagonistic selection

Careers
This degree will provide you with the high-quality learning experience necessary to place you in a strong position to move on to a PhD in evolutionary biology, or a research career in associated areas.

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Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. Read more

Global ecological change is occurring at a rapid rate and we are seeing an unprecedented spread of diseases, collapses in biodiversity and disruption to ecosystems. We aim to understand not just patterns in the natural environment, but the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive them, from the behaviour of individual organisms to population and whole community dynamics.

You will study the concepts and theories that will help you understand factors underpinning global ecology and evolutionary change, including modern techniques for environmental process research, invasive species ecology and conservation genetics. Students also learn techniques important for environmental policy and management and as such, our graduates are well placed to progress onto PhD research or careers in industry, consultancy and conservation. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. Students also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

You will have access to advanced analytical research facilities at the Freshwater Biological Association's River Laboratory in Dorset through our River Communities Research Group. You will have the opportunity to conduct both fieldwork and lab projects at this site.

Programme highlights

  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently in Borneo), as well as fieldwork in Dorset, UK
  • Modules that develop pure research and applied practical skills
  • Guest lectures by stakeholders and potential employers
  • Opportunities for research projects in UK and overseas, and in conjunction with collaborators such as the Institute of Zoology, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Natural History Museum

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top-class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

Your taught modules take place in blocks of two weeks of full-time teaching (normally 9am-5pm), followed by week-long study breaks for independent learning and coursework. This structure allows for an intensive learning experience, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their subject.

This programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

Taught modules

  • Ecological Theory and Applications: Look at the theory behind our understanding of ecological systems and how that theory can be applied to ecological problems in the real world. Starting with populations of a single species we will progress to understanding two-species interactions including predation, competition and parasitism and then to whole communities of interacting organisms. We will then study how ecological theory, used in concert with population genetics and evolutionary theory, can be applied to understanding ecological issues such as the conservation of small populations, harvesting natural populations and predicting responses to environmental change.
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function: Ecosystems are under continued and growing threat from human activity (e.g. habitat loss, invasive species and diffuse pollution) and if we seek to preserve them we need to understand how ecosystems function and how they respond to either enforced or natural change. Here we focus on the structural and functional elements of many ecosystems, from shallow lakes to tropical forests, with a particular focus on contrasting aquatic environments.
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Research Frontiers in Evolutionary Biology: Explore the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.
  • Tropical field course - usually in Borneo; see photos from a recent trip on Flickr. Topics will encompass aspects of taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, conservation and evolution. Specific areas of content will include ecological processes in tropical rainforests (decomposition, pollination and seed dispersal); rainforest structure and defining characteristics (including the importance of rainforests as centres of biodiversity) and anthropogenic factors affecting rainforests (including disturbance, forest fragmentation and agriculture). There will be strong emphasis on practical training. In particular, students will be trained in a range of survey methods covering diverse terrestrial and aquatic taxonomic groups. The module will also provide training in data collection, analysis and presentation.
  • Science, Policy and Management: Here a broad spectrum of human environmental impacts and their mitigation will be explored. The first half of the module will bring the student ‘face to face’ with potential regulators, practitioners and potential employers (typically Defra, EA, Natural England) through a series of guest lectures. These topics are then explored and summarised through an unpacking and feedback workshop. The second half is field based with current practitioners working directly in the field of bioassessment and biomonitoring. National and international legislation and directives are introduced through a series of ‘Case Studies’ to look at the link between successful science and policy.

Research module

  • Research project (90 credits)

Part-time study

You can take the MSc over two years via studying part-time; you should aim to register for 50% of taught modules per year. You can discuss the exact combination of modules with the programme director, Dr Christophe Eizaguirre

Projects can also be undertaken over a two-year period, subject to finding an approved schedule of work which equates to the same time requirements as a full-time MSc. You may also enrol on a Postgraduate Certificate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (60 credits), which is comprised of four taught modules.



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Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity. Read more

Discover the origins of organisms, their genes and how they interact with the environment. Train in the specialist area of evolution and biodiversity.

This course is ideal for you if you want to go into a research career or study for a PhD in the field of Evolutionary Biology. You’ll learn about the beginnings and development of species, their genes and genomes. You’ll study practical evolutionary problems with model organisms, such as the fruit fly, as well as theoretical explorations of evolution using modelling and bioinformatics.

The MRes provides a unique mix of taught components, extended laboratory projects, literature reviews and preparation of a grant proposal based on a research dissertation. You’ll gain an insight into a range of research activities and techniques, gaining the transferable skills training needed for all early stage researchers. You’ll also address the scientific, ethical and commercial context within which the research takes place.

