D3a - Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Ambientali - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
Basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics and biology.
The course consists of: theoretical lectures (4 ECTS, 36 hours) and theoretical-practical activities carried out by the students (individually or in groups) (2 ECTS, 18 hours). An e-learning course is available in parallel with the lectures and activities carried out in presence; it includes: the didactic material organized in learning units; the integrative materials (links to websites, scientific or educational papers, conferences, events, videos, etc.); the guidelines and reports of the theoretical-practical activities; self-evaluation tests; interactive forum and other tools.
Full knowledge of the biodiversity of micro-organisms in agricultural and forest soils, the interactions between the microbial populations, the plants and the abiotic environment as well as the current methods used for the study of soil and environmental microbial communities.
Applying knowledge and understanding
Capacity of applying, with a multidisciplinary approach, basic knowledges of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and biotechnology to the planning and management strategies for biodiversity and soil preservation as well as enhancement, preservation and remediation of soil and forest ecosystems.
Making judgements: capability of identify the information needed for the development of strategies for preservation and remediation of soil and forest ecosystems. Communications: capability of clearly and exhaustively communicate notions, ideas, problems and technical solutions to interlocutors, either professional or not, representative of the various and specific competencies in the forestry environment (chemists, engineers, architects, etc.).
General Microbiology. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes: general characteristics, taxonomic position and phylogenetic relationships. Composition, structure and distinctive elements of the prokaryotic cell. Metabolism, nutrition and growth in prokaryotes. Nutritional and metabolic diversity. The main abiotic factors that influence the growth of microorganisms. The growth curve. Methods for culturing of microorganisms in the laboratory (2 ECTS).
Soil microbiology. Basic concepts of microbial ecology (definition of “population”, “community”, “ecosystem”, “niche”, “microhabitat”). The soil as a microbial ecosystem; soil microbial populations; current methods for the study of soil microbial communities. Microorganisms and their role in the main biogeochemical cycles of elements: the carbon cycle; the nitrogen cycle; the sulfur cycle. Associations between microorganisms and between microorganisms and plants. Biological nitrogen fixation (2 ECTS).
Environmental Microbiology. Wastewater treatment systems: primary treatment, secondary and tertiary. Solid waste management: composting. Bioremediation of contaminated soils: applicability of bioremediation; bioremediation technologies (2 ECTS).
Learning evaluation methods
Oral exam consisting in: i) the presentation and discussion of a written report (drawn up by the student individually) on a specific topic of the program, assigned by the teacher after an interview with the student; ii) a question (chosen by the teacher) on one of the topics listed in the course program.
During the course, self-evaluation tests (on-going and final) are available.
Learning evaluation criteria
To pass the exam, the student should demonstrate: proper knowledge of the topics treated and listed in the program, capacity to make links and to discuss these topics, always using a proper scientific-technical language
Learning measurement criteria
The final mark is attributed in thirtieths. Successful completion of the examination will lead to grades ranging from 18 to 30 “cum laude”.
Final mark allocation criteria
The final mark will result from the evaluation of: (i) the presentation and discussion of the written report (quantified 0 to 20 thirtieths); (ii) the answer to the question about a selected topic among those listed in the teaching program (quantified 0 to 10 thirtieths).
On e-mail appointment