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Second Year Specializations | International Master in Applied Ecology
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Second Year Specializations

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When you apply to the programme you can choose (or not if you have no preference) between five professional specializations. In essence, Period P3 corresponds to the study period and Period P4 is dedicated to the Masters project in internship that ends with a thesis defense before a jury following the schedule and procedure of the hosting institution and Period P5 is the farewell congress for the final defense.

Specialized study period.

You follow the programme with the local Masters Course students in the host institution. The five specialized study periods proposed by the IMAE consortium members are as follows:

“Ecosystems functional analysis” - CAU (in Germany)

You will be introduced to fundamental aspects of ecology, principles of ecology and field ecology, soil, water and atmospheric key processes in ecosystems, nutrient cycle. In addition to in-depth exposition to ecosystems functions, the training provides a range of courses in environment management, economics, and legislations.

The programme aims to provide the students with the ability to differentiate, to interpret and to evaluate natural processes and the effects of specific human activities on global and regional scales as well as to evaluate the potential impact of landscape history for management decisions.

“Environmental quality assessment” - UC (in Portugal)

The students will have fundamental and applied knowledge in order to understand functions of ecosystems and the impacts of main pressures on environmental and biological systems due to Human activities. The courses focus on disturbed streams, ecotoxicology and environmental quality monitoring with emphasis on the use of bio-indicators in environmental risk assessment.

The programme is designed with scientific modules on stream ecology, bio-indicators, environmental monitoring, ecosystem quality assessment, and provide the students with expertise in multivatiate data analysis, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), water and soil biogeochemical analysis. This specialization track aims to form highly specialized professionals with competences profiled for applied bio-monitoring projects in public or private institutions as well as for research (PhD, private and public Research & Development structures).

“Biodiversity assessment, conservation and management” - UFRGS (in Brazil)

Conservation and management of biodiversity is one of the greatest challenges for our society, especially in megadiverse countries with dynamic economies, like Brazil. While ecosystems are subject to rapid and often irreversible changes caused by humans, our knowledge of diversity and distribution of many species groups and of processes that govern ecosystem dynamics in many cases are incipient, complicating conservation work. The specialization “Biodiversity assessment, conservation and management” will allow students to obtain a broad scientific basis for their future career in the working and research fields of Applied Ecology.

The state of Rio Grande do Sul, southernmost state of Brazil, where UFRGS is situated, is especially interesting for studies of biodiversity assessment and conservation, as it can be considered a contact zone of different ecosystem types, such as Atlantic Rain Forest, Araucaria Forest, Pampa grasslands, coastal ecosystems, besides marine and inland water systems. Many of these systems are highly diverse – and, on the other hand, often suffer considerable human impact. Researchers at UFRGS work with a broad range of species groups and ecosystems, with working approaches spanning from taxonomic work, conservation of specific species, species groups or ecosystem types to advanced analytical approaches. Conservation of natural ecosystems is one of the key motivations of many projects.

The study program at UFRGS allows students to select from a broad range of courses. IMAE students will be enrolled in one of three UFRGS graduate programs that are part of IMAE, depending on their thematic focus (information currently only in Portuguese; information in English will follow soon). Students will be able to develop their Master thesis in the context of well-established lines. We advise students to get in contact with IMAE coordination before coming to Porto Alegre (i.e. before the start of the second year of their course), in order to be able to decide on their preferred research topics as soon as possible.

Feel free to contact us in case of any questions.

“Ecosystems management” or “Evolutionary ecology” - UP (in France)

You can choose between the two orientations. First, the Ecosystems management programme will produce ecologists open to global systemic approaches for environmental decisions by integrating the environment, socio-economics, and their interactions. The students will learn about ecosystem management, protection and enhancement as well as environmental law enforcement. Moreover, the students will become experts in environment survey based on biodiversity estimation and identification. In addition, they will be experts in the use of Geographic Information Systems and statistic analysis. Overall, you will be able to identify appropriate measures for specific environmental legislation constraints. These skills will be valuable for political decisions, territorial management, and scientific needs. Secondly, the Evolutionary ecology programme will train the students in the field of ecology, evolution and the management of biological resources. This pathway is mainly dedicated to the study of symbiotic systems and evolutionary ecology. Both orientations give the students the opportunity to apply for a position upon completion of their Masters or to pursue at the doctorate level to target academic positions.

Attention:  the second year is mainly taught in French, You don’t have to be fluent (B2 level), but you are expected to follow French classes. Exams or written report can be in English. 

“Environmental sciences & Conservation” - UEA (in England)

You will mainly specialize in climate change and conservation. More broadly they will deal with issues such as climate change, river pollution, the incineration of toxic waste and hurricanes, and resource management. In addition to core modules in ecological survey methods, current issues in conservation, research skills for ecologists and statistics, a broad range of optional modules is available, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), practical conservation and work placement, restoration ecology, conservation genetics, biodiversity conservation and human society and ecological modelling. If you want to apply to UEA make sure your University is listed in the UK database: NARIC.

The programme aims to provide you with interdisciplinary training forming an ideal platform either for continuation to doctoral research or for direct access into conservation related employment.

Masters Thesis, internship/placement experience with professionals.

The specific programme of the second year offers training and professional experience in private or public institutions under the supervision of the hosting institution. You will be able to devise integrative management solutions for complex environmental issues on a regional, national and international level in the public or private sector or as self-contractors.

These projects can be a valuable preparation and training in research for future doctorate studies in applied and/or fundamental ecology.

Organization of the Placement Projects: Each institution applies its own rules regarding the monograph and the defense. The project can be performed in the hosting institution or outside. Whatever the case, IMAE will impose co-supervision, with at least one supervisor within the IMAE consortium. This will guarantee comparable expectations on the students’ work.

At the end of your Masters, you are expected to be independent and autonomous in your study.

IMAE Farewell congress or programme symposium.

Upon completion of your Masters project, all of the IMAE students will be reunited in Poitiers for a presentation of their work during a three-day Farewell congress. It will be followed by the Graduation ceremony during a closing session in the presence of the presidency of the University of Poitiers.

The congress will be advertised on the internet by UP-TV (online video channel produced by the University of Poitiers) and podcasted. Newly-arrived IMAE students will attend the congress and will thus meet the graduating students and teaching staff. This event is a rich period for scientific and cultural exchanges between all of you and other ERASMUS MUNDUS Master courses hosted by the University of Poitiers (EUROMIME 2 and IMACS).

The IMAE sponsors and potential financial backers can join the symposium and they will have the opportunity to meet the consortium members and student cohort and appreciate their project during the IMAE farewell congress.