Undergraduate course


Semester of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course gives an overview of main groups of microorganisms that are important in biogeochemical element cycles, and how they influence on the dissolution and degradation of minerals and rocks, and on the precipitation and formation of new mineral deposits. Analytical methods and techniques for identification of microorganisms in materials from various geological settings will be introduced and demonstrated. Emphasis will be on the coherence between metabolic processes and geochemical processes. A special focus is on deep-sea sediments and hydrothermal systems.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course the student should be able to:

- give an overview of the most important microbial metabolisms in biogeochemical cycles

- give an overview of methods for detection and identification of microorganisms in geological material

- explain how the microbial processes mediate dissolution of minerals/rocks, and formation of new, secondary minerals

- explain the link between geochemical profiles and microbial processes in different geological settings

Required Previous Knowledge

Basic principles in earth science, biology, chemistry or equivalent.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Basic principles in microbiology and aquatic geochemistry

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Written tasks (essay and lab.journal). Approved compulsory activities are only valid in the current semester.

Forms of Assessment

Portfolio assessment: essay, lab.journal

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Approved assignment

    Withdrawal deadline