An ecosystem is a complex equilibrium consisting of numerous plants, animals and micro-organisms, influenced by soil and water characteristics, weather conditions and human intervention. In the Master’s specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems you’ll get insight in the relations between different communities and how they react to environmental stress, in a well-developed research environment. You will gain the skills to research and apply this fundamental knowledge in nature protection and restoration or in nature-based industrial processes.
In this specialisation, you’ll get a thorough background in nature restoration and species protection. Researchers at the leading Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR) have extensive expertise in protecting peat moor, fish, water fowl, reptiles and water ecosystems, such as sea grass beds. There’s also strong research into other systems like wild bees in agricultural landscapes and grasslands in Eastern Europe, or the effects of pesticides on bird populations. The common ground is the interplay between different components and cycles in an ecosystem.
Together, the specialisations within the Master’s in Biology cover the whole range from organism to ecosystem and environment, which means you can define your exact study path along the way
With two internships, there’s a strong focus on research. Some students choose to perform research at the IWWR, while others rather work at a company, water authority or NGO.
You'll learn to design, perform and evaluate your own experiments. Apart from academic research in the labs of Radboud University, you’ll also get acquainted with other types of research in field courses, excursions to external institutes and company visits. So upon graduation, you’ll already know about your career options and you’ll have an extensive network both inside and outside academia.
How do you want to make your contribution to nature? We’ll help you find a topic and internship organisation in your field of interest.
This specialisation is closely connected to the Institute for Water and Wetland Research(IWWR), a leading institute in wet ecosystem and stress biology research.
For more than 20 years, researchers from the Institute for Water and Wetland Research (IWWR) have studied the fundamentals of recovery processes and connections within an ecosystem with modelling, animal and plant monitoring, genetic research and method improvement. You will benefit from a long history, ample funding and a large research network.
Two specialised areas of study are Animal Ecology and Ecophysiology, and Experimental Plant Ecology, and students can choose to focus on these for their internships.
Radboud University has close connections with water boards, counties, nature recovery spin-off companies and other related organisations, such as Natuurplaza. It also plays an important role in local environmental ecosystem management.
The courses and excursions in this Master’s specialisation take place in small groups, which creates an open and informal atmosphere. During the internships, you’ll get the chance to perform your own research and communicate as a colleague scientist.
Plus you’ll get the chance to perform a six-month internship abroad in for example Portugal, Spain or South-America.
The Master’s specialisation in Communities and Ecosystems is taught at the Faculty of Science. It has a course load of 120 EC* (two years). The first year of this specialisation contains five compulsory courses in the first quartile. You can compose the rest of the programme with specialisation and free electives, internships, literature theses and optionally a field course in Switzerland or Ireland.
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