Methods in experimental marine ecology

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

ECTS
6

CONSERVATION
FUTURE SEAS

Experimental marine ecology
Ghent University

Synopsis

The course deals with baseline aspects of experimental approaches from ecological concept over experimental design and up-to-date experimental techniques to limitations of an experiment and critical interpretation of its outcome.

Content

Marine ecological conceptual theories (biodiversity-ecosystem functioning, …), experimental design and relevant statistics, ethics and legal framework (Nagoya protocol, …), biosafety levels for experimental lab, lab techniques (aquarium techniques, sensors, fluorescence-based measurements…), correct notation and critical interpretation of protocols, culture collections, scaling an experiment (from micro- to mesocosm), sensors (Arduino sensor development, use of optodes, (micro) electrodes, field experiments in different habitats (intertidal, subtidal, deep sea), limiting factors of an experiment.
The practical part of this course will include hands-on sessions and visits to Belgian partner labs of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) network to get acquainted with up-to-date infrastructure and culture collections: Marine Biology (UGent), Protistology and Aquatic Ecology (UGent), Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Biochemistry and microbiology (UGent), Aquaculture (UGent) and Flanders Marine Institute (Marine Station Ostend).

Pre-requisites

Bachelor level in sciences. Basic knowledge in ecology is recommended.

Aims

To get an overview of the available techniques to design an experiment and to learn how to make optimal use of these up-to-date techniques.

Objectives

Students should have a good overview of the available up-to-date lab techniques to setup experiments and should develop a critical vision on this experimental toolbox.

Key skills acquired

To have a critical vision on the experimental toolbox available for marine ecological research.

Bibliography

Solan, Aspden & Paterson (2012). Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: Frameworks, methodologies, and integration.
Quinn & Keough (2002). Experimental design and analysis for Biologists
Articles of presented case-studies

Involved teachers

Marleen De Troch (marleen.detroch@ugent.be) Ulrike Braeckman (ulrike.braeckman@ugent.be) Tim tkint (tim.tkint@ugent.be)

Contact hours

lectures
18

practicals
14

seminars
4

computerclass
4

fieldwork
6

other