The course is aimed at anyone concerned with taxonomy and biodiversity, such as those involved in:
- biodiversity assessments
- conservation and sustainable development
- biomedical sciences
- agriculture and fisheries
- pursuing academic careers in systematics and related fields
After completing the MSc course, students will:
- understand the diversity of living organisms in space and time;
- be able to apply a wide range of techniques within systematics, including collections management, identification, key construction, taxonomic revision, phylogeny reconstruction and comparative methodologies;
- be familiar with methods for measuring this diversity and monitoring changes due to both anthropogenic and natural factors;
- 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 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 and receive hands on training by project supervisors specializing in the students field of choice.