Not only what – but also how, why and when – is a part of biodiversity

Degree programme objectives

The study of botany opens a way for its students to understand the principles and processes of the evolution and ecology of plants, algae, cyanobacteria and fungal organisms. Students may further specialize in one of the three specializations of this program, namely plant biosystematics, plant ecology, and specialization focused on algae and fungi - phycology and mycology. In theoretical lectures, students deepen their theoretical knowledge of the plant diversity of Central Europe and gradually develop their ability to effectively apply the acquired knowledge to any ecosystem or biome of the Earth. During regular field exercises, students are introduced to not only a diversity of plant species of the Czech Republic, but during annually organized foreign botanical excursions also to the species, community or ecosystem diversity of the entire European continent. The field excursions not only create and gradually consolidate students' ability to accurately identify plant species, but also lead to an understanding of the interrelationships between the particular features of plant species and communities otherwise taught in separate disciplines of plant biology (morphology, anatomy, physiology, population ecology, phytosociology, phytogeography, quaternary biology, or evolutionary plant biology). Field lessons also deepen students' ability to interpret these particular properties and interspecific interactions at population, ecosystem and landscape levels or in the context of quaternary history of nature or in a phylogenetic context. Group-organized teaching cultivates the ability of students to cooperate and coordinate research activities and prepares them for work in scientific teams or expeditions. During individual projects, students become skillful not only in sampling methods and preparation of plant material but also in a wide range of field and laboratory analytical methods (including molecular methods), methods of the statistical evaluation and, last but not least, the ways of effective presenting and publishing results of their scientific work. The ability of performing an independent and efficient research, which the graduates of the program acquire, is further deepened by the fact that their diploma theses are often a part of the running research projects of individual working groups of the Department of Botany and Zoology.

Study plans

Studies

  • Objectives

    The study of botany opens a way for its students to understand the principles and processes of the evolution and ecology of plants, algae, cyanobacteria and fungal organisms. Students may further specialize in one of the three specializations of this program, namely plant biosystematics, plant ecology, and specialization focused on algae and fungi - phycology and mycology. In theoretical lectures, students deepen their theoretical knowledge of the plant diversity of Central Europe and gradually develop their ability to effectively apply the acquired knowledge to any ecosystem or biome of the Earth. During regular field exercises, students are introduced to not only a diversity of plant species of the Czech Republic, but during annually organized foreign botanical excursions also to the species, community or ecosystem diversity of the entire European continent. The field excursions not only create and gradually consolidate students' ability to accurately identify plant species, but also lead to an understanding of the interrelationships between the particular features of plant species and communities otherwise taught in separate disciplines of plant biology (morphology, anatomy, physiology, population ecology, phytosociology, phytogeography, quaternary biology, or evolutionary plant biology). Field lessons also deepen students' ability to interpret these particular properties and interspecific interactions at population, ecosystem and landscape levels or in the context of quaternary history of nature or in a phylogenetic context. Group-organized teaching cultivates the ability of students to cooperate and coordinate research activities and prepares them for work in scientific teams or expeditions. During individual projects, students become skillful not only in sampling methods and preparation of plant material but also in a wide range of field and laboratory analytical methods (including molecular methods), methods of the statistical evaluation and, last but not least, the ways of effective presenting and publishing results of their scientific work. The ability of performing an independent and efficient research, which the graduates of the program acquire, is further deepened by the fact that their diploma theses are often a part of the running research projects of individual working groups of the Department of Botany and Zoology.

  • Learning Outcomes

    After successfully completing his/her studies the graduate is able to:

    • understand and describe the general principles of plant evolution and speciation, macroecology and ecology of plant communities
    • characterize the basic clades of plant phylogeny and explain how and why the phylogeny of these groups is reflected in their classification
    • characterize the basic phylogenetic clades of cyanobacteria, algae or fungi phylogeny and explain how and why the phylogeny of these groups is reflected in their classification
    • characterize the basic types of vegetation and phytochorions of the Czech Republic and important biomes of the World
    • determine common species of algae, fungi and lichens of Central Europe
    • determine common species of vascular plants and their communities in Central Europe
    • perform an independent or team botanical research at the level of individual plants, populations, species or plant communities
    • design a sampling strategy, organize field and laboratory experiments and organize field expeditions
    • apply theoretical knowledge in plant evolution and ecology to design case studies in botany and nature protection
    • select relevant biosystematic methods, including statistical, and correctly interpret results of ecological, phylogenetic and evolutionary studies
    • select relevant ecological or geobotanical methods, including statistical, and correctly interpret results of ecological study of species or vegetation
    • select relevant phycological or mycological methods, including statistical, and correctly interpret results of ecological or phylogetetic study of cyanobacteria, algae or fungi
  • Occupational Profiles of Graduates

    Graduates have knowledge and skills enabling them to perform basic and applied research or teaching at biological departments of universities, basic and applied research at biological institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences, at state, non-governmental or private institutions of nature conservation and environmental protection (e.g., Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, national parks, protected landscape areas), at departments of natural history museums, botanical gardens, forest, agricultural and pharmaceutical research institutes and at comparable institutions abroad.

    The study program of botany provides its graduates also prerequisites for any subsequent doctoral studies in the fields of Ecology or Botany, in any Czech or foreign universities.

  • Practical Training

    Even though practical training is not an obligatory part of the study plan, most of diploma theses are inherently practical and carried out in cooperation with institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic.

  • Goals of Theses

    The diploma thesis has the character of independent original scientific study performed by a student which is based on the topic formulated by a supervisor in the thesis assignment. Students usually choose the topic of the diploma thesis from topics listed by botanical academic staff of the Department of Botany and Zoology, who then become supervisors of the thesis. In addition to the supervisor, students may also choose a consultant, either in or outside the institute, in agreement with the supervisor; in justified cases, students may choose the supervisor and the topic of the thesis outside the Department of Botany and Zoology, based on the list of external supervisors of master's theses approved by the Council of the Department.

    In her/his diploma thesis, student demonstrates that she/he is able to (1) apply the knowledge acquired during her/his studies to her/his own scientific work, (2) survey relevant literature and critically assess the current state of knowledge in the topic of interest as it was before she/he approached it in the diploma thesis, (3) to optimize and continuously update field observation, measurements, plant sampling, data sampling/mining, or schedule the design of the experiments in such a way to give a clear answer to the questions, goals or hypotheses that are laid down in the assignment of the thesis and continuously elaborated on the basis of a literature survey and critical analysis, (4) choose and use appropriate methods and tools for statistical analyses and data visualization, (5) correctly interpret the results of the thesis and discuss them in a broader context, (6) regularly present the progress of her/his research and the main results at a botanical, geobotanical and/or biosystematic seminar, or at student conferences.

  • Access to Further Studies

    The study program of botany provides its graduates also prerequisites for any subsequent doctoral studies in the fields of Ecology or Botany, in any Czech or foreign universities.

  • Additional Information
    Link to website of the Department of Botany and Zoology: http://botzool.sci.muni.cz/

Basic information

Abbreviation
N-BOT
Type
Master's degree programme (following the Bachelor's one)
Profile
academic
Degree
Mgr.
Degree in Advanced Master's state examination
RNDr.
Length of studies
2 years
Language of instruction
Czech Czech

10
number of active students
5
number of theses/dissertations

Faculty of Science
Programme guaranteed by
Programme guarantor