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This MRes in Biosciences programme will provide you with research training in one or more of our Research Pathways and you will benefit from training in our Specialist Research Facilities. Research staff will share their expertise and assist you in developing the skills necessary to do independent research, leading to a dissertation written as a scientific paper.
All research students in Biosciences undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways, and benefitting from training in our specialist research facilities.
The MRes Biosciences is a one-year programme. All research students undertake taught modules followed by a major research project under the guidance of academic staff in one or more of our Research Pathways , and benefiting from training in our Specialist Research Facilities.
Biosciences at Swansea has a good relationship with a wide range of external partners, including SMEs, Government Agencies, Local Government, UK and overseas research institutes and universities.
1) Behavioural and Movement Ecology
Studying adaptations, and the selective pressures in the social and ecological environment that bring them about. We specialise in the movement ecology of individuals and collectives and can provide specialist research training to understand the role of the environment in structuring the properties of animal movement and behaviour.
2) Evolutionary and Molecular Biology
Understanding the diversity of life from a molecular perspective. We use the latest genetic and genomics techniques to address key questions in ecology, behaviour and conservation from an evolutionary perspective in a range of non-model organisms, from fungi to plants and animals.
3) Marine Biology, Fisheries and Aquaculture
From developing new techniques in fish husbandry and rearing of commercially important aquaculture species, to research in food and fuel security, low carbon technologies, biogeochemical cycles and climate change. Specialist research training can be provided on a diverse range of temperate to tropical aquatic organisms, from microplankton to invertebrates to fish, inhabiting marine to freshwater environments.
4) Mathematical and Statistical Ecology
Research that complements the full range of our academic expertise, from theoretical investigations of ecosystem complexity, stoichiometric ecology, pattern formation and animal movement, to practical agricultural applications and the operation of micro-algal biotechnology.
5) Population and Community Ecology
Combining experimental and theoretical approaches to develop our understanding of how species interactions with their environment (including other species) generate the spatial-temporal biodiversity patterns we observe in nature. Study systems include plankton ecosystems, coastal ecosystem functioning, disease control, conservation, and the impact of spatial-temporal environmental variation on community dynamics.
6) Whole Organism Biology
Our staff comprises world-leading experts on a range of organisms studied around the world, and welcome students who want to develop projects around such species.
7) Wildlife Diseases and Pest Control
Research focused on developing natural agents and solutions for the control of wildlife diseases and invertebrate pests that impact on food security and human and animal health. Research training provided in disease detection methods, disease management, and the socioeconomic benefits of pest control.
As a student on the MRes Biosciences programme, you will benefit from a range of facilities such as:
Our excellent facilities include a unique built Animal Movement Visualisation Suite (£1.35m), incorporating an electronic wall linked to a computer-tesla cluster for high-speed processing and visualisation of complex accelerometry and magnetometry data derived from animals. Coupled with this facility is the Electronics Lab with capacity for research, development and realisation of animal tags with new capacities (sensors, energy-harvesting systems, miniaturization, 3-D printing of housings etc.); a custom-designed 18m on coastal research vessel; a recent investment of £4.2m on a new suite of state-of-the art Science laboratories; and the £2m unique Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) with a 750 m2 controlled environment building, with programmable recirculating aquatic systems, unique within the UK’s higher-education sector. These are tailored for research on a diverse range of organisms, ranging from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater. Coupled with this are nutrient and biochemical analytical capabilities.
Theoretical/mathematical research uses advanced university computing facilities that includes high-end graphics workstations, high-speed network links and the Blue Ice supercomputer located at the Mike Barnsley Centre for Climatic Change Research.
Several dedicated Bioscience labs housed within our grade 2 listed Wallace Building recently benefitted from a £4.2 million renovation programme, providing world-class research facilities that includes a specialist molecular ecology lab and a dedicated arthropod facility.
We are 7th in the UK and top in Wales for research excellence (REF 2014)
93.8% of our research outputs were regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent and Swansea Biosciences had the highest percentage of publications judged ‘world-leading’ in the sector. This is a great achievement for the Department, for the College of Science and indeed for Swansea University.
Research in the Division of Genetics and Genomics aims to advance understanding of complex animal systems and the development of improved predictive models through the application of numerical and computational approaches in the analysis, interpretation, modelling and prediction of complex animal systems from the level of the DNA and other molecules, through cellular and gene networks, tissues and organs to whole organisms and interacting populations of organisms.
The biology and traits of interest include: growth and development, body composition, feed efficiency, reproductive performance, responses to infectious disease and inherited diseases.
Research encompasses basic research in bioscience and mathematical biology and strategic research to address grand challenges, e.g. food security.
Research is focussed on, but not restricted to, target species of agricultural importance including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep; farmed fish such as salmon; and companion animals. The availability of genome sequences and the associated genomics toolkits enable genetics research in these species.
Expertise includes genetics (molecular, quantitative), physiology (neuroendocrinology, immunology), ‘omics (genomics, functional genomics) with particular strengths in mathematical biology (quantitative genetics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, modelling).
The Division has 18 Group Leaders and 4 career track fellows who supervise over 30 postgraduate students.
Studentships are of 3 or 4 years duration and students will be expected to complete a novel piece of research which will advance our understanding of the field. To help them in this goal, students will be assigned a principal and assistant supervisor, both of whom will be active scientists at the Institute. Student progress is monitored in accordance with School Postgraduate (PG) regulations by a PhD thesis committee (which includes an independent external assessor and chair). There is also dedicated secretarial support to assist these committees and the students with regard to University and Institute matters.
All student matters are overseen by the Schools PG studies committee. The Roslin Institute also has a local PG committee and will provide advice and support to students when requested. An active staff:student liaison committee and a social committee, which is headed by our postgraduate liaison officer, provide additional support.
Students are expected to attend a number of generic training courses offered by the Transkills Programme of the University and to participate in regular seminars and laboratory progress meetings. All students will also be expected to present their data at national and international meetings throughout their period of study.
In 2011 The Roslin Institute moved to a new state-of-the-art building on the University of Edinburgh's veterinary campus at Easter Bush. Our facilities include: rodent, bird and livestock animal units and associated lab areas; comprehensive bioinformatic and genomic capability; a range of bioimaging facilities; extensive molecular biology and cell biology labs; café and auditorium where we regularly host workshops and invited speakers.
The University's genomics facility Edinburgh Genomics is closely associated with the Division of Genetics and Genomics and provides access to the latest genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing, SNP genotyping and microarray platforms (genomics.ed.ac.uk).
In addition to the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility’s high performance computing resources, The Roslin Institute has two compute farms, including one with 256 GB of RAM, which enable the analysis of complex ‘omics data sets.