Ecology and conservation

Picture of a wolf

Ecology & conservation

If you want to work within nature conservation or do research in ecology or conservation this is the specialisation to choose.

Ecology deals with interactions among organisms and their relations to the environment and is a meeting point for many biological fields. This specialization is therefore rather cross-disciplinary. Courses in evolutionary biology are essential to understand the distribution and abundance of species. Conservation includes the preservation of genetic variation, and studies in genetics are crucial for many ecological issues. Discussions on biodiversity and species coexistence patterns require skills in species identification, and for some fields of ecology knowledge in earth sciences and chemistry are important.

Information about the specialisation

The standard starting course is Ecology D. For students who have an advanced ecology course in their bachelor degree, the alternative starting courses are Limnology D or Evolutionary Processes.

In the second course, Population and Community Ecology, you will plunge deep into ecological patterns and processes, topics that you have already encountered during earlier basic courses. Various themes are introduced in lectures and discussed in seminars, but most importantly you will work through these themes in projects. You will learn to use tools to analyse dynamics in populations and communities with examples drawn from both plants and animals.

After the two opening courses, you select further courses depending on what career you aim at. A combination with Conservation Biology and Ecological Methods gives an excellent basis for nature conservation, and you will be well acquainted with modern programmes for environmental monitoring (EU's Natura 2000 and NILS, the National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden). You will be prepared to work at county councils, governmental bodies as well as non-governmental organizations and corporations. The ambition is that students with this background should have a firm theoretical background that can be used to solve applied conservation problems.

For those aiming at a research career, combinations with courses with a strong link to current research (e.g.,Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Genomics) can be recommended.

During the second year you can choose additional courses or combine a research training period and a degree project of 30 or 45 hp credit points.

Career opportunities

With carefully selected combinations of courses and choice of thesis work you will get a good basis for a future professional life within nature conservation. The place of work could be authorities at local, regional or national level, as well as non-governmental organizations and private consultancies (a large part of conservation work is performed by such agencies). International work, for example within conservation organisations, is also an option. You will be well aquinted with the new programmes for monitoring, such as the EU's Natura 2000 Network and the National Inventory of Landscapes in Sweden (NILS). You will have solid theoretical knowledge that you can use to solve applied problems in ecology and conservation. Our focus in presentation techniques (writing reports and giving oral presentations) is important for your future career.

Not least, the master is of course also a basis for PhD research in Sweden or other countries, and in this case your Master thesis will be the most important document in your CV.