6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate - Unit
Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.
- First semester 2019 (On-campus)
This unit begins by examining the fundamental principles of microbial ecology and the basic methods used in this area. It then considers the role of microorganisms in biogeochemical nutrient cycles. Some important natural habitats for microorganisms such as air, fresh water and salt water are considered with the main discussion centred on soil. The roles of particular soil microorganisms within their microenvironments are explained with special attention being given to microorganisms involved in transformations of carbon and nitrogen. The role of microorganisms in composting, the management of pollution and as agents of bioremediation is discussed.
On completion of this unit students will be able to:
- Discuss principles of microbial ecology, recognising the role of microorganisms as a mixed flora;
- Diagram the role of microorganisms in biogeochemical nutrient cycles;
- Discuss the role of different microorganisms in air, water environments, and soils, predicting the effects of changes in environmental parameters;
- Describe how microorganisms can cause pollution and the use of microorganisms as indicators of pollution;
- Discuss the role of microorganisms in sewage treatment and composting;
- Explain how microorganisms can be exploited in bioremediation;
- Demonstrate the use of molecular and traditional methods for detection and identification of microorganisms.
Examination (2 hours): 60%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week
See also Unit timetable information