Department of Geoscience

Curriculum Master Geoecology

The master in Geoecology consists of two years of study (standard period of study) and can be commenced in both winter and summer semesters.
In order to ensure interdisciplinary education, at least 12 credit points from the fields of geosciences and organism biology and 6 credits are required from a multidisciplinary integrated event.
The research areas in Geoecology offer core modules, if one of the five orientation directions are chosen (biogeochemistry, ecotoxicology and pollution research, ecology and conservation, paleoecology and paleoclimatology, and system modelling).
Due to the large flexibility a semester abroad or at another university can be easily integrated into the program. Recognition of an external internship is also possible.

The compulsory Scientific Practice and Scientific Presentation convey interdisciplinary key qualifications. Students can choose topics in the research areas according to individual choice. This way methodological and conceptual skills are acquired early and students receive first hand experiences in scientific research, as preparation for their Master's thesis. The Master's thesis is an independent scientific work over a period of 6 months and is produced prior to graduation.


Specialization Biogeochemistry

The specialization in biogeochemistry deepens the understanding of microbial and geochemical processes that control the major biogeochemical cycles in the biosphere.
The training provides not only a system and process understanding but also methodical competence in modern environmental microbiological and geochemical laboratory and field techniques. A quantitative approach is pursued based on science and practice.

Specialization Ecotoxicology and Pollution Research

Ecotoxicology and pollution research is concerned with the fate and the effects of anthropogenic chemicals in the environment in the context of natural (stress) conditions in habitats. Students will learn in detail about aspects of relevant substance groups of environmental chemistry (exposure, transformation), their bioavailability and effect on different biological levels (molecular to ecosystemological).
The range of courses includes both basic research (chemical speciation of ions, sorption, stress reactions, microevolution) and themes based on explicit applications (analytical detection methods, standardised testing, environmental law).

Specialization Ecology and Conservation

Which are the main abiotic and biotic factors determining patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms? How do these organisms coexist to form diverse communities? How can we manage this diversity sustainably, based on scientific principles?
Recommended modules (preliminary): We recommend all modules from biology and the geosciences that deal with understanding general ecological principles, and with management of natural resources and nature conservation. You find the complete list of possible modules in Biology (Major Evolution and Ecology) here.

Specialization Paleoecology and Paleoclimatology

The Earth's history provides a unique perspective in the deciphering of interactions between the evolution and adaptation of organisms and ecosystems to changes in the abiotic environment. Events in Earth's history are regarded as natural experiments that provide important information about the assessment of the impact of climate change and diminishing biodiversity.
Paleoecology and paleoclimatology provide a gateway between the current investigation and fossil ecosystems. Through the combination and understanding of both systems, students are taught about the paramount issue of climate and environmental change. The focus is placed on new approaches in deciphering and in the quantification of biotic and abiotic interactions, as well as the evaluation of ecosystem stability performance measures.

Further information about the specializations are in the Module Handbook