All of the MRes courses can be studied as the first year of our Integrated PhD course.

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-2018/taught-postgraduate-master-s-courses/mres-evolutionary-biology/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- 90% of our research judged to be internationally recognised, excellent or world-leading

- Our current research funding portfolio stands at £14 million, supporting internationally excellent research in the biosciences

Career opportunities

Our graduates have gone on to further research in Lausanne, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, and academic posts in Malaysia, Sweden, Germany, Canada, the US and in the UK. Recent employers of Bath graduates include:

British Aerospace

Network Rail

Powergen

Barclays Capital

BNP Paribas

Pfizer

AstraZenaca

MBDA UK Ltd

ATASS

Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/



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The MRes in Evolutionary Biology involves the study of adaptation of organisms to their environment, at the whole organism and molecular scales. Read more
The MRes in Evolutionary Biology involves the study of adaptation of organisms to their environment, at the whole organism and molecular scales. Studies available include the evolutionary and behavioural ecology of insects and mammals and other species, genetic variation in wild populations of fungi, ecological genetics, and the interface between evolution and development. In addition, a number of researchers are interested in estimation of the deep phylogeny of major groups of organisms, such as pulmonate molluscs and protists. One of our staff members, Angus Davidson, uses an evolutionary approach to attempt to understand the origin of the use of 'sex' darts during courtship in slugs and worms.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

After identifying which Masters you wish to pursue please complete an on-line application form
https://pgapps.nottingham.ac.uk/
Mark clearly on this form your choice of course title, give a brief outline of your proposed research and follow the automated prompts to provide documentation. Once the School has your application and accompanying documents (eg referees reports, transcripts/certificates) your application will be matched to an appropriate academic supervisor and considered for an offer of admission.

COURSE STRUCTURE
The MRes degree course consists of two elements:
160 credits of assessed work. The assessed work will normally be based entirely on a research project and will be the equivalent of around 10 ½ months full-time research work. AND
20 credits of non-assessed generic training. Credits can be accumulated from any of the courses offered by the Graduate School. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gradschool/research-training/index.phtml The generic courses should be chosen by the student in consultation with the supervisor(s).

ASSESSMENT
The research project will normally be assessed by a dissertation of a maximum of 30,000 to 35,000 words, or equivalent as appropriate*. The examiners may if they so wish require the student to attend a viva.
*In consultation with the supervisor it maybe possible for students to elect to do a shorter research project and take a maximum of 40 credits of assessed modules.

The School of Life Sciences will provide each postgraduate research student with a laptop for their exclusive use for the duration of their studies in the School.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/international-applicants/scholarships-fees-and-finance/scholarships/masters-scholarships.aspx

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Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines. genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few. Read more
Researchers in the School of Biological Sciences conduct cutting-edge research across a broad range of biological disciplines: genomics, biotechnology, cell biology, sensory biology, animal behaviour and evolution, population biology, host-disease interactions and ecosystem services, to name but a few.

In 2014 the school relocated to a new £54 million, state-of-the-art Life Sciences building. Our new laboratory facilities are among the best in the world, with critical '-omics' technologies and associated computing capacity (bioinformatics) a core component. The new building is designed to foster our already strong collaborative and convivial environment, and includes a world-leading centre for evolutionary biology research in collaboration with key researchers from earth sciences, biochemistry, social medicine, chemistry and computer sciences. The school has strong links with local industry, including BBC Bristol, Bristol Zoo and the Botanic Gardens. We have a lively, international postgraduate community of about 150 research students. Our stimulating environment and excellent graduate school training and support provide excellent opportunities to develop future careers.

Research groups

The underlying theme of our research is the search for an understanding of the function, evolution, development and regulation of complex systems, pursued using the latest technologies, from '-omics' to nanoscience, and mathematical modelling tools. Our research is organised around four main themes that reflect our strengths and interests: evolutionary biology; animal behaviour and sensory biology; plant and agricultural sciences; and ecology and environmental change.

Evolutionary Biology
The theme of evolutionary biology runs through all our research in the School of Biological Sciences. Research in this theme seeks to understand organismal evolution and biodiversity using a range of approaches and study systems. We have particular strengths in evolutionary genomics, phylogenetics and phylogenomics, population genetics, and evolutionary theory and computer modelling.

