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Course module: NWI-BM068
Environmental Microbiology & Biotechnology
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BM068
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
dr. ing. M.A.H.J. van Kessel
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S. Lücker
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S. Lücker
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. S. Lücker
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-
At the end of this course, the student is able to:
  • develop an approach for the use of microorganisms as bio-catalysts in industrial applications such as waste water treatment, biogas production and bioremediation
  • examine the novelty of a microorganism that was newly isolated from the environment based on genotypic and phenotypic characteristics
  • design experiments to characterize the diversity and function of microorganisms in the environment in order to understand biogeochemical cycles in an ecosystem
  • evaluate the implication of environmental key parameters on microbial diversity in order to predict the response to environmental changes
  • discuss the role of microorganisms in the evolution of cellular life on Earth
Our Earth is a microbial planet. Microbes do not only play a fundamental role in nature's nutrient cycling, their catalytic functionality is also applied in biotechnological processes such as waste water treatment, bioremediation and energy generation. They are incredibly diverse and so far only a fraction of what is estimated to live on our planet has been discovered and characterized.
In 'Ecological Microbiology & Biotechnology', we will have a look at microbial diversity in nature and introduce methods to study their distribution and their function in an ecosystem. We will focus on their role in Earth's nutrient cycling, their adaptation to different environments and from there make a link to their application in industry.
Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 14th edition, Pearson (an earlier edition can also be used)
Teaching formats
• 10 hours lecture
• 2 hours question session
• 40 hours problem session
• 32 hours individual study period
Additional comments
The course is a mandatory course within the MSc Biology specialisation Microbiology. The number of places is limited to allow for six additional students from other study programs. Please inquire with the course coordinator Dr. Sebastian Lücker (
• The role of microbes in early evolution
• The use of sequence data to classify microorganisms
• The role of microbes in nutrient cycling and their adaptation to environmental parameters in an ecosystem
• The use of cultivation-dependent and independent methods in microbial ecology
• The application of microbes in biotechnology
Test information
Oral examination (30 min per student)
Basic knowledge in microbial physiology and the role of microorganisms in biogeochemical cycling as can be obtained in the courses "Physiology of Microorganisms" and "Geomicrobiologie"in the BSc Biology at RU or by self-study with the book "Brock Microbiology of Microorganisms". Ideally, students should have taken the MSc Biology specialisation Microbiology course "Microbial physiology and metabolism".
Contact information
Sebastian Lücker (
Required materials
Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 14th edition, Pearson
Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Response course
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes


Test weight1
Test typeOral exam
OpportunitiesBlock KW1, Block KW2

Kies de Nederlandse taal