Today more than ever, quantitative skills form an essential basis for successful careers in ecology, conservation, and animal and human health. This Masters programme provides specific training in data collection, modelling and statistical analyses as well as generic research skills. It is offered by the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM), a grouping of top researchers who focus on combining field data with computational and genetic approaches to solve applied problems in epidemiology and conservation.
Why this programme
-This programme encompasses key skills in monitoring and assessing biodiversity critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change.
-It covers quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data critical for animal health and conservation.
-You will have the opportunity to base your independent research projects at the University field station on Loch Lomond (for freshwater or terrestrial-based projects); Millport field station on the Isle of Cumbria (for marine projects); or Cochno farm in Glasgow (for research based on farm animals). We will also assist you to gain research project placements in zoos or environmental consulting firms whenever possible.
-The uniqueness of the programme is the opportunity to gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects, which will enhance future career opportunities, including entrance into competitive PhD programmes. For example, there are identification based programmes offered elsewhere, but most others do not combine practical field skills with molecular techniques, advanced informatics for assessing biodiversity based on molecular markers, as well as advanced statistics and modelling. Other courses in epidemiology are rarely ecologically focused; the specialty in IBAHCM is understanding disease ecology, in the context of both animal conservation and implications for human public health.
-You will be taught by research-active staff using the latest approaches in quantitative methods, sequence analysis, and practical approaches to assessing biodiversity, and you will have opportunites to actively participate in internationally recognised research. Some examples of recent publications lead by students in the programme: Blackburn, S., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Ogutu, J. O., Matthiopoulos, J. and Frank, L. (2016), Human-wildlife conflict, benefit sharing and the survival of lions in pastoralist community-based conservancies. J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.12632. Rysava, K., McGill, R. A. R., Matthiopoulos, J., and Hopcraft, J. G. C. (2016) Re-constructing nutritional history of Serengeti wildebeest from stable isotopes in tail hair: seasonal starvation patterns in an obligate grazer. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom., 30:1461-1468. doi: 10.1002/rcm.7572. Ferguson, E.A., Hampson, K., Cleaveland, S., Consunji, R., Deray, R., Friar, J., Haydon, D. T., Jimenez, J., Pancipane, M. and Townsend, S.E., 2015. Heterogeneity in the spread and control of infectious disease; consequences for the elimination of canine rabies. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 18232. doi: 10.1038/srep18232.
-A unique strength of the University of Glasgow for many years has been the strong ties between veterinarians and ecologists, which has now been formalised in the formation of the IBAHCM. This direct linking is rare but offers unique opportunities to provide training that spans both fundamental and applied research.
The programme provides a strong grounding in scientific writing and communication, statistical analysis, and experimental design. It is designed for flexibility, to enable you to customise a portfolio of courses suited to your particular interests.
You can choose from a range of specialised options that encompass key skills in:
-Monitoring and assessing biodiversity – critical for understanding the impacts of environmental change
-Quantitative analyses of ecological and epidemiological data – critical for animal health and conservation
-Ethics and legislative policy – critical for promoting humane treatment of both captive and wild animals.
-Key research skills (scientific writing, introduction to R, advanced linear models, experimental design and power analysis)
-Measuring biodiversity and abundance
-Programming in R
-Independent research project
-Molecular analyses for biodiversity and conservation
-Molecular epidemiology and phylodynamics
-Infectious disease ecology and the dynamics of emerging disease
-Single-species population models
-Spatial and network processes in ecology & epidemiology
-Introduction to Bayesian statistics
-Freshwater sampling techniques
-Human Dimensions of Conservation
-Principles of Conservation Ecology
-Protected Area Management
-Animal welfare science
-Legislation related to animal welfare
-Enrichment of animals in captive environments
-Care of captive animals
-Biology of suffering
-Assessment of physiological state
You will gain core skills and knowledge across a wide range of subjects that will enhance your selection chances for competitive PhD programmes. In addition to academic options, career opportunities include roles in zoos, environmental consultancies, government agencies, ecotourism and conservation biology, and veterinary or public health epidemiology.