Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
The student must be able to conduct literature searches
Good knowledge of English
Very good knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry and physical-chemistry, plant physiology and botany
The course will comprise 6 credits of theoretical classes and 1 credit of practical classes. The theoretical classes will be strongly interactive: students will be frequently asked to interact with the professor and with other students. AT the beginning of each class, one or more students will be called to summarize the previous class. This serves the scope to better assimilate the information and will provide the opportunity for clarifications and deepening of those aspects that will emerge as more difficult or of greater interest for the students.
The practicals will consist in the conduction of experiments: the students will be confronted with a scientific problem that they will have to solve by carrying out lab measurements: to this end, the students will be divided in groups of 4-5 individuals.
Further exercises will be carried out in class, in the form of oral discussions and/or brief seminars, and of resolution of numerical problems. Students will also have to analyze and discuss in class scientific papers on fundamental aspect of algae ecophysiology.
Crucial references will be made available on the e-learning platform.
In the presence of foreign students, the course will be held in English.
The course will allow the students to acquire in-depth knowledge on the responses of aquatic photosynthetic organisms to environmental changes. Information will be provided also on the impact of on going global changes on primary production and on the biotechnological utilization of algae.
Ability to apply the knowledge:
The student, at the end of the course, will therefore be able to operate both in academia, and in general in basic research, and in applied research.
In addition to a profound appreciation of algal ecophysiology, the student will acquire the ability to independently and creatively analyze primary reference sources and employ them for the construction and conduction of scientific projects.
The highly interactive nature of the course will lead the student to develop skills in verbal and written scientific communication and in the critical analyses of literature.
The student will also be led to the development of the ability to interconnect information and notions in order to enact a multidisciplinary approach to any problem with which he should be confronted.
Content (theroretical classes, 6 CFU):
Nutrients (N, S, P and trace elements): acquisition, assimilation and metabolic interactions
Light: chromatic adaptation and imact of light on vertical zonation
Substrate: conquering suratidel habitats
Algae and global climate change; physiological responses to increasing pCO2, exposure to UV radiation and temperature
Relationship between morphology and function: Effect of size and shape on phytoplabjton physiology
Evolution of aquatic photisynthesis: adaptation the long term environmental changes and evolutionary trends of teh photosynthetic apparatus
Applied aspects: algal cultures; products from macro- and microalgae.
Content (practical classes, 1 CFU).
Methods for the determination of photosynthetic pigments and of other organic pools in algal cells
Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam will be oral and will consist of an interview that may encompass the entire content of the course, included the topic covered during the lab sessions. The number of questions will depend on the level of competence of the students, but never fewer than three questions will be asked.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
The acquisition of knowledge by the student will be evaluated on the basis of his/her ability to demosntrate the ability to master the information provided, exopress concept appripriately, utilize kowledge in thought experiment and calculations
Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
Some of the questions will be formulated so that the student can show his/her knowledge without constraints, with the aim of evaluating his/her ability to organize concepts logically, coherently and exhaustively and in order to assess his/her comprehension of the concepts and notions provided during the course.
Other questions will be posed in the form of specific scientific problems. The student will have to demonstrate his/her ability to creatively integrate the notion acquired in class for the resolution of the problems.
Criteria for conferring final mark:
The student’s performance will be evaluated on the basis of the correctness of his/her answers (40%), completeness of his/her answer (20%), appropriateness of expression (20%) and of his/her ability to identify the fundamental aspects of the subject of the query (20).
Buchanan, Gruissem and Jones (2004). Biochimica e Biologia molecolare delle Piante. Zanichelli
Falkowski e Raven (1997). Aquatic Photosynthesis. Blackwell
Zeebe and Wolf-Gladrow (2002). CO2 in Seawater: Equilibrium, Kinetics, Isotopes . Elsevier
Lobban and Harrison (1996). Seaweed Ecology and Physiology. Cambridge University Press
Dring (1982) Biology of Marine Plants. E. Arnold
Borowitzka, Beardall, Raven (2016). The Physiology of Microalgae, “Developments in Applied Phycology Series”, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg.