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Course module: NWI-BM014D
Microbiology of Wetland Ecosystems
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BM014D
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
prof. dr. L.A.M.P. van Niftrik
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. L.A.M.P. van Niftrik
Other course modules lecturer
dr. O. Rasigraf
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.J. Smeulders
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2017
KW1  (04/09/2017 to 12/11/2017)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
The course will make you familiar with the main biogeochemical cycles on earth, exemplified in wetland ecosystems, and the diversity of microorganisms that are driving these element cycles. After having followed this course you will be able to
  • understand on a global level the microbial processes involved in wetland carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycles
  • understand the various forms of energy metabolism of microorganisms and predict which processes are likely to occur under given circumstances
  • choose the most appropriate method(s) currently used in microbial ecology to answer specific questions on the role of microorganisms in aquatic ecosystems, and critically evaluate their advantages and shortcomings 
  • critically read and evaluate a scientific manuscript, and explain its essence and your judgment to your peers
  • collaborate in a small group to discuss and present scientific work, and incorporate constructive feedback in preparation of presentations
Based on this, you are able to formulate relevant research questions and approaches about the role of microorganisms in wetland ecosystems.
This course is an integral part of the Master's specialization Adaptive Organisms, but also relevant for the MSc specializations Communities and Ecosystems, Water and Environment and Transnational ecosystem-based water management. It introduces you to different wetland ecosystems, their overall functioning and highlights the role of microbes in the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, sulfur and carbon/methane. Special attention is given to microbial production and consumption of greenhouse gases.
In addition to lectures concerning the element cycles and methods to study microorganisms, you will prepare (in pairs) a presentation on current methods for microbiological research or a case study focusing on the role of microorganisms in different wetland ecosystems and element cycles.
Links to relevant literature (scientific papers and Brock - Biology of Microorganisms) and lecture slides will be provided through blackboard.
Teaching formats
Lectures: 16 hours
Tutorial: 3 hours
Presentations: 8 hours
Individual feedback sessions: 1 hour per student
Oral examination: 0.5 hour per student
Additional comments
This course is tailored for students from the Master specializations: Adaptive organisms, Communities & Ecosystems, Water & Environment and Transnational ecosystem-based water management.

Students from the Master specialization Microbiology please note that this course has major overlap with other Microbiology master courses in your program!
Test information
The final mark is composed of the presentation grade (20%) and the oral exam grade (80%). Both grades need to be at least 5.5.
Knowledge on fundamental aspects of microbiology and biogeochemistry. This knowledge can be acquired by previous courses like Microbiology, Biology of Microorganisms and/or Applied and Environmental Microbiology or by individual study of relevant chapters of the textbook "Brock - Biology of Microorganisms".
Contact information
Laura van Niftrik:
Required materials
Recommended materials
Brock - Biology of Microorganisms
Instructional modes
Course occurrence


Attendance MandatoryYes

Response course

Attendance MandatoryYes


Test weight1
Test typeOral exam
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2

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