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This unit is classed as a restricted unit and available to Master of Applied Science students.


Microorganisms out-number all life forms on the planet and greatly impact biological, chemical and physical processes. This unit provides fundamental and more importantly conceptual knowledge of the significance of microorganisms in the ecology of terrestrial and marine environments; microbial diversity and evolution; the role of microbes in global cycles of nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous and iron; interactions with other organisms; applications in agriculture; bioremediation of contaminated land; biotechnology; environmental genomics; and various modern methods used to study microbial ecology.

The learning components include pre-set laboratory and individual research projects that constitute the hands-on content of the unit in addition to theory-based assessment via lectures. In addition to standard lecture-based material students will obtain training in scientific reporting including constructing a research proposal and research report. A desk-top activity will provide training in basic bioinformatics.

Students will be expected to develop excellent laboratory record keeping and reporting skills.

In addition to general course content, students are expected to undertake prescribed reading at an advanced level on recent developments in microbiology and to incorporate this knowledge in their theory examination. The content of this reading list will comprise advanced cutting edge topics in microbial ecology, which will be assessed via a set question written examination.

Summary 2021

Unit name Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Unit code KLA607
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems

John Bowman

Teaching staff

Shane Powell

Level Postgraduate
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:



Teaching Pattern

Lectures (26), set laboratory classes (5 x 3 h), small scale research project (24 h total contact time)


Theory exam based off specific reading material and lectures (60%); research data record-keeping & reporting activity (5%); set laboratory project report (10%), research proposal (5%), research report (15%), bioinformatics-related project report (5%)

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