Christoph Vorburger: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2018

Name Prof. Dr. Christoph Vorburger
Institut für Integrative Biologie
Eawag, Eawag BU G05
Ueberlandstrasse 133
8600 Dübendorf
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipAdjunct Professor

701-0340-00LPractical Course in Environmental Biology7 credits14PC. Vorburger, M. Fischer, S. Güsewell, J. Jokela
AbstractThis course aims at developing research skills in environmental biology. Students carry out small research projects in plant ecology, ecological genetics, aquatic ecology and population biology. These projects include field surveys as well as garden and laboratory experiments. Students analyse their data statistically and present the results both orally and in written reports.
ObjectiveStudents learn how to carry out ecological research projects. They obtain a thorough understanding of selected research topics, and they gain practical experience in handling a wide range of organisms in various types of ecosystems.
After the course, successful participants can:
- formulate precise research questions and testable hypotheses
- design and set up experiments
- measure appropriate variables (for the studied organisms and hypotheses)
- analyse data statistically and draw conclusions from statistical outputs
- present their results according to scientific standards in the research field
ContentThe semester starts with an introduction to research questions and hypotheses, experimental design and data analysis.

During the semester, students carry out several small research projects in aquatic ecology, plant ecology and ecological genetics. Projects address specific research questions related to general topics such as:
- resource acquisition
- competition, grazing, predation, parasitism
- population structure (demography, spatial patterns)
- community composition, species diversity
- species differentiation and hybridisation

During the field course (one full week after the semester), students carry out their individual project in population biology. They choose the topic, organism and system they want to study and develop their own research questions. They conduct the entire research project by themselves and present their results orally and in a report.
Prerequisites / NoticeCompulsory attendance. Absences have to be compensated.
Semester tasks: Oral and/or written presentations after different parts of the course.