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Microbial Evolution & Ecology


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of microbiology, molecular biology and/or ecology

Contact information

Coördinator: Dr. D. Rozen Email:


The course covers various aspects of the important role of microorganisms in their natural environments. This includes the role of bacteria and fungi in the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, the interactions and communication among microbes and with plant and animal hosts, the role of microorganisms in food chains as well as microbial aspects of nutrient cycles and environmental pollution, antagonist-plant pathogens interactions at the molecular and cellular levels, and the evolutionary aspects of diversification and community interactions. The course teaches modern approaches to detect and understand the causes of diversity of microbial communities. Specialists in various fields of microbial evolution and ecology, both scientists from the IBL but also guest speakers from other universities and research institutes will contribute to the course lectures.

Learning goals

Course objectives:

  • To gain further knowledge about the important role and evolution of microorganisms in diverse natural systems, to gain knowledge about the mechanisms by which microorganisms interact with each other or with plants or animals.

  • To understand evolutionary processes contributing to community diversity and dynamics.

Final qualifications:

  • The student has learnt about the role of microorganism in natural ecosystems.

  • The student is aware of the complexity of these interactions and has gained detailed knowledge of how these interactions are studied.

  • The student has learnt about different evolutionary and ecological mechanisms to explain how these interactions evolved and are coordinated at a community level.


From 13 October 2021 until 29 October 2021, see Brightspace for detailed schedule.

Mode of instruction

Lectures over 2 weeks. Lecture attendance is compulsory.

Assessment method

Written exam

Inspection and feedback on the examination

Date: To be announced


Brightspace will be used

Reading list