Visit our course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 28 February 2018. To register for a place, please email [email protected]
Taxonomy and systematics provide the foundation for studying the great diversity of the living world and its evolutionary history. 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.
This course provides 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.
This course is a collaboration of Imperial College London (South Kensington and Silwood Park campuses) with the Natural History Museum. This provides an exciting scientific environment of two institutions at the forefront of taxonomic and evolutionary research.
The MSc in Taxonomy, Biodiversity and Evolution comprises two terms of taught modules, mostly based at the Natural History Museum, and covers core areas in biodiversity, palaeobiology, phylogenetics, molecular systematics, phylogenomics and taxonomic principles. This is followed by a 16-week laboratory or field-based research project at the NHM or Imperial College’s Silwood Park or South Kensington campuses.
• Taxonomy of major groups and the Tree-of-Life: An introduction of major branches of the Tree, including identification exercises, presented by NHM experts
• Statistics and Computing: A two-week intensive course at Silwood Park
• Field course: trapping and collecting techniques for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
• Phylogenetic Reconstruction: the principles of building phylogenetic trees
• Molecular Systematics: generating and analysing molecular data; model-based phylogenetics
• Phylogenomics: Genomic techniques for studying evolutionary processes and biodiversity
• Biodiversity (Concepts): speciation, radiation, macroevolution, mechanics of evolution
•Biodiversity (Applied): Measuring biodiversity, geospatial analysis, collection management and biodiversity informatics
• Palaeobiology: Studying the fossil record and what we can learn about biodiversity.
Students on the course will become the new generation of taxonomists in the broadest sense. They will be familiar with these new tools, as well as the wider concepts of biodiversity science, evolutionary biology and genomics. Most importantly, students gain the abilities to work as an independent scientist and researcher, to be able to solve questions about the future of biodiversity and to communicate them to peers and the public.
Students have many options for future employment in evolutionary and ecological research labs in industry, government and non-governmental organisations, conservation, and scientific publishing and the media. The courses are an excellent starting point for PhD level careers, feeding into various Doctoral Training Programmes available at NHM and Imperial, or elsewhere.
This is a full-time research-based postgraduate degree, run jointly by Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum, London.
visit the course pages for more information about the next Open Day at NHM on Wednesday 7 June 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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
• 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.
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. An Open Day is scheduled for Wednesday 28 February 2018. to register for a place on the Open Day please email [email protected]
Make a difference
From protecting our native biodiversity to identifying key traits to improve crop plants in an ever-changing climate, plant biology research can solve the world’s major global issues.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
Massey’s Master of Science (Plant Biology) will give you the knowledge and skills to understand and help solve some of the world’s most important current issues, such as the effects of climate change on our native species and crop plants, how to preserve native biodiversity, and understanding fundamental physiological aspects of plants.
You will build upon your undergraduate degree and conduct original, independent research under the guidance of a leading plant science academic.
The plant biology team at Massey have expertise in plant molecular biology, evolutionary biology, systematics and taxonomy, and plant physiology. During the course of your studies you can choose to further your knowledge and apply your learning on an exciting research project such as:
Let our experts help you develop your own expertise. You will learn from, and research with, highly-skilled internationally-recognised and active researchers in plant biology and related areas, with a huge depth of knowledge and experience. Postgraduate study and research in plant biology at Massey spans evolutionary biology to physiology. You will have the opportunity to learn about the fundamental aspects of plant growth and function, as well as the molecular evolution and classification (systematics) of plants. You might choose to conduct research focused on the native New Zealand flora or a model organism, like Arabidopsis thaliana, or even a crop species.
You will also be able to take advantage of Massey’s expertise across the sciences. We have a wide and relevant group of expertise within the university, from fundamental sciences like microbiology and biochemistry, to agriculture, engineering, horticulture and environmental management.
This means no matter what your research interest you will have access to a broad range of experts to assist you develop your own research.
As a plant biology student you will have access to our world-leading equipment and facilities such as the Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium, the Palynology Laboratory, Plant Growth Unit, Seed Testing Services, Massey Genome Service and the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre.
We work to ensure that our teaching fits with the changing environment, which means that you will emerge with a relevant qualification valued by potential employers.
Massey has strong connections with the Crown Research Institutes in Palmerston North and across New Zealand, especially AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, and Scion. Some of our students are able to conduct their projects at these organisations whilst undertaking their postgraduate study, benefiting their career and gaining real-word experience in the process.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research.
Massey University’s Master of Science is primarily a 240 credit master qualification. This is made up of 120 credits of taught courses and a 120 credit research project.
Or if you have already completed the BSc (Hons) or PGDipSc you can conduct a 120 credit thesis to achieve your MSc qualification.
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
All our master’s programmes emphasise the practical skills that employers need, whether that is the ability to identify plants, carry out environmental assessments or use the latest cutting-edge molecular techniques. As a University of Reading MSc graduate, you will be well equipped to work in the field or the lab, and in the private or public sector. Many of our graduates go on to study for a PhD and pursue a career in research either in industry or in universities.
