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Masters Degrees (Insect Ecology)

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The MRes in Ecology is a 1-year full time or 2-years part time degree with a larger component of research compared to MSc courses. Read more

Course Structure

The MRes in Ecology is a 1-year full time or 2-years part time degree with a larger component of research compared to MSc courses. Central to this MRes is the research project (100 credits), which provides you with the opportunity to undertake research at the forefront of the ecology discipline. The rest of the course is to support research development by taught theory based and skills modules. An MRes degree provides students with the opportunity to develop expertise in both ecological theory and research. The course is based in the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences. Working with academic staff from the University’s Biogeography and Ecology Research Group, students have the opportunity to obtain experience in a wide range of modern research techniques relating to ecology. Drawing on the expertise of members within the research group, students are able to undertake a significant piece of ecological research on a wide range of biological taxa including; invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and plants. With an emphasis placed on undertaking novel ecological research, this degree offers an excellent preparation for both further academic study and industry based careers.

Research Projects

Students can design their own projects under the supervision of one or more relevant members of academic staff from the Biogeography and Ecology Research Group. This process is driven by the knowledge that you will gain from undertaking the two compulsory taught modules (Research Methods and Ecological Principles; 20 credits each) and supplemented by your choice of optional modules (a total of 40 credits) which include: Advanced Ecology Field Skills, Molecular Ecology, Introduction to GIS, GIS in Environmental Applications, Water Quality Analysis, Work-in-progress Seminars, Introduction to Statistics using Excel and Minitab, Advanced Statistical Analysis.

Research themes of the group include:

Landscape ecology
Molecular ecology
Conservation biology
Carnivore ecology, conflict and conservation
Urban ecology
Plant-insect interactions and invertebrate ecology
Chalk grasslands ecology
Wetland ecology

For further details on recent and current research projects please see the Biogeography and Ecology Research group website: http://www.brighton.ac.uk/pharmacy/research/groups/biogeography_ecology.php

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the University via the School postgraduate administrator to be then paired with an appropriate supervisor for discussion of potential project ideas and opportunities.

Bursaries available for 2014

Students considering applying for the MRes programme in this coming academic year (September 2014) also have the opportunity to undertake specific research projects on the following three topics. Each project will carry a bursary of £2000 towards course tuition fees. The bursary will not cover consumables costs, which will need to be discussed and agreed with the supervisor (maximum £1000).

1. Small fish monitoring in East Sussex coast - assessing the impact of anthropogenic actions on fish populations. Supervisor: Dr Corina Ciocan
2. Great Crested Newt in the South Downs National Park (own car required). Supervisor: Dr Inga Zeisset.
3. Testing a novel device for reducing domestic cat predation of UK garden birds. Supervisor: Dr Bryony Tolhurst.

For more information on these projects please contact the MRes course administrator, Claire Thompson, at: . Please ensure when you apply for the above projects, you indicate which one, or more, you wish to be considered for. Applications for bursaries require an application, recent CV and a cover letter to explain why you are applying for the project.

The deadline for applying for 2014 entry and bursary funded projects is 31 May 2014. The deadline for standard applications is 31 July 2014.

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Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. Read more
Our MSc in Applied Ecology provides you with the advanced knowledge and skills required for employment in field biology, ecology and related areas.You will follow a curriculum with a highly practical emphasis, undertaking hands-on exercises in field and laboratory settings. In the field, you will learn identification skills for a wide range of species in several key taxonomic groups. You will also learn industry-standard survey techniques such as Phase One Habitat Surveying, Habitat Condition Assessments, National Vegetation Classification and Bird Territory Mapping. Laboratory sessions will include use of microscopes in taxonomy and analysis of environmental parameters, such as water oxygen levels and soil nutrient status, to enable better understanding of species-environment interactions.


There will be numerous opportunities to work on on-going projects with linked organisations including wildlife trusts, zoos and wildlife parks, charities and public authorities. It is an expectation that assignments, and especially dissertation work, will have direct impact on understanding and management of species and their environments.

The course is underpinned by the applied research expertise of the teaching team in applied ecology, including conservation of species in the wild and in captivity, biotic responses to climate change, avian and mammal biology, insect behaviour and evolution, non-native species introductions, population and community ecology, and environmental biology. An additional theme of citizen science develops awareness of the role of public engagement in surveying and conserving species in their environment.

