Microbes are essential for every aspect of life on the planet. Microbes in the human gut control our digestion and our immune system, microbes in the soil are required for plant growth, microbes in the ocean fix more carbon dioxide than all the Earth's trees. In this unit of study you will investigate the diversity and activity of microorganisms - viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa - and look at how they interact with us, each other, plants and animals. You will examine how microbes underpin healthy ecosystems through nutrient cycling and biodegradation, their use industrially in biotechnology and food production, and their ability to cause harm, producing disease, poisoning, pollution and spoilage. Detailed aspects of microbial ecology, nutrition, physiology and genetics will also be introduced. This unit of study will provide you with the breadth of knowledge and skills needed for further studies of microbiology, and will provide the fundamental understanding of microbes that you will require to specialise in related fields such as biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, agriculture, nutrition and food sciences, bioengineering and biotechnology, ecology, or science education. As an Advanced unit, MICR2931 provides increased challenge and academic rigour to develop a greater understanding and depth of disciplinary expertise. You will actively participate in a series of small group tutorials investigating the molecular detail of microbial communication and function, which will culminate in you creating a scientific research report that communicates your understanding of recent research in microbiology.
Two 1-hour lectures per week; one 3-hour practical per week; five tutorial sessions
Theory 60%: 45-minute mid-semester theory exam (20%) and 1.5-hour theory exam (40%); Practical 40%: two written assignments (10%, 20%), and online quizzes (10%)
Willey et al, Prescott's Microbiology, 10th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2017
Fundamental concepts of microorganisms, biomolecules and ecosystems; CHEM1XX1
A mark of 70 or above in 6cp from (BIOL1XXX or MBLG1XXX)Prohibitions
MICR2021 or MICR2921 or MICR2024 or MICR2031