BSc Marine Biology options
Year 2, Component 04
Option(s) from list
Computational Data Analysis: R for Life Sciences
If we were to compile the DNA sequence of the human genome into a book, it would be 200,000 pages long, and would take 10 years to read. The ability to effectively interpret and analyse large-scale genetic and genomic data sets is a crucial skill for next-generation biologists. The module provides a basic introduction to R, the programming language of choice for biologists industry and academia. You learn to write scripts and functions, read and write data files in different formats, use basic plot functionalities and perform basic statistical analysis.
The aim of this module is to provide a view of how a fundamental understanding of plant processes can impact on the production of plants for the 21st century. Learn the essential processes and constraints on plant growth and development, and explore how innovative technological approaches in plant sciences may provide real solutions to our future predicted global food shortage. You’ll look into key aspects of plant physiology such as different photosynthetic mechanisms, and modern approaches to manipulating plant performance and growth.
This module will develop your understanding of how researchers examine the molecular components of life to better understand the ecology of living organisms. This feeds directly into modern approaches for conservation biology, monitoring ecosystems, examining species iterations, and advancing our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary relationships supporting a living planet. This module will be delivered via a series of lectures and lab practicals, with a balanced emphasis on both applying knowledge and understanding theory.
Examine how competition, predation, herbivory, mutualism, disease and parasitism affect the distribution, abundance and growth of populations, and how populations interact to affect the structure and dynamics of ecological communities. You apply this ecological knowledge to real-world problems, such as pest control and conservation.
Human activity is resulting in an ever-accelerating rate of extinction of biodiversity. Many species in the tropics are becoming extinct even before they have been described by science, while many more are threatened worldwide, including in the UK. Considering the need for biodiversity conservation, you work alongside some of the key employers in the sector including Essex Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency. Topics include sustainable fisheries and agriculture, climate change, environmental law and captive breeding and re-introduction.
Microbes have been on the Earth for at least 3.5 billion years; they tolerate or require a huge range of physico-chemical extremes and perform a remarkable array of functions. This module will examine the diversity of microbes, and how they can be applied for the benefit of society and the environment, for example by bioremediation of contaminated land, recovery of oil and metals, production of biofuels and therapeutic compounds.
You’ll gain an insight into biology and ecology of tropical coral reef systems. By explaining the nature of the connection between coral reefs and tropical biomes, we help you gain a thorough understanding of the ecological functioning of coral reef systems. We explore the biology of coral reef systems, the landscape ecology of tropical coastal marine systems and examine the importance of the threats to these systems and the options for management.
Coral reefs are overexploited, threatened by multiple anthropogenic stressors and in need of protection through appropriate management. You will develop practical skills in coral reef monitoring, assessment and research, and will receive training in scuba diving, species identification, and scuba- and snorkel-based assessment and monitoring techniques. Learn how to design, implement and report on scientifically robust underwater research. You'll have the opportunity to undertake a speciality field-course and can be awarded a Coral Reef Research diver certification from the Profession Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). As part of this module you will visit the coral triangle in South East Sulawesi, Indonesia, where you will conduct coral reef research by diving or snorkelling, attend lectures, workshops and feedback sessions. There is an additional cost for this trip (currently approximately £2,000), which you will be required to pay.
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