The field of Environmental Microbiology offers great potential for the development of new and innovative strategies and products for the management and protection of the environment. In this course, students learn of the vital role of microbes in marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems by exploring the dynamic interactions that take place between microbial communities, the surroundings and higher organisms. A series of lectures and practical sessions cover key themes in contemporary environmental microbiology including microbial diversity and function, sensing and adaptive responses of bacteria, biogeochemical cycling and microbial communities and interactions. Laboratory sessions allow students to gain experience in the experimental design and practical skills of research in the context of mini-research projects involving environmental issues. Students will gain theoretical and practical experience in modern molecular techniques for the direction, phylogeny and tracking of microbial communities. An online component of the course is used to support laboratory activities and help students track their own progress and understanding of the course content. This course emphasises how the principles and techniques of Environmental Microbiology can be applied to a range of environmental problems and lead to the development of sustainable resources and commercial applications, as expanded in Environmental Biotechnology (BIOT3081).Note: Highly recommended: MICR2011, BIOC2201, BIOS2021 or BIOS2621.