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Environmental Microbiology MLJ520

The main objectives are to introduce the general biology of microorganisms and general concept of microbial ecology. Furthermore, important microbial processes in natural and technical systems are studied.

Course description for study year 2021-2022

Course code




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Semester tution start


Number of semesters


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Offered by

Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience

Learning outcome
Students are expected to know fundamental terminology in biology, especially in microbiology; understand and describe structure and functions of microbial cells and the ecological function and microbial mechanisms in natural and technical systems.

The course consists of the following modules:

Unit 1. Cellular Biology:

What is microbiology, Biomolecules, Cell structure and function, Metabolism, Cellular growth,  Bacterial Genetics

Unit 2. Microbial Diversity

Evolution and systematics, The Bacteria, The Archaea, Microbial eucaryotes

Unit 3. Metabolic Diversity

Phototrophy, Autotrophy, Chemolitotrophy, Heterotrophy, Fermentation, Anaerobic respiration, Aerobic Chemoorganoheterotrophs.

Unit 4. Microbial Ecology

Ecological concepts, Interactions, Soil habitats, Aquatic habitats, Biofilms, Nutrient cycles.

Unit 5. Environmetal Microbiology

Wastewater microbiology, Drinking water microbiology, Biodegradation and Bioremediation.

Required prerequisite knowledge
Recommended prerequisites
Knowledge of basic chemistry as required for admission to MSc Environmental Engineering, including elementary biochemistry.

Written exam, a class assignment and laboratory report

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written exam 85/100 3 Hours A - F Dictionary Valid calculator
Class assignment 10/100 A - F
Laboratory report 5/100 A - F

The course has a an assignment that counts 10 % of the final grade, and a final written exam that counts for 85 % of the final grade. The course also contains a lab part which counts for 5 % of the final grade.All assessment parts must be passed in order to obtain a final grade in the course.There will be no resit exam for the assignment or lab. Students who do not pass these parts may retake them the next time the course is lectured.Lab assignments shall be completed at the times and in the groups that are assigned and published on Canvas. Absence due to illness or for other reasons must be communicated to the laboratory personnel as soon as possible. One cannot expect that provisions for completion of the lab assignments at other times can be made, unless prior arrangements with the laboratory personnel have been agreed.

Course teacher(s)
Course coordinator: Krista Michelle Kaster
Coordinator laboratory exercises: Hong Lin
Head of Department: Ingunn Westvik Jolma
Method of work

4 hours lectures per week. 1 week of lab.

The course is based primarily on a series of lectures.

Open for
Biological Chemistry - Master of Science Degree Programme Environmental Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology
Course assessment
Forms and/or discussion.
Overlapping courses
Course Reduction (SP)
Environmental Microbiology (MET160) 5
Environmental Microbiology (MLJ522) 10
The syllabus can be found in Leganto