Arctic Microbiology

The course aims to provide Master students in biology with a comprehensive introduction to processes and mechanisms in Arctic microbiology.

The complimentary lectures, field and laboratory work will strengthen knowledge and practical skills. Theory sessions will cover Arctic microbial biodiversity (viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria and eukaryotes), methods in Arctic microbiology (from classical microscopy, culture and physiology to modern biochemical, molecular and bioinformatic), Arctic biogeochemistry and nutrient cycles (energy, metabolism, geomicrobiology, carbon and nitrogen cycling), Arctic microbial ecology (trophic structure, food webs, feeding relationships, energy transfers, colonization, establishment and evolution) and hot topics in Arctic microbiology (effects of climate change, environmental change, human impact, biogeography and microbial diseases).

Practical work is divided into three themes; detecting life at low levels, investigating new or unfamiliar Arctic environments and investigating selection pressures in a range of Arctic environments. Fieldwork is focussed on the wide variety of habitats for microbial life on Svalbard; a marine section (using Viking Explorer to provide experience with CTD measurements, marine sediment sampling and a fjord transect) and a terrestrial section (using Polar Circle and UNIS Minibus to access both inner and outer fjord soil, freshwater, snow, ice, glacier and aerial habitats). In situ experiments are also conducted within easy reach of UNIS.

Enrolled in a relevant master program in biology

Course details

Academic level(s)Master
Language of instruction
InstitutionUniversity Centre in Svalbard
Begin date-
End date-
Registration deadline15.04.2014
ECTS credits10.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyBiology and biochemistryLife science (broad programmes)
Teaching placeSvalbard
Tagssvalbardarctic regionarctic microbiologymicrobiologymicrobial ecology
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