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Masters Degrees (Phylogeny)

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This is a full-time research-based postgraduate degree, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, London. Read more
This is a full-time research-based postgraduate degree, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, London.

OPEN DAY

visit the course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

OUTLINE

Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world. These fields are rapidly changing through new digital and molecular technologies. There is ever greater urgency for species identification and monitoring in virtually all the environmental sciences, and evolutionary ‘tree thinking’ is now applied widely in most areas of the life sciences. These courses provide in-depth training in the study of biodiversity based on the principles of phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, palaeobiology and taxonomy. The emphasis is on quantitative approaches and current methods in DNA-based phylogenetics, bioinformatics, and the use of digital collections.

LOCATION

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

[[SYLLABUS ]]
The MRes in Biosystematics features hands-on research projects that cover the main methodological approaches of modern biosystematics. After 6 weeks of general skills training, students will ‘rotate’ through three research groups each conducting a separate 14-week project in specimen-based phylogenetics, molecular systematics/genomics, and bioinformatics. The projects may be of the student’s own design. Students attend small group tutorials, lab meetings and research seminars.

TRANSFERABLE SKILLS]

The GSLSM (Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine) at Imperial College London provides regular workshops covering a wide range of transferable skills, and MRes students are encouraged to undertake at least four during the year. Topics include: Applied Writing Skills, Creativity and Ideas Generation, Writing for Publication, Introduction to Regression Modelling, Introduction to Statistical Thinking.

RECENT PROJECTS

MORPHOLOGICAL

The Natural History Museum’s Dorothea Bate Collection of dwarfed deer from Crete: adaptation and proportional size reduction in comparison with larger mainland species
Cambrian lobopodians and their position as stem-group taxa
Atlas of the Caecilian World: A Geometric Morphometric perspective
Tooth crown morphology in Caecilian amphibians
Morphometrics of centipede fangs: untapping a possible new source of character data for the Scolopendromorpha
Phylogeny of the Plusiinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae): Exploring conflict between larvae and adults
A comparison between species delineation based on DNA sequences and genital morphometrics in beetles (Coleoptera)

MOLECULAR

Geographical distribution of endemic scavenger water beetles (Hydrophilidae) on the island of Madagascar based on DNA sequence data
Cryptic diversity within Limacina retroversa and Heliconoides inflate
Phylogenetics of pteropods of the Southern Oceans
Molecular discrimination of the European Mesocestoides species complex
A molecular phylogeny of the monkey beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Hopliini)
The molecular evolution of the mimetic switch locus, H, in the Mocker Swallowtail Papilio dardanus Brown, 1776
Phylogenetic and functional diversity of the Sargasso Sea Metagenome

BIOINFORMATICS

A study into the relation between body size and environmental variables in South African Lizards
Cryptic diversity and the effect of alignment parameters on tree topology in the foraminifera
Delimiting evolutionary taxonomic units within the bacteria: 16S rRNA and the GMYC model
Testing the molecular clock hypothesis and estimating divergence times for the order Coleoptera
Taxon Sampling: A Comparison of Two Approaches
Investigating species concepts in bacteria: Fitting Campylobacter and Streptococcus MLST profiles to an infinite alleles model to test population structure
Assessing the mitochondrial molecular clock: the effect of data partitioning, taxon sampling and model selection

ON COMPLETION OF THE COURSE, THE STUDENTS WILL HAVE:

• a good understanding of the state of knowledge of the field, together with relevant practical experience, in three areas of biosystematic science in which he or she has expressed an interest;
• where applicable, the ability to contribute to the formulation and development of ideas underpinning potential PhD projects in areas of interest, and to make an informed decision on the choice of potential PhD projects;
• a broad appreciation of the scientific opportunities within the NHM and Imperial College;
• knowledge of a range of specific research techniques and professional and transferable skills.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Students are encouraged to view the NHM website for further information, and to contact the course administrator if they have any queries. Visits can be arranged to the NHM to meet the course organisers informally and to be given a tour of the facilities. Applications should be made online on the Imperial College London website.

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The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences. Read more
The MRes in Molecular Evolution involves the study of the evolutionary relationships among organisms and gene families using molecular methods, with evolutionary trees (phylogenies) generated from the analysis of DNA and protein sequences.

The programme involves both laboratory work (DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing) and bioinformatics (DNA sequence alignment and phylogeny reconstruction).

Research projects are available in: the evolutionary relationships in the molluscs (in particular, the land snails) and the link between molluscan phylogenies and biogeography; the molecular taxonomy of spiders and the link between rates of molecular and morphological diversification; studies on the evolution of spider silk gene families and the relationship between silk diversification and speciation; studies on the phylogeny of the foraminifera and the distribution of different genetic types across the oceans.