Animal Behaviour and Sensory Biology
Research is aimed at understanding the adaptive significance of behaviour, from underlying neural mechanisms ('how', or proximate, questions) to evolutionary explanations of function ('why', or ultimate, questions). The approach is strongly interdisciplinary, using diverse physiological and biomechanical techniques, behavioural experiments, computer modelling and molecular biology to link from the genetic foundations through to the evolution of behaviour and sensory systems.

Plant and Agricultural Sciences
The global issue of food security unifies research in this theme, which ranges from molecular-based analysis of plant development, signal transduction and disease, to ecological studies of agricultural and livestock production systems. We have particular strengths in functional genomics, bioinformatics, plant developmental biology, plant pathology and parasite biology, livestock parasitology and agricultural systems biology. Our research is helped by the LESARS endowment, which funds research of agricultural relevance.

Ecology and Environmental Change
Research seeks to understand ecological relations between organisms (plant, animal or microbe) at individual, population and community levels, as well as between organisms and their environments. Assessing the effect of climate change on these ecological processes is also fundamental to our research. Key research areas within this theme include community ecology, restoration ecology, conservation, evolutionary responses to climate change and freshwater ecology. Our research has many applied angles, such as ecosystem management, wildlife conservation, environmental and biological control, agricultural practice and informing policy.

Careers

Many postgraduate students choose a higher degree because they enjoy their subject and subsequently go on to work in a related area. An Office of Science and Technology survey found that around three-quarters of BBSRC- and NERC-funded postgraduates went on to a job related to their study subject.

Postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and for work in some public bodies or private companies. Around 60 per cent of biological sciences doctoral graduates continue in research. Academic research tends to be contract-based with few permanent posts, but the school has a strong track record in supporting the careers of young researchers by helping them to find postdoctoral positions or develop fellowship applications.

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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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Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. Read more

Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.

About this degree

Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Science Communication for Biologists (15 credits)
  • Computational Methods in Biodiversity Research (15 credits)
  • Analytical Tools in Biodiversity, Evolutionary and Conservation Research (30 credits)

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake two 6000-word, 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes

Careers

This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Research Assistant, New York Academy of Sciences
  • Trainee Ecologist, Thomson Ecology
  • Research Associate, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos
  • Intern, ZSL Institute of Zoology
  • PhD Researcher (Evolutionary Biology), The University of Edinburgh and studying PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Infectious Disease Research, University of Edinburgh

Employability

This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.

Interested in a PhD? Find out about  London NERC DTP

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.

By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.

The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences

82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.



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Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Read more

Ecologists and evolutionary biologists now routinely use next-generation DNA sequencing in their research, and graduates who are skilled in both genome analysis as well as ecology and evolution are rare. Genome-enabled approaches are helping rapidly to advance our understanding of the dynamic relationship between genotype, phenotype and the environment.

Our programme will give you cross-disciplinary skills in a rare combination of areas of expertise, from bioinformatics and evolutionary inference to computational biology and fieldwork.

You will be taught by researchers who apply genomic methods to a wide range of issues in ecology and evolution, from bat food-webs and genome evolution to microbial biodiversity in natural and engineered ecosystems. For example, Professor Steve Rossiter carries out world-leading research on bat genome evolution; Dr Yannick Wurm has discovered a social chromosome in fire-ants; and Dr China Hanson is using genetic methods to study microbial biogeography. This means that teaching on our programme is informed by the latest developments in this field, and your individual research project can be at the forefront of current scientific discovery. 

You will conduct your own substantive six-month research project, which may be jointly supervised by contacts from related institutes or within industry. You will also take part in a field course in Borneo - see photos from a recent trip on Flickr - giving you the opportunity to develop first hand experience of theory in action.

Programme highlights

  • Work with leading researchers in environmental genomics - learn more on the Evolution and Genetics research group page 
  • Two-week tropical ecology field trip (currently to Borneo)
  • Strong foundation for careers in consultancy, environmental policy and management or research
  • Strong foundation for PhD training in any area of genomics, ecology or evolution

Research and teaching

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You can find out more about our research interests and view recent publications on the School of Biological and Chemical Science's Evolution and Genetics group page.

Structure

This MSc programme combines taught modules with individual and collaborative research projects. You will apply the knowledge and techniques from your taught modules in a practical setting and may be able to publish your project findings.

If you have any questions about the content or structure, contact the programme director Dr Christophe Eizaguirre.

