This Specialisation starts as from February 2013 and September 2013.
Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation is a research-oriented master specialisation in biological sciences at Leiden University. The world is a breeding ground for the most unusual and special organisms, varying from invertebrates to enormous trees in the rain forest, and, of course, our own species, man. Each of them has its own unique characteristics. This master specialisation deals with understanding, describing and maintaining this variation. Its broad scope offers many opportunities to pursue your own scientific interests, whether it is research on understanding the defense mechanisms of plants, examining marine biodiversity in the tropics, or revealing the consequences of introducing exotic animals and plants – to mention just a few of the options.
What are the processes that give rise to the enormous diversity in plant and animal forms? How do they function in their environment? How can we explain how new life-forms emerge? What affects their distribution in space and time? How can we conserve biodiversity in the face of global and local environmental changes? How can we manage our resources in a sustainable way?
This internationally oriented MSc specialisation addresses these types of questions, empowered by the unique combination of biological institutes in Leiden: the Institute of Biology (Leiden University); the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Leiden University) and the Naturalis Biodiversity (incorporating the National Herbarium and the National Museum for Natural History Naturalis). Theoretical training and hands-on research projects offered by all institutes provide you with the knowledge and skills for a successful career in a broad range of areas.
MSc students write about their study, projects, jobs and everything else that interests them. Read stories of Karin, MSc Student Biology.
“We are Experts on Evolution and Masters of Molecules.”
“I am very happy with our new MSc programme, which is organised along the same lines as our research. It has a strong focus on what I consider two of the most challenging and fascinating subjects in biology: understanding the processes underlying evolution and biodiversity, and the functioning of the molecular machinery of living cells. The developments in modern biology are, by the way, such that these topics show many crosslinks. We examine these subjects using a range of different model organisms and state-of-the-art techniques. Both require multidisciplinary research and at Leiden we are privileged to be able to do this through a unique collaboration between different research institutes. It is also particularly interesting that fundamental science is often combined with research that seeks, for instance, medical or commercial applications, or addresses problems and issues that are relevant to our society or our changing world.
All this, combined with brand new facilities for research in these fields, enables us to offer students an excellent, broad training in which theoretical courses go hand in hand with individual research projects at the forefront of science. Each programme has enough flexibility to cater for those who want to specialise in a particular area as well as those who want to combine various elements. As a scientist I think that the Leiden constellation has a lot to offer, and I believe it also creates a very attractive environment for many students!”