Module Identifier BS24810  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Gareth W Griffith  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Alexandre M Anesio  
Pre-Requisite BS11110  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   2 x 3 hour seminars  
  Lecture   18 x 1h lectures  
  Other   1 x 3 hour workshops  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Seminar, poster and essay  30%
Semester Assessment2 Hours Examination  70%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Examination  70%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework or alternative  30%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:


This module is designed to introduce students to the importance of microbes in biogeochemical cycles and the methods used to measure theor biodiversity. biomass and activity.

Brief description

Via a series of lectures and workshops the module will develop a knowledge and understanding of the role played by microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses, algae) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, focusing on their importance in biogeochemical cycling as well as the methodologies used to study these organisms.   



To include coverage of methods in microbial ecology (traditional/molecular), biochemical and genetic diversity within Bacteria/Archaea, role of fungi in lignocellulose degradation, dynamics of bacteria/virus interactions in lakes/streams, role of fungi in processing of debris in streams, deep ocean black smokers, primary productivity in pelagic habitats, interactions between microbes and animals, interactions (fungus farming/ oral microbiology/rumen ecosystem), between microbes and plants (mycorrhizas/nitrogen fixers).   


To include student presentation of seminars of specific areas of microbial ecology (this will allow the participants a degree of specialization according to their degree scheme).


To include the presentation of group posters prepared on specific case studies in microbial ecology.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Practical classes, seminars and poster preparation will provide opportunities to develop problem solving skills.  
Research skills Practical work, seminars and poster preparation using library and www resources.  
Communication Attendance at lectures and preparation and presentation of seminars and posters will provide opportunities to develop presentational (oral and written) and listening skills.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Attendance at lectures, seminars and workshops, working to deadlines for seminars and workshops, and preparation for examinations will require the development of self management strategies and personal action plans.  
Team work Production and presentation of group posters. Practical sessions.  
Information Technology IT skills developed in seminar and poster presentation via o library and www resources to source information o use of PowerPoint o poster preparation.  
Application of Number Not relevant.  
Personal Development and Career planning Awareness of personal and career development skills will be developed through the coursework, e.g. teamwork for posters.  

Reading Lists

Atlas, Ronald M. (c1998.) Microbial ecology : fundamentals and applications /Ronald M. Atlas, Richard Bartha. 0805306552
Bardgett, Richard D. (2005.) The biology of soil :a community and ecosystem approach /Richard D. Bardgett. 0198525028
Smith, S. E. (1997.) Mycorrhizal symbiosis /Sally E. Smith and David J. Read. 0126528403


This module is at CQFW Level 5