The crisis in biodiversity is a crucial challenge for current and future generations. Everyday, species diversity is rapidly declining. Despite the effort of evolutionary biologists to describe biodiversity patterns and processes, they are often missing from the dialogue about conservation of the biodiversity. This course is designed for those looking for an interdisciplinary programme at the interface of social and ecological systems.
This course combines expert teaching with unique experiences of work in real environmental and conservation settings to develop your ability to evaluate the biological and social processes that underpin interactions between biodiversity loss and human society. You will learn to gather and analyse quantitative and qualitative genomic ecological and social data; skills which are at the forefront of current research in conservation science and evolutionary biology.
You will gain invaluable practical experience through our field trips, in Mauritius for example, to work on a real research project, with an additional week in Jersey to learn about captive animal management and the role of zoos in conservation.
The programme is suitable for:
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The programme focuses at building multidisciplinary skills at the interconnection between biodiversity, evolution and conservation science.
An induction to the programme begins in mid-September. Following induction, you will spend one month in Mauritius where you will undertake training at a tropical field station. In Mauritius, you will be deployed to research stations all over the island and will participate in a research project currently undertaken by Ebony Forest, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Theoretical and practical knowledge will be delivered to you by professionals across the full range of the disciplines.
The programme continues on the Hendon campus where you will participate in a range of activities, lectures, seminars, computing workshops, laboratories and field trips. During the year there will also be a one week trip to Jersey at the Durrell Conservation Trust during which you will learn about captive animal management and the role of zoos in conservation.
A major part of the course will the dissertation which is conducted over the summer months.
This module focuses on the understanding of a range of theoretical and practical aspects of different natural environments, from ecology, biodiversity, evolution and conservation science. The module will provide students with high-level research training in biodiversity, focusing on the interactions between physical and biological processes and patterns of complex ecosystems. The module provides a broad understanding of the most up to date techniques in bioinformatics, genomics and computer-aided decision making for biodiversity conservation.
This module aims to provide an opportunity for the student to develop original and independent research investigations aimed at integrating theoretical knowledge and technical expertise to solve a practical problem at a relevant postgraduate level using appropriate research techniques. Students will conduct a substantive piece of field or laboratory research led by a specialist supervisor.
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.
Students are taught through a mixture of classroom, field, laboratory and computing workshop activities. There are also independent study weeks to enable students to develop their own learning. The programme culminates in an individual project which can take place in the field or in the laboratory.
The programme is wholly grounded in practice and through the course delivery, students develop field skills in ecology, laboratory skills in genomics, computing skills in statistics and GIS analysis, as well as proficiency in complex data analysis and mapping. In addition to these fundamental scientific techniques students will be expected to design programmes, implement their own research and learn the methods of developing funding bids.
Here are some key images from Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation students undertaking fieldwork in Mauritius:
Graduates could pursue employment with NGO's specialising in biodiversity and conservation. You will gain expertise in bioinformatics and genomics and could find employment in biotechnology companies. You will also have the skills to undertake a PhD, or be employed in a range of establishments such as national parks, environmental agencies, molecular biology laboratories.