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Masters Degrees (Plant Virology)

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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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MPhil students must submit a dissertation for examination within the maximum period of their study. All graduate students attend induction and safety training courses in the department. Read more
MPhil students must submit a dissertation for examination within the maximum period of their study. All graduate students attend induction and safety training courses in the department. As well as undertaking your research, you will attend courses and lectures on some of the following: instrumentation, sequencing and database use, statistics, experimental design, analysing data, writing reports and a dissertation, introduction to MIMAS (a national data centre run by the University of Manchester), and how to give effective scientific presentations. Termly reports are provided on your work.

The course enables students to initiate careers in a wide range of disciplines including plant genetic engineering, plant development, plant molecular biology, plant biophysics, plant biochemistry, plant-microbe interactions, algal microbiology, plant ecology, crop biology, plant virology, plant epigenetics, epidemiology, plant taxonomy, plant physiology, eco physiology and bioinformatics.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/blpsmpbsc

Course detail

For students wishing to continue on to the PhD the MPhil provides suitable foundations. For students not wishing to continue the MPhil provides specialist training in scientific methodology relevant to the project subject area and based on the expertise of the supervisor and research group. This training also enables students from other scientific areas to proceed in a career in Plant Sciences and other allied areas. General training is also available and includes courses and lectures in instrumentation, sequencing and database use, statistics, experimental design, analysing data, writing reports and a dissertation, introduction to MIMAS (a national data centre run by the University of Manchester), and how to give effective scientific presentations.

Format

The Department has the overriding aim to provide all its Graduate Students with every opportunity for a broad education and a compatible environment in which they may complete a PhD or MPhil successfully. The Department will aim to provide guidance and, where appropriate, the facilities to allow Graduate Students to develop a number of different skills including:

- Research methodologies and the process of research including quantitative and qualitative methods and data analysis; project planning and management
- The effective use of learning resources including library and information technology
- Personal skills including oral and written communication, time management and team work skills, professional development and the preparation of curriculum vitae and employment applications
- A broad knowledge of the discipline in which the Student is working
- Technical training to enable the Student to undertake their research work effectively and efficiently
- Professional presentations

After the end of each term, the Graduate Education Committee will ask for a brief report on your progress from your Supervisor. This information will be made available to you and you will be invited to respond to comments made in a termly self-assessment. This will allow you to review your own progress and to highlight any difficulties you feel you are facing.

Assessment

A submission of a Masters dissertation, with a word limit of 20,000 words, is required within 12 months from a student's registration date.

A viva voce examination of the dissertation will normally then take place.

Continuing

On successfully passing their MPhil, students are welcome to apply to continue to a PhD. Continuation is dependent on the approval of the receiving Department and Degree Committee.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

Individual supervisors may hold grant linked or CASE studentships. It is best to contact supervisors directly to inquiry into availability.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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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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Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms. Read more

MSc Biotechnology

Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms.

Programme summary

During the master Biotechnology you learn more about the practical applications of biotechnology, including age-old techniques such as brewing and fermentation, which are still important today. In recent decades, gene modification has revolutionized the biotechnology industry, spawning countless new products and improving established processes. Modern biotechnology has become an applied area of science with a multidisciplinary approach embracing recombinant DNA technology, cellular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, as well as process design and engineering.

Specialisations

Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the practical application of cellular and molecular knowledge with the aim of enhancing or improving production in micro-organisms or cell cultures. Possible majors: molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology, enzymology and cell biology. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Process Technology
This specialisation focuses on engineering strategies for developing, enhancing or improving production in fermentation, bioconversion and enzymatic synthesis. Possible majors: bioprocess engineering, food or environmental engineering, applied biotechnology and system and control techniques. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Marine Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of newly- discovered organisms from the sea in industrial processes. Applications include production of new medicines, fine chemicals, bio-based products and renewable energy.

Medical Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of modern biotechnology in the development and production of new vaccines and medicines. Advanced molecular and cellular techniques are used to study diagnostic and production methods for vaccines and medicines. Possible majors: molecular biology, microbiology, virology and cell biology.

Food Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the application from biotechnology to food processing. The approach includes microbial and biochemical aspects integrated with process engineering and chemistry. Possible majors: food microbiology, food chemistry and process engineering.

Environmental and Biobased Technology
This specialisation focuses on the design and development of biotechnological processes for solving environmental problems by removing waste products or by producing renewable energy. Possible majors: environmental technology, bioprocess engineering, microbiology and biobased chemical technology.

Your future career

Graduates in biotechnology have excellent career prospects. More than 60 percent begin their careers in research and development. Many of these Master graduates go on to earn their PhD degrees and often achieve management positions within a few years. Approximately 30 percent of our graduates start working for biotechnology companies immediately. Relatively few begin their careers outside the private sector or in a field not directly related to biotechnology. In the Netherlands, some graduates work for multinational companies such as Merck Schering Plough, DSM, Heineken, Unilever and Shell, while others find positions at smaller companies and various universities or research centres such as NKI and TNO.

Alumnus Sina Salim.
In America and Brazil, production of maize and sugar cane for bio ethanol takes up enormous swathes of arable land that could otherwise be used for food production. This leads to the well-known food versus fuel dilemma. An alternative method for producing biodiesel is the use of algae. Currently, too much energy is consumed during the growth and harvesting of algae, but huge efforts are being made to reduce these energy requirements. Sina Salim is trying to develop a cheap and energy efficient harvesting method to ultimately produce biodiesel from algae, a competitor of fossil fuel. Now he is operational scientist at Bioprocess Pilot Facility B.V.

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Food Technology
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Environmental Sciences.

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USF’s Master of Science in Biology is research-intensive, providing personalized, hands-on training in a faculty member’s laboratory. Read more
USF’s Master of Science in Biology is research-intensive, providing personalized, hands-on training in a faculty member’s laboratory. Working together with their advisers, students design an independent, faculty-directed research project that culminates in a formal written thesis.

The focus of USF’s Master of Science in Biology program is hands-on lab research with full-time faculty and the completion of a major lab research project. Students who have successfully completed the program are prepared to pursue further postgraduate work or to enter into a technical position in a related research or industrial laboratory.

Spring 2018: Areas of Research

Unlike other programs, students are required to apply for a concentration and an opening in a specific faculty member’s laboratory. To qualify for admission to the MS in biology program, you must be interested in pursuing research in one of the following areas:

Conservation Genetics & Systematics - Jennifer Dever
Microbial Ecology, Mycology & Bioinformatics - Naupaka Zimmerman
Marine Biology & Physiology - Nicole Thometz
Parasitology - John Sullivan
Plant Evolution & Ecology - John R. Paul
Virology - Juliet Spencer

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