Taught modules

  • Genome Bioinformatics: Covers the essential aspects of next generation sequence (NGS) analysis, including genome assembly, variant calling and transcriptomics. Also covers essential computer skills needed for bioinformatics, such as Linux and using our high performance computing cluster.
  • Coding for scientists: Assuming no prior programming knowledge, teaches you how to program in Python, using biological examples throughout. Python is one of the most popular languages in the bioinformatics community, and understanding Python provides the perfect foundation for learning other languages such as Perl, Ruby and Java.
  • Statistics and bioinformatics: Covers core statistics methods, within the R statistical computing environment. R has become the de facto environment for downstream data analysis and visualisation in biology, thanks to the hundreds of freely available R packages that allow biological data analysis solutions to be created quickly and reliably.
  • Post-genomics bioinformatics: Introduces techniques that have developed as a consequence of developments in genomics (i.e. transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, structural biology and systems biology) with particular emphasis on the data analysis aspects. Practicals cover the popular Galaxy framework, advanced R, and machine learning.
  • Research frontiers in evolutionary biology: Exploring the frontiers of research in evolutionary biology. Topics covered will include: incongruence in phylogenetic trees, neutral versus selective forces in evolution, the origin of angiosperms, the origin of new genes, the evolution of sociality, the significance of whole genome duplication and hybridisation. Current methods being used to tackle these areas will be taught, with an emphasis on DNA sequence analysis and bioinformatics.

Research modules

  • Evolutionary/Ecological Analysis/Software Group Project module: Students are organised into small teams (3-4 members per team). Each team is given the same genomic or transcriptomic data set that must be analysed by the end of the module. Each team must design an appropriate analysis pipeline, with specific tasks assigned to individual team members. This module serves as a simulation of a real data analysis environment, providing invaluable experience for future employability.
  • Individual Research Project (50 per cent of the programme)


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Make a difference. From protecting our native biodiversity to identifying key traits to improve crop plants in an ever-changing climate, plant biology research can solve the world’s major global issues. Read more

Make a difference

From protecting our native biodiversity to identifying key traits to improve crop plants in an ever-changing climate, plant biology research can solve the world’s major global issues.

Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.

Massey’s Master of Science (Plant Biology) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important current issues, such as the effects of climate change on our native species and crop plants, how to preserve native biodiversity, and understanding fundamental physiological aspects of plants.

You will build upon your undergraduate degree and conduct original, independent research under the guidance of a leading plant science academic.

Expertise in an area of your choice

The plant biology team at Massey have expertise in plant molecular biology, evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy, and plant physiology. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project such as:

  • Evolution of plant genomes
  • Molecular development of plants
  • Population genetics and conservation genetics of native plants

Take advantage of our globally-renowned expertise

Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in plant biology and related areas, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Postgraduate study and research in plant biology at Massey spans evolutionary biology to physiology. You will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental aspects of plant growth and function, as well as the molecular evolution and classification (systematics) of plants. You might choose to conduct research focused on the native New Zealand flora or a model organism, like Arabidopsis thaliana, or even a crop species.

You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, engineering, horticulture and environmental management. 

This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research.

Use world-leading equipment and facilities

As a plant biology student you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as the Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium, the Palynology Laboratory, Plant Growth Unit, Seed Testing Services, Massey Genome Service and the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre.

Relevant and topical

We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.

Making industry connections for you

Massey has strong connections with the Crown Research Institutes in Palmerston North and across New Zealand, especially AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, and Scion. Some of our students are able to conduct their projects at these organisations whilst undertaking their postgraduate study, benefiting their career and gaining real-word experience in the process.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.

Complete in 2 years

Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 240 credit master qualification. This is made up of 120 credits of taught courses and a 120 credit research project.

Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your MSc qualification.



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Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. Read more
Medical Life Sciences is an English-taught two-year Master’s programme in molecular disease research and bridges the gap between the sciences and medical studies. You will get to know clinical research from scratch; you will learn how to investigate diseases/disease mechanisms both in ancient and contemporary populations, how to translate research results into prevention, diagnosis and therapies of diseases.
From the basics of medical science to lab experiments for the Master’s thesis, individual scientific training takes first priority. Experimental work in state-of-the-art research labs is essential in Medical Life Sciences; clinical internships, data analysis, lectures, seminars and electives complement the Medical Life Sciences curriculum.
Evolutionary biology will train you in thinking from cause to consequence. Molecular paleopathology and ancient DNA research tell you a lot about disease through human history. These insights help to fight disease today, which is why evolutionary medicine is becoming a cutting-edge research field. Whether you want to focus on ancient populations and paleopathology or on specific disease indications nowadays, here you get the tools and skills to do both.
To lay the foundation for working in medical research, Medical Life Sciences includes courses on clinical manifestations of diseases, molecular pathology and immunology. Hands-on courses in molecular biology, bioinformatics, clinical cell biology, medical statistics, and human genetics broaden your knowledge and make the interfaces between medicine and the sciences visible. You will learn how to acquire knowledge, verify and use it.. That biomedicine has many facets to discover is the great thing that keeps students fascinated and well-equipped for finding a job in academia or the industry.

