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.).
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.
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.