BIO103 Plants and Algae; Diversity Form and Function
Plant lectures cover the structure, life cycles and morphology of the major living Divisions of the Plant Kingdom. Floral structure, pollination, fruit dispersal and seed germination are discussed with particular reference to plant-animal interactions. This is followed by lectures that cover the basic anatomy of higher plants, from the cellular to the whole organism level. Lectures on plant physiology will emphasise flowering plants as whole organisms and concentrate particularly on plant-environment interactions. The topics covered are: photosynthesis; water relations; mineral nutrition; organic translocation; growth; developmental physiology. Aspects of plant ecology, plant-herbivore interactions and the importance of plants in medicine will also be covered. The lectures on plants are complemented by three laboratory practical sessions; Lower plant classification is studied by development of a dichotomous key; Basic anatomy and cell structure are studied microscopically; Physiological experiments illustrate aspects of plant water relations. Additionally, taxonomy and classification of species from the major divisions are studied by demonstrations displaying a wide range of specimens, along with examples of flower structure, pollination types and seed/fruit dispersal. Lectures on microalgae, cyanobacteria and macroalgae will provide an overview on the importance of these photosynthetic organisms in aquatic ecology and in evolution, and in how they can be used to help society. Phenotypic and genotypic taxonomic classification will be introduced followed by morphology and ecology of the main taxonomic classes. An overview of algal measurement techniques will be given. Roles of microalgae within microbial food webs and global biogeochemical cycles including introduction to harmful blooms will be included. This will lead onto how algae are increasingly important in biotechnology and how they can be used to help provide solutions to societal sustainability issues such as climate change, global food security, pollution and developing the bioeconomy. There will be one laboratory practical associated with these lectures, illustrating the diversity of micro and macroalgae and developing microscope techniques.
BIO109 Core Skills for Biological Sciences
This module is divided into three sections, scientific writing, data analysis and chemistry, which will equip students with the core skills needed throughout their degree program. The content of the module includes understanding the different types of data that can be measured and collected, the tools to formally present and analyse data and data analyses, and practical applications of spreadsheet software. There is a 'hands on' focus on dealing with data and developing basic mathematical and statistical analytical skills. Furthermore this module introduces first year undergraduates to the key skill of scientific writing, developing their ability to locate, understand, evaluate and communicate scientific information. Basic chemistry will be covered as a foundation to its importance to biological processes.
BIO343 Natural Products that Shape Our World
Natural product biotechnology lectures will start by introducing how nature can be used to provide solutions to societal sustainability issues such as climate change, global food security, pollution and developing the bioeconomy. Nature has a storehouse of structurally diverse organic molecules with a range of biological activities which directly or indirectly impact on our lives. Lectures will cover how algae, bacteria, fungi, plants and animals can be used to develop natural products for a range of industrial applications including for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fertilisers, biofuels, bioplastics, pesticides, bioremediation materials, enzymes and research tools. Lectures will also cover how metabolite profiling, genomics and bioinformatics can be used to help discover and develop natural products for industrial application.