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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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The MRes program is a full-time 1 year degree by research, and differs from an MSc in placing more importance on the research project. Read more
The MRes program is a full-time 1 year degree by research, and differs from an MSc in placing more importance on the research project. However, the MRes in Ecology is built on the strong foundation of the former MSc in Ecology which ran at Bangor for over 40 years and which has an excellent reputation in the UK and internationally, among employers and academics in the field. Many of them have been through the course at Bangor! This degree will equip you with confidence and competence in the latest research skills and allow you to apply for further research training (PhD) programmes or to directly apply for research positions in universities or research institutes. Note that this course title is subject to validation and the programme described here is currently running under the MRes in Natural Sciences degree.

Course Structure

The course is composed of a modular taught component (100 credits) and a research dissertation (80 credits). The taught component covers important generic skills such as literature searching, health and safety aspects, grant proposal writing, introduction to statistical manipulation of data (60 credits), as well as theoretical and practical skills in molecular ecology and evolutionary ecology (40 credits), including the opportunity for a tropical field course in Dominica, West Indies, or equivalent fieldwork locally.

What sort of projects would be available to me?

As a result of extensive national and international staff contacts, range of research topics and experience, students are often able to carry out their research projects in association with commercial consultancies, local councils, environmental organisations in the UK (eg the Environment Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, RSPB), government research institutes (eg Centre for Ecology and Hydrology) and abroad (past projects have involved fieldwork in the West Indies, Africa, Maldives, and various European countries). We are situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and a rich variety of habitats are within easy reach. We also have excellent facilities for undertaking top quality research, such as the state-of-the art molecular ecology laboratories in the Environment Centre Wales (shared with the CEH Bangor), a purpose-built environmentally-friendly building that was opened by PM Gordon Brown in 2008. Topics on offer cover the whole range of ecology and include projects in both pure and applied research. Due to the extended nature of the MRes research project, a module on project planning precedes the start of their dissertation period, providing guidance and support for the development of their research project.

Projects offered in previous years include:

* Energetics and flight performance of homing pigeons
* Evolution, behaviour and ecology of tropical fish
* Investigating mimetic relationships in Amazonian Corydoras catfish
* Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of anacondas
* New approaches to the study of the evolution of venom genes in pitvipers
* Biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in low productivity coastal habitats
* Growth patterns and life history in migratory brown trout, Salmo trutta, in rivers around the Irish Sea
* Genetic basis of life history shifts in guppies

What sort of careers will this train me for?

As well as finding specific employment based on the specialist knowledge acquired during postgraduate training, your general employability will be enhanced by evidence of your ability to work independently, think analytically and innovatively, and ability to conceptualise and question. During your studies, you will also have the chance to develop essential professional skills such as good communication, teamwork and leadership skills and enhance your practical experience. Our past graduates (in MSc Ecology) have gone on to careers in research (both in academia and research institutes) as well as in commercial environmental consultancies, DEFRA, water authorities, landscape architects and many others.

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This programme covers the origins and appearance of organisms and their genes as well as their interactions within the environment. Read more
This programme covers the origins and appearance of organisms and their genes as well as their interactions within the environment. It includes not only theoretical and experimental studies of evolutionary biology within the laboratory studying genes, genomes and phylogeny but also field work and applications to real problems, biodiversity and conservation science.

The MSc programmes in Biology & Biochemistry are designed for students who wish to specialise further in a particular field or wish to change direction from their first degree (in a related area).

If you already have extensive and relevant research experience and would like to specialise, you might consider an MRes programme (http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/).

Visit the website http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/msc-evolutionary-and-population-biology/

Why study Biology and Biochemistry with us?

- Biology & Biochemistry ranked 2nd in the Sunday Times University Guide 2013
- 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

What will I learn?

The aim of each of our MSc programmes in Biology and Biochemistry is to provide professional-level training that will develop highly skilled bioscientists with strong theoretical, research and transferable skills, all of which are necessary to work at the forefront of modern biosciences.

For further information please visit our department pages (http://www.bath.ac.uk/bio-sci/postgraduate/)

Career opportunities

Since graduating, our students have gone on to employment or further research at institutions in the US, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.

Recent employers include:

Morvus-Technology Ltd
Janssen-Cilag
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Ministry of Defence
State Intellectual Property Office, Beijing
Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford University
AbCam
Salisbury Foundation Trust Hospital
BBSRC
Lonza

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

Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology

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

Environment, Biodiversity and Ecosystems

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

Herpetology

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

Human Ecology

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

EMMC Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems

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

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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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