Content (Syllabus outline)

Microbial communities in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems play a key role in maintaining the health of our planet and of mankind. The main focus of the course is to contrast and compare the similarities and differences between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and microbial communities that inhabit them. The emphasis is on biotic and abiotic microbial interactions and their influence on ecosystem function. 

  • Introduction to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Microbial loop and food chain: who is there and what they do
  • Microbiology of drinking-water and pathogenic microbes
  • Microbiology of wastewater treatment
  • Microbes and soil health
  • Structure and diversity of microbial communities and ecosystem function.
  • Rhizosphere and micosphere, porosphere: hot spots of microbial activity
  • Microbes as plant protection agents: mechanisms and applications
  • Microbial responses to anthropogenic impacts and ways to alleviate them
  • Microbial enzymes in the environment: functions and applications
  • Advantages and disadvantages of new methodologies (metagenomics, stable isotope probing, environmental proteomics, nanoSIMs, microfluidics) in microbial ecology.


Enrolment in  the MSc program. Basic knowladge of microbiology, biochemistry, genetics or molecular biology and statistics is required.