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.
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.