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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Community Ecology, Netherlands

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Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?. Read more
Will the otter be able to recover? How do plants settle in new areas? Why do geese always travel south at exactly the same time? How do species of plants and animals live together in a habitat?

During this two-year Master's programme Ecology and Evolution, you will gain insight into the living organism in relation to its environment.

Ecology is an internationally oriented field and the degree programme has a strong focus on research. You will therefore conduct one or two independent research projects in various fields. But as you can design most of the programme yourself, you can specialize in the area of your interest. This programme also offers a Top Programme in Evolutionary Biology.

The Master's degree programme Ecology and Evolution is offered by t he Groningen Institute of Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), which conducts research in four relevant areas:
* Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
* Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
* Conservation Biology
* Community Ecology

Why in Groningen?

- Design most of your programme yourself !
- Offers Top programme Evolutionary Biology!
- Research projects possible in various fields!

Job perspectives

As a graduate of this programe you can for example become a researcher at a university or at an institution for applied research. You also have the options of becoming a project officer, consultant or policy officer.

Job examples

- PhD research position
- Project officer
- Consultant

Research Projects in Various Fields

The Master's degree programme is coordinated by the Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences. GELIFES is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and embraces fourteen research groups, which perform research in the fields of:

-Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics
On the importance of genetic variation: how do genetic variation and natural selection result in reproductive systems, adaptation of organisms to their environment and the emergence of new species? We try to answer this question by means of an experimental, molecular approach (genomics) and via model-based studies.

-Behavioural Ecology & Ecophysiology
Both the morphology and physiology of an organism and its behaviour are formed by selection. Behaviour – for example the timing of reproduction, partner choice and time and route of bird migration – and physiology – for example the degree of plasticity to regulate energy use and temperature – are products of evolution. Theoretical models are paired with experimental ones to study these issues, both in the field and in the laboratory.

-Conservation Biology
Small populations are threatened with extinction because their habitat is fragmented. Their chance of survival depends on their genetic structure, demography, dynamics of distribution, etc. This type of research is important, for example, for the restoration of nature reserves or the development of sustainable fishery. Examples of a research projects include the effects of genetic erosion in fruit flies and the seed dispersal of plants in the Wadden Sea.

-Community Ecology
Species and individuals living in the same area interact with each other and with their environment. Processes of physiological adaptations and restrictions, competition, grazing, predation and succession can change a group of individuals into a community. Combining field observations, laboratory experiments and theoretical models can give us a better understanding of the mechanisms that are active in nature.

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Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. Read more

Master's specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Biology or related area

2. Proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
-A TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90(internet based)
- A IELTS score of >6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

This programme provides you with the qualifications you need to start working on your PhD and in the field of communication, business and management or education. Biologists often continue their research careers in universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities. On graduation, our students very quickly take up positions as researchers or analysts in government departments, research organisations and medical or pharmaceutical companies.
What biologists do:
- Researchers at universities or in companies
- Supervisors of clinical trials
- Consultants
- Lecturers
- Policy coordinators
- Teachers

Where biologists work:
- Research/education
- Health care
- Business services
- Industry
- Government
- Trade

Our approach to this field

Communities and Ecosystems deals with the ecology of units of interacting individuals, in populations, communities and ecosystems. The biodiversity is analysed and functionally related to the hydrology, nutritional status and landscape configuration of the ecosystem. Ecogenomics tools are applied to obtain information on unknown components such as microbial composition or evolutionary history of populations. This information together gives insight in how different communities (plants, animals, micro-organisms) within an ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent, and how they determine the resilience of the community to environmental stress. This fundamental knowledge is applied in proven applications in nature and water management.

Our research in this field

- Rich programme
This M.Sc. programme not only puts the interactions between organisms into context, it also integrates all levels of organisation from the molecule and the cell up to ecosystems and the landscape. This combination of experience results in a rich and coherent MSc. programme of Master's courses and exciting internships with state-of-the-art research. It prepares you for a career in science, both fundamental and applied, but also provides the necessary knowledge for innovative evidence-based applications in nature and water management.

- Personal tutor
Our top scientist are looking forward to take you with them on a challenging and inspiring scientific journey. This programme offers you many opportunities to follow your own interests under the guidance of a personal tutor. Radboud University offers you a multitude of research fields to choose from in close collaboration with the
- academic hospital UMCN St. Radboud;
- Institute for Water and Wetlands Research;
- Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences;
- Donders Institute.

This allows you to specialise in a field of personal interest.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/biology/ecosystems

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