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The Plant Science Program offers degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions. Read more
The Plant Science Program offers degrees in fundamental and applied topics related to plant production, plant protection, biotechnology, plant physiology and biochemistry, and plant-environment interactions.

Specific areas of specialization include:
- Plant-microbe interaction, bacterial and fungal diseases, plant virology, biological control of pests and diseases, insect physiology, natural insecticides, insect ecology and behaviour, and weed biology, ecology and control;
- Seed physiology, plant nutrition, plant growth analysis, plant-plant interaction, biotic and abiotic stressor resistance, and environmental plant physiology;
- Vegetable culture, ornamental horticulture, plant breeding, and post-harvest physiology;
- Plant biochemistry, tissue culture, genetic engineering, and plant, fungal, and viral molecular genetics;
- Rangeland ecology, and wildlife habitat studies.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Science
- Specialization: Plant Science
- Subject: Agriculture and Forestry
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Thesis required
- Faculty: Faculty of Land and Food Systems

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Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. Read more
Research projects in Ecology are offered in a range of animal, plant and microbial topics including (a) competition and coexistence in animal communities and the evolution of host-parasite interactions, (b) the evolution of insect pollinator systems, (c) life history strategies and trade-offs, (d) processes in plant communities e.g. nutrient cycling and herbivory, and (d) the ecology of the lichen symbiosis and lichen-dominated ecosystems, and lichen population biology.

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.

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Part 1 (120 credits). runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. Read more
Part 1 (120 credits): runs from September to May and consists of four taught modules, a Field Visit, and a Research Methods module component. They must be completed successfully before proceeding to Part 2.

Part 2 (60 credits): is the dissertation phase and runs from end of May to September. This is a supervised project phase which gives students further opportunity for specialisation in their chosen field. Dissertation topics are related to the interests and needs of the individual and must show evidence of wide reading and understanding as well as critical analysis or appropriate use of advanced techniques. The quality of the dissertation is taken into account in the award of the Masters degree. Bangor University regulations prescribe a maximum word limit of 20,000 words for Masters Dissertations. A length of 12,000 to 15,000 words is suggested for Masters programmes in our School.

Summary of modules taken in Part 1:

All students undertake 6 modules of 20 credits each which are described below.

Conservation Science considers questions such as ‘in a post-wild world what should be the focus of conservation attention?’ ‘What are the relative roles of ecology, economics and social science in conservation?’ ‘What are the advantage and disadvantages of the introduction of market-like mechanisms into conservation policy?’ We look closely at the current and emerging drivers of biodiversity loss world-wide, while carefully analysing the range of responses.

Insect Pollinators and Plants is at the interface between agriculture and conservation, this module introduces students to plant ecology and insect pollinators. Students will gain unique understanding of the ecological interactions between plants and insect pollinators including honey-bees to implement more sensitive conservation management. The module explores the current conservation status of insect pollinators and their corresponding plant groups; how populations are monitored, and how interventions in the broader landscape can contribute to improving their conservation status. Module components relate specifically to ecosystem pollination services, apiculture and habitat restoration and/or maintenance. The module has a strong practical skills focus, which includes beekeeping and contemporary challenges to apiculture; plant and insect sampling and habitat surveying. Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on “learning by doing.

Agriculture and the Environment reviews the impact of agricultural systems and practices on the environment and the scientific principles involved. It includes examples from a range of geographical areas. It is now recognised that many of the farming practices adopted in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, aimed at maximising production and profit, have had adverse effects on the environment. These include water and air pollution, soil degradation, loss of certain habitats and decreased biodiversity. In the UK and Europe this has led to the introduction of regulatory instruments and codes of practice aimed at minimising these problems and the promotion of new approaches to managing farmland. However, as world population continues to rise, there are increased concerns about food security, particularly in stressful environments such as arid zones where farmers have to cope with natural problems of low rainfall and poor soils. Although new technologies including the use of GM crops have potential to resolve some of these issues, concerns have been expressed about the impact of the release of these new genetically-engineered crops into the environment.

Management Planning for Conservation provides students with an understanding of the Conservation Management System approach to management planning. This involves describing a major habitat feature at a high level of definition; the preparation of a conservation objective (with performance indicators) for the habitat; identification and consideration of the implications of all factors and thus the main management activities; preparation of a conceptual model of the planning process for a case study site and creating maps using spatial data within a desktop GIS.

