Aquatic Ecosystems 15 c

Program: Master programme in Biology
Level: Advanced level
Course code: 1BG506
Credits: 15 c
More info: Course syllabus
Student portal: Schedule and course material

Lakes and rivers are essential and highly appreciated components of natural ecosystems, and should be preserved and protected for future generations. At the same time, aquatic ecosystem services are essential for society; for fisheries, transport, production of hydro-electrical power, and for recreational purposes. Freshwater resources are also utilised for drinking water supplies, irrigation, industrial processes and so on. Sustainable use of aquatic resources requires solid knowledge of the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems.

The course Aquatic Ecosystems focuses on three main research areas: aquatic food webs, biodiversity and its importance for ecosystem functions and ecosystem services, as well as biogeochemical cycles. The course runs in close connection to current research within the field and prepares for research as well as professional work within management of aquatic ecosystems. During the course you deepen your knowledge in limnology with special emphasis on scientific practice, which includes critical evaluation of data, models and theories. One part of the course deals with the philosophy of science including issues about research ethics and experimental design.

The course is a mixture of theoretical models, field work, experiments, lectures and seminars. Among other things, a laboratory experiment based on a model ecosystem will run throughout the whole course, to be used to test questions related to the theoretical parts. Hands on experience will be obtained during this experiment and the field work, but also in case studies when data from real examples of ecosystems will be used and analysed.

This course will give you the knowledge and skills to meet the increasing need for limnologists in the sustainable development of society, within research and development as well as in the practical management of aquatic systems. Employment may be sought from central or regional governmental offices, from water boards, private companies and consultancies, conservation or non-governmental organisations.

For more information, please contact:
Sebastian Sobek (Sebastian.Sobek@ebc.uu.se)