The course will have a general part covering microbial ecological interactions, a descriptive part treating key types of ecosystems, and a methodological part covering quantitative and qualitative methods and modelling. The course consist of the following five equally large parts:
- General basis: The general principals of microbial behaviour in ecosystems. Microbial interactions related to resource competition and predation/parasitism. Microbial populations, communities and ecosystems.
- Quantitative and qualitative methods: Fluorescent microscopy and molecular techniques (PCR- and probe based).
- Natural ecosystems: Microbes in natural habitats; air, water, soil and symbionts. Pelagic food webs and eutrophication.
- Unnatural ecosystems: Selected systems and biological water purification. Anaerobic fermentation and xenobiotika.
- Modelling: Mathematical basis and model types. Examples and modelling tools (Matlab, ASM Nos. 1-3, Aquasim m.m.).
Recommended previous knowledge
The course is based on knowledge in microbiology comparable to TBT4110 Microbiology. Courses like TBT4170 Biotechnology, TBT4145/TBT4146 Molecular Genetics, TBT4130 Environmental Biotechnology, and courses in basic ecology are also a useful background.
After completion of the course the students have a good understanding of interactions determining the development of microbial communities and they have a basic knowledge for analyzing microbial ecosystems; both natural and human created/controlled ecosystems like intensive plants for treatment of water and waste.