New MSc thesis projects 2013/14
Without plants, life on earth would not be possible. Plants provide the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the nature we enjoy. To learn about their diversity in form, function and use, we study plants from the level of genes to the level of ecosystems.
Within the Basel life science program, the Department of Environmental Sciences and its associates offer a comprehensive 1.5 year Master's course for graduates with a background in biology (BSc in biology or equivalent). The course builds upon the strength of the Botanical Institute in the areas of plant cell and molecular biology, plant-microbe interactions, symbiosis, ecophysiology, and agroecology, and it profits greatly from the leadership of the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center, a network integrating more than 600 scientists interested in plant science.
Why choose an MSc in Plant Science in Basel?
You will do a Master's Thesis in a lively team of plant scientists, studying plants and their associated microorganisms in the context of molecular biology, physiology, or ecology.
- Your research work will usually take place in the laboratory, with options of field studies in the alps and in tropical agroecosystems.
- To broaden your perspective, you will choose among a large spectrum of attractive lectures and courses in the laboratory and in the field.
- You will actively participate in seminars as well as national and international meetings in the area of plant science.
- Last not least, you will be situated in charming buildings in the heart of old Basel, close to the banks of the River Rhine and to the Botanical Garden with its inspiring plant collections. Basel is situated in the Northwest of Switzerland at the border of France and Germany.
The program "Plant Science"
The core of the program is the Master's Thesis, in which you participate actively, and with your own individual research project, in the current research efforts of a team of plant scientists. You will combine this fascinating experience with course designed to broaden your experience in life sciences and ecology. With an MSc degree in Plant Science, you will acquire cutting-edge research capabilities in your chosen field of specialization, as well as broad general knowledge in biology. This will enable you to enter a PhD program in all areas of biology, and to grasp opportunities in the agro-, pharma- and biotech-industries as well as in public research units and private enterprises in the domains of ecology and life sciences.
The MSc degree in Plant Science is awarded for 90 credit points: 50 for the Master's Thesis project, 30 for courses, and 10 for the final exam. Courses (lectures, seminars, practical work, essays) can be chosen individually, or grouped into modules of three to nine credit points each. Credits can be obtained at any time before the final exam (free sequence). We encourage students to attend at least one of the modules or individual courses outside of Basel (for instance with our partners in the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zurich).
The Master's Thesis may center on laboratory or field work. A mix of laboratory and field experiments is also possible. Examples for thesis topics can be found here.
The common teaching language is German. However, all courses are offered in English, should it be necessary.
Topics in Plant Science
The following topics cover teaching units for 3-9 credit points each (corresponding to 3-9 full term hours per week or a total of 6-18 full days of course work)
- Plant health
Plant virology - plant-pathogen interactions - innate immunity in plants - stress tolerance - sustainable agriculture - plant protection
- Plant symbiosis
Symbiotic nitrogen fixation - endomycorrhiza in agroecosystems - the wood-wide web of ectomycorrhiza - ecosystem processes - restoration ecology
- Biodiversity above and below the ground
Microbial ecology in the soil and rhizosphere - evolution and diversity of fungi - population genetics - biodiversity indicators - rare species
- Genetic and epigenetic regulation in plants
Plant hormones - transcriptional and posttranscriptional silencing - epigenetics and plant development - genetic flux in plants - plant genomics
Many of these topics are offered in cooperation with the Zurich-Basel Plant Science Centre and the following institutions of the University of Basel: the Section of Ecology of the Institute of Botany; the Department of Environmental Sciences; the Institute of Zoology; the Department Biozentrum; the Department of Geoscience. In addition, we collaborate, in research and teaching, with the Friedrich Miescher-Institut (Basel); with the Swiss Tropical Institute (Basel); with the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL Frick); and with the research stations of Agroscope, the Swiss federal research organization for agriculture, nutrition and the environment.
The Master's in Plant Science has close connections to the Master's in Ecology
Addresses and Links
Institute of Botany
Section of Plant Physiology
University of Basel
Tel. ++41 (0)61 267 23 11
Fax ++41 (0)61 267 23 30
Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Responsibilities and information
Prof. Dr. Thomas Boller
Plant health, molecular plant-microbe interactions, mycorrhiza
Prof. Dr. Manfred Heinlein
RNA signaling in plants
PD Dr. Mikhail Pooggin
Molecular Plant Virology
Dr. Jürg Oetiker
||Tel. ++41 (0)61 267 3023
|| Fax ++41 (0)61 267 3035