Aquatic Ecosystems: Processes and Applications

This course aims to provide scientists and managers with practical experience and ready-to-use skills in analysing processes in aquatic ecosystems and with the proper tools to integrate ecological knowledge into management of these systems.

For whom?

Professionals in the field of environmental science who are interested in ecological water quality and eutrophication processes.


Basic knowledge of aquatic ecology, chemistry, and statistics at BSc level.  Good command of English and computer skills are required.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 13 June 2022
End: 01 July 2022
ECTS credit points: 5
Deadline IHE application: 12 May 2022 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3000

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Conduct laboratory techniques used for basic limnological studies. Specifically, you will be able to measure physical-chemical properties, chlorophyll a concentration in seston and periphyton and calculate primary production and respiration.
  2. Critically analyze scientific literature, including interpretation of data in graphs and tables, and evaluation of methodology and conclusions.
  3. Develop your own research question and specific objectives designed to answer it.
  4. Analyze data using either statistical or modeling techniques to answer your research question.
  5. Develop writing skills in the format of a scientific article that presents your research question, the data supporting it, and a discussion of your results, including a review of relevant literature.
  6. Communicate in verbal scientific discourse: articulate problems, data interpretation, and conclusions in presentations and informal discussions.

Course content

An experimental set-up will be used as a case to analyse the effects of eutrophication and to familiarise participants with techniques that are common in ecological research. 

Ample attention will be paid to the development of a critical scientific approach, including study design, statistical analysis and data presentation.In a fieldwork study, hydrological, chemical and biological measurements will be integrated into an overall evaluation of the water quality in a river catchment. Modelling tools will be applied in an exercise to evaluate the effects of eutrophication, in a shallow lake and the potentials for restoration, including a cost-benefit analysis.



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