ENVB30100 Ecological and Environmental Microbiology

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module will examine the ecology and environmental interactions of microorganisms in diverse ecosystems. Microbial activities within soil and aquatic environments will be discussed and the contribution of microorgansisms to processes occurring in natural and manmade environments will be assessed. The application of microorganisms in the treatment of waste material will be examined.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
1) Critically assess the methods used to analyse the microbial component of an ecosystem.
2) Describe the concept of cycling in the global environment and critically assess the importance of microorganisms in mediating cycling processes.
3) Describe microbial diversity in extreme environments and the application of these organisms for the production of useful compounds.
4) Identify microorganisms associated with water borne disease and evaluate methods used for the microbiological testing of water.
5) Describe the role of microorganisms in waste treatment systems and identify appropriate treatment processes for different waste material.
6) Explain the factors affecting microbial degradation of compounds in the environment.
7) Evaluate and interpret data from experiments and report in an appropriate manner.
8) Perform a range of laboratory procedures associated with analysing environmental microorganisms in a competent manner.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lab practicals
Enquiry & problem-based learning 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students should have successfully completed appropriate level 1 courses in biology and chemistry, and ideally have completed a level 2 course in microbiology.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment(Including Essay): Problem based learning assignment (Dr Hughes) n/a Graded No


Exam (In-person): 1 hour closed book n/a Graded No


Practical Skills Assessment: Lab report n/a Graded No


Assignment(Including Essay): Problem based assigned (Prof Doyle) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Class feedback on assignment 1 once submitted Individual feedback on assignment 1 in the form of comments on corrected assignment Class feedback on assignment 2 once submitted Individual feedback on assignment 2 in the form of comments on corrected assignment Individual feedback on lab reports

Brock:Biology of Microorganisms
Name Role
Dr Tancredi Caruso Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Fiona Doohan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Graham Hughes Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sean Storey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer