MICR3310 Applied and Environmental Microbiology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2QEII Medical CentreFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Microbiology and Immunology major sequence
This unit considers the importance of microbes in nature, their impacts on society, and approaches to the control and use of microbial activities. It presents concepts and principles in microbial ecology as well as case studies demonstrating the importance of this field of knowledge to environmental management, epidemiology and studies of disease distribution, biotechnology and industry. Key ecological roles of microbes including in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, interactions with biota and the physiochemical environment, and their consequences (beneficial and detrimental) for human activities are investigated. In addition to expanding the breadth of knowledge of microbiology students, the unit provides a sound foundation for students pursuing studies in marine, freshwater and terrestrial biology, environmental science and/or engineering, and natural resource conservation and management.
Students are able to (1) obtain a comprehensive understanding of the roles and activities of microbes in the natural environment; an appreciation of how microbial activities impact in both beneficial and detrimental ways on the environment, humans and society; and an awareness of the practical use of such knowledge in controlling and using microbes; (2) gain understanding of, and practical skills in a diversity of environmental microbiology techniques including water quality analysis, detection of indicator micro-organisms, measurement of the effects of environmental variables on microbial activity, biogeochemical cycling and the application of microbes to pollution remediation; (3) gain scientific writing communication skills through the preparation of written laboratory exercises and group reports; and (4) develop research skills through involvement in the planning and implementation of practical class experimentation.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tests; (2) group reports; and (3) individual writing exercise. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kate Hammer
Unit rules
MICR2208 Introductory Microbiology
MICR2209 Introduction to Infectious Diseases and Immunology
Contact hours
Tutorials/Workshops: 3-4 hours per week; Laboratory sessions: 2–3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.