2004-2006 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Environmental Biology

MSc Program

The MSc program has five areas of specialization: entomology, enviromental microbiology and biotechnology, environmental toxicology, plant and forest systems and plant pathology.

  • Entomology emphasizes applied aspects of insect pest management plus systematics, ecology, physiology, and toxicology.

  • Environmental microbiology and biotechnology emphasizes the physiology, ecology, biochemistry and genetics of microorganisms with potential for environmental or biotechnological applications. It also includes studies on microbial pathogen detection and monitoring in the environment.

  • Environmental toxicology examines how terrestrial and aquatic organisms interact with toxic compounds in the environment, describes the methods and tools needed to assess environmental impacts, and emphasizes practical management solutions to address environmental problems.

  • Plant and forest systems examines the ecological interactions in forest ecosystems and controlled environments such as greenhouses, growth chambers and life support systems for humans in space. Emphasis is placed on carbon dynamics, nutrient cycling, ecological modeling, environment sensor technology, atmosphere management (eg. "sick building syndrome") and environmental remediation.

  • Plant pathology emphasizes the ecology and genetics of plant pathogens, plant disease resistance and epidemiology, the genomics and molecular biology of plant-pathogen interactions, and the development of new plant disease management strategies, such as the use of chemical, cultural and biological control agents.

Admission Requirements

Normally, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with high second-class honours standing or better in a field appropriate to their proposed area of study. Interested students from other disciplines may also be acceptable, subject to the decision of the department graduate admissions committee.

Degree Requirements

A candidate for the MSc degree is expected to have a general knowledge of fundamental aspects of biology and detailed knowledge of the specialty area. The specialty area will normally be one of the areas in which the Department of Environmental Biology is prepared to offer a graduate degree. In addition, students are encouraged to obtain a knowledge of both theoretical and applied aspects of their specialty area.

Before the end of the student's first semester, the advisory committee will meet informally with the student to discuss the student's background, interests and knowledge in the proposed research area. The advisory committee will then establish a program of prescribed courses (at least 1.5 credits of graduate level courses) and, if required, additional courses. All MSc candidates must complete a thesis. A statement of the objectives of the thesis research program should be prepared as early as possible.

A normal MSc program requires six semesters. Programs involving field work may require seven or eight semesters. The number of courses per semester should not normally exceed four. Among these would be courses that are core requirements of the undergraduate specialty and represent the candidate's deficiencies.

Graduate students must take both the Introductory Seminar, ENVB*6710, and the Advanced Seminar, ENVB*6720, unless exempted from taking the Introductory Seminar by the advisory committee.