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Unit information: Geomicrobiology in 2018/19

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Unit name Geomicrobiology
Unit code EASC30051
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2C (weeks 13 - 18)
Unit director Dr. Buss
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

EASC20011 Environmental Geochemistry or equivalent knowledge. Students who have not taken EASC20011 should contact the unit director before registering for this unit.

Co-requisites

N/A

School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description

An overview of concepts, techniques, and issues in geomicrobiology as they relate to environmental geosciences.

Aims: to learn about and examine microbial properties, metabolisms, diversity and abundance in the natural environment; to appreciate the coupling of biological with chemical and physical processes in the natural environment; to examine specific ways in which microorganisms create or contribute to normal geological processes, environmental problems, and remediation of environmental problems; and to summarise current techniques for assessing microbial influences on the environment.

In addition to summative assessment, formative feedback is given throughout the unit by way of in-class quizzes and 2 problem sets.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, the student will be able to:

  • describe the variety of microbial metabolisms;
  • explain microbial roles in: pollution, remediation of mining waste, degradation of organic pollutants, biomineralisation, mineral weathering, and global element and greenhouse gas cycling;
  • quantitatively apply understanding of microbial catalysis of chemical reactions to redox processes in the environment;
  • apply knowledge about geomicrobiological processes and environmental conditions to select appropriate bioremediation strategies
  • collaborate with others to present an informative talk to an appropriate audience

Teaching details

Lectures and practicals

Assessment Details

  • 3 hour examination (60%)
  • Coursework (40%) - comprising 1250 word individual report [worth 50% of coursework mark] and group presentations [worth 50% of coursework mark].

Reading and References

Recommended

Konhauser K.O. 2006. Introduction to Geomicrobiology. Wiley-Blackwell, 440 pp.

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