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 2018 (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 micro-organisms in biogeochemical nutrient cycles. Some important natural habitats for micro-organisms such as air, fresh water and salt water are considered with the main discussion centred on soil. The roles of particular soil micro-organisms within their microenvironments are explained with special attention being given to micro-organisms involved in transformations of carbon and nitrogen. The role of micro-organisms 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 micro-organisms as a mixed flora;
- Diagram the role of micro-organisms in biogeochemical nutrient cycles;
- Discuss the role of different micro-organisms in air, water environments, and soils, predicting the effects of changes in environmental parameters;
- Describe how micro-organisms can cause pollution and the use of micro-organisms as indicators of pollution;
- Discuss the role of micro-organisms in sewage treatment and composting;
- Explain how micro-organisms can be exploited in bioremediation;
- Demonstrate the use of molecular and traditional methods for detection and identification of micro-organisms.
Examination (2 hours): 60%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Assignment (2000 words): 10%
Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory per week
See also Unit timetable information