Typical roles of graduates from our ecology and wildlife-based MSc programmes include conservation officers, project managers, field ecologists and environmental consultants. Graduates from our biomedical MSc programme typically go on to pursue PhD studies or work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Biodiversity, evolution and conservation are of growing importance due to climate change, extinction, and habitat destruction. This new research-led programme is run in collaboration with the Institute of Zoology and the Natural History Museum, providing a rigorous training and unparalleled opportunities across the full breadth of pure and applied research in evolutionary, ecological, and conservation science.
Taught modules will focus on cutting-edge quantitative tools in ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics, systematics, palaeobiology, conservation, biogeography and environmental biology. Seminars, journal clubs and the two research projects will provide students with diverse opportunities for experience at UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of three core taught modules (60 credits) and two 16-week research projects (120 credits).
All students undertake two 6000-word, 16-week research projects, which each culminate in a written dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, presentations, assigned papers, as well as data analysis and interpretation. The seminar series includes mandatory seminars at UCL, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London). Assessment is through essays, project reports, presentations and practicals. The two research projects are assessed by dissertation, and poster or oral presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation MRes
This programme offers students a strong foundation with which to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.
Recent career destinations for this degree
This programme provides students with a strong foundation to pursue careers in academic research, environmental policy and management, applied conservation, public health, or scientific journalism.
Interested in a PhD? Find out about London NERC DTP
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
This programme is an innovative collaboration between three globally renowned organisations: UCL Genetics, Evolution and Environment & Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Natural History Museum and the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London.
By consolidating research expertise across these three organisations, students will gain a unique and exceptionally broad understanding of ties among different fields of research relating to the generation and conservation of biodiversity.
The MRes offers diverse research opportunities; these include the possibility of engaging actively in fundamental and applied research and participating in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (based at the Natural History Museum) or the EDGE of Existence programme (based at the Zoological Society of London).
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Ecology and evolutionary biology offer a perspective on biology from the level of genes to communities of species.
In the master's degree program, you can become familiar with a wide variety of topics in three areas: ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. You can choose studies from any of these areas, as well as from other master's degree programmes. The programme is diverse and multidisciplinary: teaching is done with lectures, laboratory and computer training courses, interactive seminars, study tours and field courses. The field courses range from the northern subarctic region to tropical rainforests.
Our wide expertise extends from molecular ecology to population and community biology. The Centres of Excellence of Metapopulation Biology and Biological Interactions are located in our department.
Our programme offers you a wide range of options: evolutionary biology or genetics for those interested in ecological genetics and genomics, as well as the ability to take advantage of the high-quality molecular ecology and systematics laboratory; conservation biology for those interested in regional or global environmental problems; and ecological modelling skills for those interested in computational biology. Our training also offers Behavioural Ecology.
Ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology are not only fascinating topics for basic research, they also have a key role in addressing global environmental challenges.
Upon graduating from the Master's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology programme, you will:
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master's degree program includes studies of ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. The studies are organised in modules. You can affect the content of the studies by planning your personal curriculum. You can study the following themes:
Life on Earth depends on solar energy captured by plants - they are the base of most food webs and underpin the functioning of all major ecosystems. Plants release the oxygen we breath. They convert solar energy into chemical energy, providing us with food, fibres, renewable energy sources, and raw materials for many industries. Plants do not carry out these processes in isolation. They interact with other organisms and the physical and chemical environment, communicate and actively adjust to their circumstances. How do they do these things and how can we profit from understanding them? When you have graduated from the Master’s Program in Plant Biology you will have the answers to these big questions, and more, such as:
You will also be able to:
After earning your degree, you can continue towards a PhD or move directly into a career. If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a field of biology from another Finnish university or from a foreign university anywhere in the world, you are welcome to apply for the Master’s programme in Plant Biology. Based on your previous studies we will evaluate the possible need for supplementary studies, which will be included in your degree.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The Master’s Programme in Plant Biology is a joint programme of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, which ensures an exceptionally comprehensive curriculum. You will be able to study the diversity of wild and cultivated plants from the Arctic to the Tropics, as well as plant functions from the molecular to the ecosystem level.
The teaching is diverse, consisting of modern laboratory and computer courses, field courses, seminars and excursions. The curriculum is intertwined with research. You will be introduced to the research groups from the beginning of your studies, so you will become familiar with research methods as your studies progress. Much of the study material is in various learning platforms (such as Moodle), which allow distance learning. You will have a personal tutor who will help you tailor an individual study plan according to your requirements.
Within the programme you can choose among several optional study modules and focus on, for example:
All modules are worth at least 15 credits. They are interlinked to ensure a coherent and balanced degree that allows you to obtain a broad perspective. Alternatively, you can focus on your primary research interest while acquiring the skills needed to follow your career goals on completion of your degree.
A translational perspective is emphasised in courses in which it is relevant. That will allow you to apply the acquired basic knowledge in problem-based research, bridging the gap between basic and applied research.