Microorganisms, though invisibly small, collectively make up the majority of the living matter on Earth and have profound influences on many aspects of our lives. This unit will draw on contemporary, real-world examples to explore the influence and impact of microorganisms - both positive and detrimental - on human activities and aspirations. Students will be introduced briefly to the ecology and biology of the main groups of microorganisms and then to the ways in which microorganisms affect and underpin our lives, e.g. through disease of humans, animals and plants, their effects on natural and human-controlled environments, in agriculture and food production and deterioration, and their exploitation in a wide range of (bio)technologies. A range of excursions and tutorial activities will be used to extend, enrich and exemplify the lecture content. The emphasis in this unit is on understanding the significance of microorganisms in Nature and their interactions with humans and human society, rather than developing microbiology laboratory skills. This understanding will be assessed via a number of communication methods and students will be given training in, and encouraged, to become critical thinkers and effective communicators of science.
|Unit name||Microbes and Man|
|College/School||College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
|Discipline||Agriculture and Food Systems|
|Coordinator||Doctor Lyndal Mellefont|
|Available as student elective?||Yes|
|Delivered By||University of Tasmania|
|Location||Study period||Attendance options||Available to|
- International students
- Domestic students
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|Study Period||Start date||Census date||WW date||End date|
* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).
Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of microorganisms in natural or managed ecosystems, including agricultural ecosystems; waste treatment, including areas being ‘bioremediated’; food production and preservation, and industrial processes (including biotechnologies) both in manufacturing and natural resource extraction
- Apply microbiological knowledge and principles to evaluate the potential for microorganisms to solve, or cause, ‘real world’ problems in various situations.
- Communicate your understanding of microbiology to both expert and non-expert audiences using a range of media. dia.
|Field of Education||Commencing Student Contribution 1||Grandfathered Student Contribution 1||Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2||Domestic Full Fee|
- Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
- HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
- FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4
1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for eligibility for FEE-HELP
Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.
2 x lectures and 1 x 3-hr practical, excursion or tutorial classes per week
|Assessment||Selfies (5%)|Examination (60%)|Supermarket Mapping|Poster (20%)|Excursion Reports (x2) (10%)|2 Minute Tease (5%)|
|Timetable||View the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable|
Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.
|Links||Booktopia textbook finder|
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