Focus Areas

From the second semester, you additionally specialise in one of the following focus areas:

INFLAMMATION takes you deep into the molecular mechanisms of chronic inflammatory diseases, the causal network between inflammatory processes and disease, genetics and environment. New research results for prevention, diagnosis and therapy will be presented and discussed. An internship in specialised clinics helps to see how “bed to bench side”, i.e. translational medicine, works.

EVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE looks at how interrelations between humans and their environment have led to current disease susceptibility. Why do we suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity? Is our lifestyle making us sick? Why are certain genetic variants maintained in populations despite their disease risk? Evolutionary medicine focuses on bridging the gap between evolutionary biology and medicine by considering the evolutionary origins of common diseases to help find new biomedical approaches for preventing and treating them.

ONCOLOGY delves deep into molecular research on malignant diseases, the interplay of genetics and environment, cell biology of tumours, and many other aspects. You will achieve a better understanding of unresolved problems and opportunities of current research approaches.

LONGEVITY focuses on molecular mechanisms that seem to counteract the detrimental effect of ageing. The disease resilience and metabolic stability of extraordinarily fit people well over 90 years of age are of special interest. This research is complemented by experiments on model organisms. You will also look at the molecular pathways of ageing, and which role genes and the environment play. How the intricate web of counteracting effects triggering ageing and/or longevity works stands as the central focus of this area.

Scientists and clinicians will make you familiar with these topics in lectures and seminars. You will discuss different research approaches, perspectives and the latest developments in medical research. Lab practicals in state-of-the-art research labs, a lab project, and the experimental Master's thesis will provide ample opportunity to be involved in real-time research projects.

Electives

To widen your perspective, you choose one of three electives designed to complement the focus areas. The schedules are designed so that you can take part in more than one elective if places are available. Tracing Disease through Time looks at disease etiology by analysing biomolecules, diets and pathogens in archaeological specimens. You may opt for Epidemiology to immerse yourself in epidemiological approaches with special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases, one of the greatest health threats in modern societies. Another option is Molecular Imaging, which gives you insight into the world of high-tech imaging in medical research.

Additional electives such as Neurology, Tissue Engineering or Epithelial Barrier Functions and Soft Skills courses such as Project Management, Career Orientation and English Scientific Writing are integrated into the curriculum.

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The MSc Biology programme is a collaboration between the Institute of Biology Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Institute of Environmental Sciences, giving the programme a broad and diverse scope. Read more

The MSc Biology programme is a collaboration between the Institute of Biology Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the Institute of Environmental Sciences, giving the programme a broad and diverse scope.

What does this master's programme entail?

The knowledge that you acquire during this programme supplies an important contribution to the overall understanding of life and has a great value to the society. For example, with your knowledge about DNA, you’re able to work on topics, such as upscaling the agricultural yields and developing new antibiotics by the means of fungi and bacteria. The programme offers four research specialisations, which optionally can be combined with a specialisation in communication, education or business. 

Read more about the Biology programme.

Why study Biology at Leiden University?

  • Leiden University offers you a unique combination of knowledge and expertise through close collaboration between three renowned research institutes.
  • Within the programme, you have ample opportunities to assemble our own study path based on your own interests and ambitions.
  • You have access to state of the art facilities, such as a lab for high throughput genotyping, the Nanopore Sequencing Lab, the Metabolomics Facility and Cell Observatory.

Find more reasons to choose Leiden University.

Biology: the right master’s programme for you?

Biology is the right master’s programme for you if you are interested in biotechnology, cell biology, evolutionary biology or biodiversity. You will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose for a non-research-oriented specialisation where you combine one year of biology research with one year of training in business, communication or education.

Read more about the entry requirements for Biology.



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The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. Read more

The Master in Conservation Biology, with specialization in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management, aims at providing a critical and conceptually-based understanding of animal behaviour and evolutionary ecology, in the framework of conservation biology and wildlife management. This two-year master program consists in both lessons and fieldtrips, while half of the second year is devoted to a personal research project conducted by students in an international research team.

