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Organisms and Populations: Labs

The module aims to equip students with the practical skills required for the analysis of biological mechanism at the level of organisms and populations. Students will learn to solve scientific problems in this area by integrating concepts and approaches from different scientific disciplines, including biology, physics, chemistry and computing, with the underlying mathematics serving as a common language.

After completing the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the hands-on practical skills required to perform experimental tests of tractable scientific questions, especially about the structure and dynamics of organisms and populations.
  • Demonstrate a grasp of safety rules and an ability to work safely.
  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately record experimental procedures and results, in appropriate detail, using open source electronic notebooks.
  • Harness computational data analysis techniques and statistical approaches to analyse data.
  • Access and use the scientific literature effectively.
  • Interpret and explain experimental data relating to the control and actuation of cell division, the organisation and development of embryos, the production and testing of antibodies and the evolution of microbial populations.
  • Demonstrate the writing skills required to report experimental results in the format of a scientific paper, including the ability to write an abstract, to write a short critical review of the relevant literature, present results in an appropriate format and detail with appropriate statistics, discuss the results and frame a clear conclusion.

Course leader
John James



8 weeks (64 hours of laboratory practicals, including time spent in analysis and write up.)

Teaching methods

Supervised experimental laboratory work

4 x laboratory reports