The aim of this course is to introduce the importance of microorganisms in nature as well as in environmental applications. The first part provides fundamental microbiology such as the classification of microorganisms, their structure, metabolism, growth and functional characteristics, handling and identification. The content of the first part will be emphasized with practical sessions, discussions and written assignments and is the foundation for more specific topics.
The second part will cover environmental sampling, microbial communities and biofilms, microbes in aquatic and terrestrial environments, indoor air quality and the impact of molds. Also, water- and food-borne pathogens, risk assessment and surveillance, water treatment, microbial remediation, methane production and global warming. Students will visit waste management and water treatment plants and review and present selected research articles.
This course is partly taught in parallel with Microbiology II (LÍF533M) and is intended for students that have neither completed Microbiology (LÍF201G) nor a similar course.
Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- distinguish between different groups of microorganisms, i.e. prokaryotes (bacteria, archaea), eukaryotes (microalgae, protozoa, fungi) and viruses
- describe microbial growth and factors that affect it in natural and man-made systems
- describe different approaches for disinfection and sterilization
- describe the nutritional types of microorganisms and their roles in the environment, such as in the degradation of organic matter and elemental cycling
- explain bioremediation and waste decontamination based on microbial activities
- explain risk assessment and how microorganisms affect the quality of water and indoor air
- properly handle microorganisms and perform experiments in a laboratory setting
- acquire and evaluate current scientific literature on environmental microbiology