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Queen Mary University of London: Biodiversity and Conservation

Institution Queen Mary University of London
Department Biological and Behavioural Sciences
Study type Taught


Learn the skills needed to kick-start your career in this exciting and evolving field. This new programme balances evolutionary and ecological theory, conservation and restoration to find practical applications in conservation.

You will learn how to monitor, survey, study, manage and restore biodiversity in freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Through a combination of core modules and some electives, you’ll cover topics including habitat restoration, spatial analysis, evolutionary biology, and conservation policy, theory and practice.

We aim to ground your studies in insightful practical training, so that you’re familiar with the very latest industry-standard equipment and practice. To put these skills and knowledge into practice, you will have the opportunity to be embedded into research projects and NGO work on a two-week field trip to a biodiversity hotspot: Cabo Verde, Madagascar or Borneo (depending on your interests, although venues are subject to change).

This programme offers two unique streams; Ecology, Evolution and Conservation or Conservation and Restoration. The main differences are which two elective modules you select, the field course location and the research project topic.

For both programmes you commence your training by gaining expertise in cutting edge literature in ecology, evolution and conservation. You move from that to a module that gives a thorough grounding in data analysis, centred around the statistical programme R, essential for your project and any data-based employment/training. Then you will explore causes, consequences, challenges and solutions regarding biodiversity loss. This will be covered in three modules, taught by Queen Mary and Kew staff, at their places of work. During this phase you will be asked to elect to do one of two streams.

Structure Five compulsory taught modules and a field trip module Substantive six-month research project including a 5,000-word dissertation written as a research paper

Research project You’ll undertake a six-month research project exploring questions at the cutting edge of research in ecology, evolution, biodiversity and/or conservation. Topic options include animals, plants or fungi biodiversity in freshwater, marine or terrestrial ecosystems.

Much of your learning will occur as part of your contribution to your research team during the project phase. Projects are based at Kew, Queen Mary University of London or Wakehurst in Sussex (home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank).

The project will provide knowledge and experience of modern techniques in Biodiversity and Conservation, including but not restricted to: evolutionary analyses, ecological modelling, community ecology, spatial analysis, habitat assessment and habitat restoration, involving laboratory work, modelling, analytical work, statistical analysis, field research and more. You will also learn how to write up results suitable for publication in an International Science Journal.


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