Master in Ecology and Population Genetics
– With an emphasis in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology issues
ECOGEN Master’s degree programme prepares the students for future leadership positions in conservation biology and environmental ecology. It provides the students with appropriate knowledge in ecology and population genetics of endangered species and ecosystems. This competence is needed in the environmental administration and research in the fields of e.g. conservation biology and restoration ecology. The degree enables to further PhD studies in ecology and genetics. The combination of studies in plant ecology and population biology (research of which is at Oulu by far the strongest in Finland), plant population genetics (part of the former Population Genetics Research of Excellence unit) and molecular ecology offers a unique opportunity for students to obtain strong tools for conservation biology and biodiversity issues.
The programme consists of 120 ECTS, of which a minimum of 80 ECTS belongs to the main subject (animal ecology, plant ecology, genetics). Optional studies may follow either of two lines, focusing on ecology or genetics. The programme includes a trainee period either in environmental administration or research institutes in co-operation with a network of European environmental administration and research institutes. Studies take 2 years. Students will be awarded a Master of Science degree in plant or animal ecology or genetics with a possibility to continue for PhD studies. Bachelor of Science degree in biology is required (or related subjects if the students have completed studies corresponding the following studies required by the Degree Programme in Biology, University of Oulu). The degree programme includes, depending on the main study subject, field courses in ecology (plant and fungal succession on sandy seashores, management of coastal meadows, endangered species), courses in restoration ecology, evolutionary ecology (evolutionary potential in wild animal populations under climate and environmental change), conservation biology, stream ecology, winter ecology and physiology (plant and animal adaptations to boreal and subarctic conditions), population genetic analysis of DNA, and quantitative genetics and plant and animal breeding.
ECOGEN Master’s degree at the Department of Biology, University of Oulu offers a multicultural environment and international education for both international and Finnish students in the fields of biology and related areas. A high proportion of education consists of contact teaching and laboratory and field practicals. The facilities include a botanical garden, zoological and botanical museums, greenhouses, and field research stations. Botanical Herbarium and Botanical Gardens as well as Zoological Museum conduct research in biodiversity and offer highly qualified facilities as well as collections for the research. The field research stations have well-equipped laboratories and accommodation facilities. University of Oulu’s Oulanka research station situates in the Oulanka national park which attracts visitors and researchers worldwide and is part of the European PAN Parks network.