Marine Microbiology

Overview: A broad range of topics in marine microbial ecology are covered including, the application of theoretical ecology questions to microbes and populations, the influence of health and disease on marine plants and animals, symbiosis in environmental systems and the essential roles they play in earth systems. This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of interdisciplinary sciences that involve thinking about microbes as both tiny cells and the largest populations on earth. These disparate scales require the student to grasp concepts from gene function to global processes.

Research Skills: The class will include both field and laboratory based experiments. Students will learn basic microbiology laboratory techniques (aseptic technique, culturing, bioassays and metabolic measurements) and fieldwork (aseptic sampling, experimental design and field measurements). Classes will be a combination of lectures and discussions.

Practical Skills: Students will develop skills in critical thinking, scientific method, qualitative and quantitative data collection, field and laboratory research techniques and safety practices, and effective written and oral communication.

Prerequisites: Introductory Microbiology or Introductory Ecology or permission of the instructor.

Physical Requirements: Students must be comfortable on open boats, walking rugged shorelines in all types of weather and working in the laboratory, the field and at a computer.

Boat Use: You will be given the opportunity to drive boats if you choose to do so. Boat driving is recommended but not required for Marine Microbiology. Students who wish to drive boats at BMSC must hold a PCOC and valid first aid certificate and will participate in an introductory boat check-out on the first day of orientation.

Textbook: Microbial Ecology (Wiley-Blackwell) is recommended, but not required.

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