Master in Biology of Organisms and Ecology

MA-BIORorganized by the faculty of Sciences during academic year 2017-2018

This programme is taught in French or/and in English according to the focus or the optional module.

Job opportunities and intended professions

Industrial sector (biotech companies, pharmaceutical industry, agro-food enterprises, "green" technologies): leader of research programs; consulting offices and publishing companies: scientific advisor and responsible of communication; in charge of impact studies;

Nature conservation and environment sector: conservation and management of biodiversity resources; management of nature conservation areas;

Education sector, from secondary schools to higher non-university schools;

Academic sector (research and higher education: universities and other higher education institutions, research centres, museums, botanical gardens);

Public sector (local, regional, national, European level): environmental management, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development: preparation of legal texts, implementation of policies; quality control, biosafety, forensic laboratories, development cooperation.

Nongovernmental organizations (nature conservation, development cooperation, sustainable development).

As a researcher in the academic sector (universities, high schools, museums, botanical gardens ...), or the private sector (biotech companies, pharmaceutical firms, agro-food enterprises), the organism biologist is involved in the development of fundamental and applied knowledge about living organisms, their functioning and evolution.

As an expert in the public sector (public institutions and administrations in charge of environment and nature management, from the local to the European level), in nongovernmental organizations (development cooperation, sustainable development)or in private consulting agencies the organism biologist is involved impact studies, in the implementation of the remediation of damage to the environment, in the preparation, implementation and monitoring of management plans of nature areas, in the conservation, management and exploitation of biodiversity resources.

Finally, as a teacher and leader of educational projects, in educational institutions, museums, not for profit organizations in environmental education, the biologist participates to science diffusion and public awareness of the role of living organisms for humans...

Industrial sector (biotech companies, pharmaceutical firms, agro-food enterprises, "green" technologies): leader of research programs; consultant firms and publishing companies: scientific advisor and responsible of communication; in charge of impact studies;

Nature conservation and environment sector: conservation and management of biodiversity resources; management of nature conservation areas;

Education sector, from secondary schools to higher non university schools;

Academic sector: research and teaching in universities and high schools;

Public sector (local, regional, national, European level): environment and sustainable development: preparation of legal texts, implementation of policies; quality control, biosafety, forensic laboratories, development cooperation;

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Programme objectives

The field of study of organism biology and ecology covers the entire diversity of life: bacteria, protists, fungi, animals and plants, but also the relations between organisms and the environment and humans.

The organism biologist is, all at once, the witness, advocate, scholar and manager of the biological heritage of our planet, nowadays seriously threatened by human activities. His/her training should enable him/her to approach the living world from different perspectives.

The Master in Organism Biology and Ecology trains students to the handling of various experimental tools of analysis and observation: morphological, physiological and molecular analytical techniques, statistical methods and modelling, management, cultivation or breeding of organisms ... The Master offers an overview of living organisms from the molecular level to the level of communities and ecosystems.

Skills taught are structured in four main directions:

1) To establish, maintain and develop knowledge in the biological sciences.

2) To provide scientific expertise in problem solving.

3) To develop and implement independent scientific research projects.

4) To communicate in a language appropriate to the context and audience.

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Structure of curriculum and disciplines taught

Distribution of teaching areas in ECTS

Finalité approfondie

Organism biology - general courses: 35

Electives: 30

Statistics - data processing: 5

Field courses (in temperate regions (option générale) or in the tropics (option "Biodiversité et Environnements Végétaux Tropicaux-BEVT")): 15

Research training (including master thesis): 35

Finalité didactique

Organism biology - general courses: 35

Statistics - data processing: 5

Field courses (in temperate regions): 15

Didactics: 30

Research training (including master thesis): 35

Finalité spécialisée Erasmus Mundus Masters Course in Tropical Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TROPIMUNDO)

Organism biology - general courses: 18-21

Electives: 18-24

Tropical oriented courses: 24-33

Statistics - data processing: 3-16

Field courses (in tropical regions): 8-15

Research training (including master thesis): 30

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Benefits of the ULB training

Training provided by the Master focuses on the advancement of knowledge. It aims to train researchers who will enhance knowledge in organism biology and ecology by a scientific approach; experts who will answer questions, pose diagnostics, propose actions for environmental protection, nature conservation or sustainable development; and teachers who will transmit knowledge and skills.

The master promotes the acquisition of international experience. It offers courses in English, organized in partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

Mobility of students and their participation in intra- or extra-European exchange programs is strongly encouraged. In particular, the BEVT and TROPIMUNDO finalités are strongly oriented towards the acquisition of knowledge and experience in relation to developing countries.

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Teaching methods

Most courses combine several approaches, including ex cathedra lectures illustrated with exercises or practical work. Personal assays, usually based on a literature search, are also required under certain teachings.

Members of the Department of Biology of Organisms manage the Museum of Zoology and Anthropology, the Jean Massart Experimental Botanical Garden and the African Herbarium and Botanical Library. These structures provide original educational tools used for practical work and available to students for the preparationof personal assays.

For the finalité approfondie and Finalité didactique, field courses in marine biology, terrestrial ecosystems and eco-ethology are organized, during which theoretical training is put into practice by conducting observations and field experiments.

The "tropical" finalités, i.e. BEVT and TROPIMUNDO, also emphasize field training, organized by our tropical partners.

For all students, training in scientific research culminates in the master thesis. The student integrates one of the research laboratories of the Department of Biology of Organisms or the Bioengineers Interfaculty School where he/she will be introduced to the methods and procedures of basic research.

In all finalités (except TROPIMUNDO), students are also trained in the writing and presentation of a research project, namely that of their own master thesis. At the end of their thesis, students who have not completed specific training in didactics must also exercise in the composition and presentation of a scientific communication.

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International/Openness

Students of the Finalité approfondie, option BEVT (Biodiversity and Tropical Environments) spend their 2nd semester in Cameroon, Malaysia or Senegal, where a large space is devoted to field work.

Students of the Finalité spécialisée TROPIMUNDO spend their 2nd semester in the South (Peru, Cameroon, Malaysia or Australia), and their 3rd semester in a European university other than the ULB (Paris, Cayenne or Florence).

Students of the finalité approfondie are encouraged to participate in international exchange programs (e.g., Erasmus), especially in the firstand second semester.

The master thesis may also require field work abroad, especially for students focusing on tropical environments.

Partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB): several courses, taught in English by professors from the ULB, from the VUB or in collaboration, are offered to students of both universities.

The BEVT option is offered in partnership with the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris, the Université Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (Senegal) and the University Malaysia Terengganu .

The finalité Erasmus Mundus masters course TROPIMUNDO is organized in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) in Paris, the Université de Guyane française (Cayenne), the Università degli Studi di Firenze (UNIFI), Italy, the Universidad Científica del Perú (UCP) in Iquitos, Peru, the Université de Dschang (Cameroon), the University Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia and the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia.

Collaborations are also pursued with Federal Scientific Institutions (Royal Institute of Natural Sciences, Botanical Garden of Meise, Royal Museum of Central Africa), whose scientific staff is commonly involved in teaching and supervision of master theses.

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Progression per curriculum unit

The concept of a year of studies gives way to a system of accumulation of credits based on the student's individual programme. The cycle programme is offered in units of 60 credits. The units of 60 credits are proposed as an "ideal" course of study for students enrolled in this programme.

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Contacts

Where taught ?

Solbosch, Plaine, Jardin Massart

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