Courses & Units

Microbes and Man KLA436


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 practical project 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


Unit name Microbes and Man
Unit code KLA436
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems
Coordinator Doctor Lyndal Mellefont
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Postgraduate


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss 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 critically evaluate the potential for microorganisms to solve, or cause, ‘real world’ problems in various situations.
  • Communicate your understanding of complex microbiology knowledge and principles to a non-expert audience using a range of media.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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Teaching Pattern

26 lectures, 13x3-hr practical, excursion or tutorial classes per week

AssessmentExamination (60%)|Excursion Reports (x2) (10%)|Poster (20%)|2 Minute Tease|Media Portfolio (10%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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