OUR MASTER PROGRAM

The Master program has a two-year span, with most of the courses taught in english. Our teaching philosophy is based on the idea that biodiversity conservation must be grounded in a multi-level knowledge approach, mixing key disciplines in ecology and evolution with recent technical advances in the fields of biometry, molecular ecology and management tools. The teaching content is rooted in our established strengths in behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, quantitative ecology and research design. The master program is enriched by input from professional conservationists and managers, to put courses in the broader context of project management and decision-making policies.

The specific teaching objectives aim at developing and improving students’ skills to:

  • engage with concepts and theory in behavioural ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management from interdisciplinary perspectives at an advanced scientific level.
  • assess the ability of organisms to react, cope with and adjust to environmental change occurring over different spatial and time scales.
  • appreciate the opportunities offered by new technological developments for the future of research on animal behaviour and wildlife management
  • combine theory, hypotheses, methods, data and fieldwork so as to identify and develop innovative research questions and design.

Half of the second year is devoted to conducting a personal research project and writing a thesis of 12,000 words. Research projects are conducted within an international team previously selected by the students, and led with the support of an expert supervisor.

TEACHING & FIELDTRIPS

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars by international researchers, class tutorials and practical training in the laboratory and in the field, providing in-depth exploration of key issues. Our teaching philosophy is to stimulate balanced and evidence-based discussions and debates between academic staff and students. Such interactions provide efficient training to identify and explore theory, methods and practice in an academic environment.

Field courses allow students to apply the methods and ideas developed in the classroom to practical use in the field. Each year, you will attend at least one week-long fieldtrip, and several one-day field sessions. The "Camargue field course" provides the opportunity to work on a model species for wildlife management in the Camargue Natural Regional Park (CNRP): the greater flamingo. Fieldwork will be grounded on extensive research on wildlife populations in the context of the various activities taking place in the CNRP. Other field courses address the quantitative analysis of animal behaviour, the monitoring of wildlife, and ex-situ conservation. The “Parc Polaire fieldtrip”, in the Jura mountains, allows students to experience the role of and, stakes faced by, a park dedicated to the conservation of European wild species such as the European bison and deer species.

CAREER PROSPECTS

The aim of our master program is to train future scientific leaders in animal behaviour and conservation biology, as well as future managers and policy officers in biodiversity, conservation and wildlife management.

Therefore, our program aims at providing both a diversified and specialized expertise in the general fields of animal behaviour and wildlife management. It also combines behavioural ecology and conservation biology as major disciplines with some other relevant topics – ethics and deontology, epistemology, 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.

LIFE IN DIJON, CAPITAL CITY OF BURGUNDY (FRANCE)

The whole of the program takes place at the University of Burgundy-Franche Comté, located in the scenic city of Dijon. The former capital city of the Duchy of Burgundy, Dijon is now a medium-size French city, where you can enjoy a vibrant and active cultural life, as well as quick getaways to the countryside and the world famous neighbouring vineyards of the so-called “Golden coast”.

Life in Dijon is very affordable and accommodation easily accessible. The city is well-equipped with modern tramway and bus lines, making commuting between any place in Dijon and the University easy and convenient.

Showing marks of its medieval past, Dijon has excelled in making any subsequent architectural revolution his own. Dijon possesses a fair number of outstanding museums and remarkable monuments, and is also internationally known as the hometown of the notorious French gastronomy. Dijon has a vibrant cultural life with music and food festivals all over the year. Cultural and leisure attractions are widespread, from classical music concerts to jazz festivals, food fairs, cinemas… Dijon is also host of several top-level professional sports teams (football, basketball, handball, rugby…), while also offering a large diversity of sports facilities for the amateur. From beach-volley fields to suburban hiking and cycling paths, urban parks and the much appreciated Lake Kir, incentives to jump in a pair of trainers will be everywhere.

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.

APPLICATIONS

During the first year, students take examinations associated with the Master in Conservation Biology, specialized in Behavioural Ecology and Wildlife Management. Examinations must be successfully passed (i.e. obtain 60 ECTS credits) in order to proceed to the second year. In the second year, the thesis following your research project accounts for half the marks of the second year.

For further information about how to apply, please directly contact the head of the master program, Professor Frank Cézilly ().

Please also visit our dedicated webpage (http://www.nature-conservation-ubfc.com/bewm/fr/), and like our facebook page (“Master BEWM – UBFC Dijon”) to stay up to date with the life of and the latest news about our program!



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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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