Research Methods Module: this prepares students for the dissertation stage of their MSc course. The module provides students with an introduction to principles of hypothesis generation, sampling, study design, spatial methods, social research methods, quantitative & qualitative analysis and presentation of research findings. Practicals and field visits illustrate examples of these principles. Course assessment is aligned to the research process from the proposal stage, through study write up to presentation of results. The module is in two phases. The taught content phase is until the period following Christmas. This is followed by a project planning phase for dissertation title choice and plan preparation.

Field Visit Module: this is an annual programme of scientific visits related to Conservation and Land Management. The main purpose of the trip will be to appreciate the range of activities different conservation organisations are undertaking, to understand their different management objectives and constraints. Previous field trips have visited farms, forests and reserves run by Scottish Wildlife Trust, National Trust, RSPB, local authorities, community groups and private individuals.

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The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and on the other the control of harmful species worldwide. Read more
The course is intended to provide students with a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and on the other the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and long-standing collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

The course

Harper Adams is the UK’s only provider of postgraduate courses in entomology and related areas. There is currently a shortage of expertise in this important topic, which is a key element in the effort to ensure global food security and the understanding of biodiversity. By successfully completing this course you will develop a range of abilities that will prepare for an interesting and fulfilling career in an area with considerable opportunities.

Insects and allied invertebrates comprise approximately 78 per cent of the world’s macro-biodiversity, whereas vertebrates, even using the most generous estimates, make up less than three per cent. Insects and their relatives play an important role in all of our ecosystems. They range from beneficial insects such as pollinators and natural control agents to essential parts of the decomposition cycle such as dung and carrion insects. Many are also important pests of agriculture, horticulture and forestry, in addition to those that cause human health problems.

Many insects are also rare and endangered and need to be managed for conservation. Other insects are used as model organisms for evolutionary and genetic studies.

The aim of the course is to provide students with specialized training in entomology and conservation.

The course will:
■ prepare students for a career in entomology and/or conservation
■ offer vocational training in the area of applied entomology or insect conservation
■ prepare students for PhD studies

The course is intended to provide a detailed understanding of basic and applied entomology and the issues associated with, on the one hand, their ecology and conservation and, on the other, the control of harmful species worldwide. The course is underpinned by an extensive programme of agri-environment research at Harper Adams and longstanding collaborations with research institutes and other organisations in the UK and overseas.

Entry requirements

An honours degree (minimum lower second class) or a good FdSc/HND pass in a relevant subject area together with related industrial or professional experience of at least two years. In addition, the suitability of candidates for particular programmes may be assessed by interview, considering reports from referees and by evaluating previous experience.

How will it benefit me?

Having completed the taught part of MSc you will be able to identify insects to at least family level, determine their key characteristics, and critically evaluate the role of insects in managed and natural ecosystems. You will also learn to assess and exploit technology to solve insect-related problems.

The course will focus on producing integrated management solutions that pay due regard to agronomic, social and environmental requirements. Students also learn how to disseminate issues and ideas relating to insect control and conservation to a range of audiences using various methods of communication.

The research project for the MSc will allow you to test hypotheses relevant to pure and applied entomological research by designing, carrying out, analysing and interpreting experiments or surveys. You will also learn to evaluate and interpret data and draw relevant conclusions from existing entomological studies.

The MSc covers a broad range of topics in entomology and conservation and all students receive training in fundamental skills which will enable them to enter an entomological work environment or a research career in ecological entomology or insect conservation. There is, however, considerable flexibility, enabling each student to focus on specialist subjects consistent with their interests and future career intentions.

Careers

Students holding an MSc in Entomology have gone on to work for research institutes such as Rothamsted Research, FERA (the Food and Environment Research Agency), the James Hutton Institute, commercial biological control companies, the agrochemical industry and as agronomists and ecological consultants.

They have also gained employment with conservation bodies such as Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or overseas. A number of graduates have worked as forensic entomologists. Typically 70 per cent of Entomology MSc graduates will go into research careers or onto PhD courses.

