• Course code: AM_470511
  • Period: Period 1
  • Credits: 6.0
  • Language of tuition: English
  • Faculty: Fac. der Aard- en Levenswetenschappen
  • Coordinator: prof. dr. G.A. Kowalchuck
  • Lecturers: prof. dr. G.A. Kowalchuck
  • Teaching method(s): Lecture, Computer lab, Practical

Course objective

To provide students with an introduction to microbial diversity and
microbial ecology with a strong emphasis on recent molecular biological
and genomics developments in this field.
Study goals:
1. Be aware of the enormous microbial diversity in nature, its role
in the cycling of chemical elements and its potential in the application
in biotechnology and ecosystem services.
2. Be able to understand and explain the different diagnostic tools
that are currently available to study the diversity and activity of
microorganisms in natural and man-made environments.
3. Can explain the global element cycles and the functional groups
of microorganisms that catalyze the reactions in these cycles.
4. Can analyze sequence data with different software programs and
coorelate diversity to environmental parameters.
5. Can carry out a literature study, summarize it in an essay and
present it to other students.

Course content

This course is delivered at the UvA. For more information follow this

Form of tuition

Lectures, computer practical, and short research projects

Type of assessment

Students will be graded based upon a written examination at the end of
the course, as well as a the quality of their project and the
performance in the computer lab. These evaluations will be weighted as
follows: 50% written exam, 35% student project, 15% computer practical.

Course reading

Brock – Biology of Microorganisms
Handouts of the lectures
Key articles and literature references on the different topics.
Course materials will be provided to all participants prior to and
during the course via Blackboard.


Teaching staff: prof. dr. G.A. Kowalchuk (VU staff) & prof. dr. G.
Muyzer (UvA staff)

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