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CEG2607 : Geomicrobiology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jon Telling
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aims of this unit are to -
Introduce microorganisms and their study,
Introduce microbial processes of environmental and geochemical significance and
Provide detailed information on the most up to date methods for the study of microbial communities.
Introduce the analysis of microbial data sets.

The module introduces microbiology and microorganisms and explores their role in shaping the geochemistry of the Earth.
A survey of modern microorganisms and their activities of environmental and geochemical importance is an important foundation for the module as is the way that metabolic processes catalyzed by microorganisms are related to major elemental cycles, biogeochemical processes and contamination. The most up to date molecular methods used to study the diversity and activity of microorganisms in their natural habitats are detailed along with their benefits and limitations. The course is examined by unseen examination and a laboratory report assessment.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to Geomicrobiology
Diversity of microbial life
Controls on microbial activity and abundance
Geomicrobiology as a driver of global elemental cycles
Microbial processes of environmental significance
Metabolic diversity of microorganisms
Methods to study microorganisms
Applied geomicrobiology

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:308:00Examination revision of lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion212:0024:00Coursework preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:105:10Preparation for and Oral Presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical34:0012:00Practical Classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops14:004:00Oral presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork18:008:00Field Trip
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:2021:20Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be taught through lectures where they will acquire an understanding of the evolutionary and metabolic diversity of the microbial world and how it relates to biogeochemical processes including microbial degradation of contaminants. They will also gain detailed knowledge of how biological processes and microorganisms are measured and characterized in the environment. Through the practical class component of the course where they will not only gain an understanding of bacteria “in action” and bacterial activity but will demonstrate that they can analyse extensive data sets gathered during these practicals. Students will attend a field course to understand the application of geomicrobiology.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50Written examination
Oral Presentation102M20Oral presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M30Practical write-up (1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written examination is to test students understanding of the information presented during the lectures. Laboratory report write up is to test students ability to analyse data and write conclusions based upon the information obtained during the practical sessions. Individual student oral presentations will assess students ability to research a specific topic related to geomicrobiology.

Reading Lists