Were in the middle of a biodiversity crisis; the sixth mass extinction event on Earth. Over half of the worlds wildlife has vanished in the last fifty years.
There is unprecedented pressure on the environment due to exploitation, habitat degradation and loss, climate change, invasive species, pollution and emerging diseases. You can be part of something to help address this.
You will taught by staff with research profiles of international standing, with a wide range of interests in ecological management and conservation biology covering taxa from algae to mammals and environments from marine to terrestrial.
Ecological researchers in the School of Biological Sciences maintain close links between academia and government departments responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity.
Laboratory facilities and access to field facilities are excellent and include a fully equipped Marine Laboratory at Portaferry on Strangford Lough.
PERKS YOU'LL GET
Youll do a professional development module with a work placement.
You dont have to necessarily work in a conservation-orientated environment - previous students have gone to places as unusual as art galleries where they have created scientifically inspired artwork as an alternative method for scientific communication outreach.
THE PEOPLE TEACHING YOU
Dr Neil Reid is the Course Director. He wants to move students away from sitting in dry academic lectures to get you out into the real world to acquire the skills youll need for a job in conservation.
The programme has a backbone of taught academic lectures covering the full spectrum of subjects contained within conservation biology including:
Biodiversity Conservation genetics
Emerging plant pathogens
Environmental impact assessment
WHAT ELSE WILL YOU DO?
Each week there is a day trip to experience the practicalities of what youve learned in class and to see ecological management in-the-field.
Youll visit captive breeding facilities for endangered species, offshore island bird colonies, river corridors along which invasive species are managed, ground-nesting bird conservation programmes, national nature reserves including sand dunes, bogs and species-rich grasslands, commercial industry, Belfast Zoo and the Mourne Mountains.
Although youll be based in the Medical Biology Centre (MBC), youll be taken off campus a lot, including to the Queens Marine Laboratory (QML) located an hour south of Belfast at Portaferry.