Molecular Analyses of Bacterioplankton Composition and Function
Provider: Faculty of Science

Activity no.: 5092-17-01-31 
Enrollment deadline: 13/09/2017
PlaceMarine Biological Section, Department of Biology, Helsingør
Date and time22.10.2017, at: 14:00 - 28.10.2017, at: 16:00
Regular seats16
Course fee350.00 €
ECTS credits3.00
Contact personLasse Riemann    E-mail address:
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserLasse Riemann    E-mail address:
Written languageEnglish
Teaching languageEnglish
Exam formEvaluation of the participant’s assignments prepared during the course
Exam detailsPresentation of group work project
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Preparation / Self-Study16.00
Course hours40.00



Subject areas: Microbiology, Environmental Science, Ecology, molecular analysis, bioinformatics, marine, Baltic Sea, bacteria

Background and Motivation:
The aim of the course is to train highly motivated PhD students in the principles of molecular analyses of bacterioplankton communities. It particularly addresses microbial ecology of the Baltic Sea, with emphasis on bacterioplankton and cutting-edge molecular methodologies to address their function and ecology. The course is linked to the completion of the 4-year research project Blueprint ( ) focused on molecular analyses of Baltic Sea bacterioplankton.

Due to some practical training the number of participants is limited to 16. Participant selection is competitive and based on the applicants CV’s and letters of motivation.

Please see "Remarks" below for details on how to apply for participation in this course.

Scientific content:
The course aims to introduce students to molecular microbial ecology, with the Baltic Sea as a case-study. Three main topics will be addressed: 1) the biogeochemical importance of bacterioplankton, 2) regulation of bacterioplankton growth, mortality and population dynamics, and 3) identification of key functional genes and their expression in bacterioplankton. A typical day will include 2-3 lectures in the morning, followed by discussions, theoretical and (to some extent) practical exercises in the afternoon. In the evenings, the students will work in groups on theoretical projects covering different aspects of microbial ecology, population dynamics, evolution, interactions etc., which are decided upon early the first day. The students will present the outcome of this group work on the last day of the course.

Learning outcome
Students will gain overview of the biogeochemical importance of prokaryotes in the sea, with the Baltic Sea as a case study, with particular emphasis on regulatory factors. Moreover, insights into molecular analyses of bacterioplankton composition, population dynamics, and presence and expression of functional genes will be gained, with foci on next-generation sequencing-based analyses of selected genes (PCR amplicon sequencing), genomic make up of functional genes (metagenomics) and expression of those (metatranscriptomics). Acquisition of bioinformatics skills is beyond the scope of the course, but basic principles and procedures will be introduced.

By presenting their own research project and results from group work there is a strong basis for networking. In addition there is ample opportunity for participants to get feedback on their own research project from leading experts in molecular microbial ecology.

To enroll:

1) Please click on "Apply"
2) Send your CV and a letter of motivtion to: Lasse Riemann, e-mail address:

Course venue:
The course will be given in the Marine Biological Section (Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen) in Helsingør, where newly renovated teaching labs are available.

Course budget:
A course fee of 350 Euro covers costs for accommodation, breakfast, coffee, and dinner). Accommodation is in cabins (4 persons per cabin) located 10-15 min walk from the institute.

Guest lecturers:
Prof. Jarone Pinhassi, Leader of the Linnaeus University Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial model Systems.
Recognized as a leading authority on regulation of bacterioplankton community structure and functionality

Assist. Prof. Anders Andersson, Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Gene Technology, which is located at the Science for Life Laboratory.
Recognized as a leading authority on metagenomics analysis of microbial communities

Prof. Åke Hagström, Linneaus University
Recognized as one of the pioneers in aquatic microbial ecology

In addition 4-5 postdocs are anticipated to provide specific lectures.

Teachers from UCPH-SCIENCE:

Professor Lasse Riemann / Organizer / Expert in aquatic microbial ecology

Professor Mathias Middelboe / / Expert in aquatic microbial ecology and virology