The course provides methodological background including:
- quantitative skills,
- computer applications and
- practical skills
in morphological and molecular techniques of taxonomy and systematics.
After completing the MSc course, students will:
- be able to apply a wide range of techniques within systematics, including collections management, identification, key construction, taxonomic revision, phylogeny reconstruction and comparative methodologies;
- understand the diversity of living organisms in space and time;
- be familiar with methods for measuring this diversity and monitoring changes due to both anthropogenic and natural factors, and in Earth history;
- select appropriate methods to solve taxonomic and biodiversity problems, to be able to acquire and analyze taxonomic data, including both traditional and molecular data;
- understand fully the conceptual basis of taxonomy and phylogenetics and in particular, cladistics, and to understand "biodiversity" within this framework;
- to be able to apply these concepts to issues of biodiversity and conservation management and research, in order to set priorities for sustainable development, environmental assessment and inventories;
- apply these concepts to other areas of biology such as parasitology and epidemiology.
Students will be taught the most up-to-date ideas and research in taxonomy and biodiversity from predominantly primary literature. Furthermore students will receive hands on training by project supervisors specializing in the students field of choice.
Who is this course aimed at?
The course is aimed at anyone concerned with taxonomy and biodiversity. It is relevant to those involved with biodiversity assessments, conservation and sustainable development, from biomedical sciences to agriculture and fisheries, as well as to those intending to pursue academic careers in systematics and related fields.