Biology for Geologists

Microbes, metazoans and plants all play key roles in modifying and maintaining the chemistry, geology and physical nature of earth's environments. An understanding of key biological concepts and processes is therefore necessary for all geobiologists, and it is the aim of this course to provide an introduction to these. This course is taught collaboratively with Prof. Daniel Jackson (metazoans), J. Prof. Sharmishtha Dattagupta (microbes) and Prof. Alexander Schmidt (plants).

  • Course number: 600544 (BG503)
  • Timing: Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:15 - 12:00, summer semester
  • Location: Lecture room MN14, Department of Geobiology (north campus)
  • Credits/SWS: 6/4
  • Assesment: Exam (100%)
  • Maximum no. of students: 45
  • Applicability: Bachelor students
  • Requirements: Some lectures and the exam will be held in English



  • Introduction to Marine Biodiversity (Seminar series)

    The oceans of the earth harbor the greatest diversity of multicellular life on the planet with many phyla completely restricted to marine habitats. The evolutionary history of animal life is also being reconstructed through the study of living representatives of predominantly marine taxa. It is the intention of this course to provide a broad appreciation of this diversity. This course will consist of weekly discussions on marine invertebrate taxa, with an emphasis on diversity of form and function, evolution and ecological interactions.

  • Course number: 600644 (BG703)
  • Timing: Tuesdays, 14:15 - 16:15, winter semester
  • Location: Seminar room 225/26, Department of Geobiology (north campus)
  • Credits/SWS: 3/2
  • Assesment: Weekly student presentations and discussions (75%), exam (25%)
  • Maximum no. of students: 15
  • Applicability: Bachelor (4+ semester), Masters students
  • Requirements: Seminars will be held in English



  • Introduction to Molecular, Phylogenetic and DNA barcoding methods

    With rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies molecular data is becoming more and more relevant to many fields of modern science. This course will provide students with an introduction to basic molecular procedures including: genomic DNA extraction and purification, PCR amplification, DNA sequencing and sequence analysis. As an exercise we will collect a variety of invertebrates from local Göttingen habitats, PCR amplify and sequence a “DNA barcode” from each of these, and analyse these barcodes using a range of bioinformatic techniques. In theorey this barcode has the potential to uniquely identify every species on the planet. In this course we will test that theorey.

  • Course number: 600725 (BG707)
  • Timing: 2 weeks, Summer semester (Last week of September - First week of October)
  • Location: Seminar room 225/26, Department of Geobiology (north campus)
  • Credits/SWS: 3/2
  • Assesment: Course participation (40%), poster presentation (60%)
  • Maximum no. of students: 10
  • Applicability: Bachelor (5+ semester), Masters students