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This course has been running for over 25 years and is one of only three in the country. The two contributing universities of Keele and Salford have considerable complementary research experience in the biology of parasites and the insect vectors that transmit them. Read more

Overview

This course has been running for over 25 years and is one of only three in the country. The two contributing universities of Keele and Salford have considerable complementary research experience in the biology of parasites and the insect vectors that transmit them. This has led to the development of this unique, joint MSc degree between the two institutions, focusing on the ecology and molecular biology of parasitism, immunology of infection, treatment of infection, the ecology and molecular biology or insect vectors, and the control of their natural populations. The teaching is undertaken by staff from the two institutions and mostly based at Salford with specialized laboratory sessions at Keele. Students are able to carry out an extensive research project in the research laboratories of one of the two universities. The strong focus on the molecular aspects of parasitic infections, vector biology, and vector control, will appeal to recent graduates wishing to further their training before embarking upon a research career in Entomology, Parasitology, Molecular Biology or Immunology; to those considering a career in Biotechnology; and to overseas students seeking specialist training before entering a career in managing parasitological or vector-related research and control appropriate to their own country.

The vast majority of the teaching team on the course are internationally recognized experts in their field of research. As an example, most of the Keele teaching team belong to the Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology which is highly rated for its world-leading research and excellent research facilities. Therefore the course provides a unique opportunity to set a foot in the real world of research in Parasitology and Medical Entomology.

See the website https://www.keele.ac.uk/pgtcourses/molecularparasitologyandvectorbiology/

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to provide:
- A sound insight into the biology of parasitic diseases their transmission and control of the vectors

- Contemporary studies of current research on immunological and molecular aspects of selected parasites and vector/parasite relationships

- Training in research and modern techniques in the study of vectors and parasites

Teaching & Assessment

Assessment is through a variety of methods including exams, essays and practical work. MSc students will be required in addition to carry out a research project and write it up in a dissertation.

All Masters students must pass modules 1-5 at 50% to give them 180 credits. Students gaining 120 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. Students gaining 60 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.

Scholarships

There are substantial scholarships available, please see this link: http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/internationalfunding/postgraduate/
or
http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding/bursariesscholarships/

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Deepen your knowledge and experience in a rigorous biology graduate program customized to you and your research interests. At Acadia, you will be part of one of the most vibrant and community-focused departments in the region. Read more
Deepen your knowledge and experience in a rigorous biology graduate program customized to you and your research interests. At Acadia, you will be part of one of the most vibrant and community-focused departments in the region.
In Acadia's Master of Science in Biology you will enhance your expertise in modern research methods in biology and deepen your knowledge in your chosen area of study. Although we have a wide variety of research areas to suit your interest, you will benefit from a small school experience, working closely with your supervisor and others in the same research group, and developing a close relationship with your fellow graduate students.

Within our graduate program emphasis is placed on research rather than coursework. You will work with your supervisor and advisory committee to determine an individualized program of study suited to your research interests. Through many of our research programs you will also gain experience working with individuals and organizations in the local community.

Be Inspired

Acadia is located near the tidal mud flats of the Bay of Fundy (named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World) and within the Annapolis Valley, so our location provides you with access to a variety of ecosystems including, aquatic, wetland, farm, and forest. These habitats are used in field-based research work to give you a balance of outdoor and indoor learning experiences throughout the program.

We have also taken leadership roles in some of the largest projects in the Atlantic region. Acadia, through the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute, is actively involved in tidal power initiatives in the Bay of Fundy. Acadia is a partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada in waterfowl and wetlands conservation projects. Watershed management and estuarine systems are studied through the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research, the only centre of its kind in Canada.

Research Interests

-Animal movement and its relationship to population dynamics and conservation
-Cancer immunology
-Coevolution of parasites and hosts
-Conservation biology
-Developmental biology, and its relation to evolutionary change
-Ecology and health of coastal habitats
-Fungal endophytes of coastal and marine plants
-Immune cell developmental pathways
-Impacts of anthropogenic disturbances in coastal ecosystems on fish
-Insect pheromone processing and behaviour
-Interaction between parasites and host ecology
-Management and recovery of species at risk
-Molecular evolution and molecular systematics in bivalves and mammals
-Natural history of beetles and birds in forested and agricultural landscapes
-Floral character evolution in family Rosaceae and genus Vaccinum
-Pest management in forestry and agriculture
-Plant ecology
-Plant systematics, phylogeny and evolution
-Population dynamics
-Role of relaxin family peptides and their receptors in neuroprotection
-Tidal energy and its impacts
-Watershed management

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