Recent advances in marine microbiology - a selection of critical evaluations of research papers
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This collection of articles features examples of coursework submitted by three students taking the module BIOL3309 „Marine Microbiology – Ecology & Applications‟ as part of the BSc Hons Marine Biology degree at Plymouth. In this module, students discuss recent research papers in regular seminars, and keep a portfolio of critical evaluations of papers that they have studied. This subject is arguably one of the fastest moving fields in marine science and recent discoveries, made possible by the application of new techniques (especially metagenomics and rapid DNA sequencing) have revolutionized our understanding of ocean processes and the interactions of microbes with other marine life. Thus, students taking this module are encouraged to monitor the latest issues of journals and to select papers of their own choice, so that they gain an appreciation of the most recent advances. Students are provided with detailed advice on approaches to studying scientific literature and are given a template to structure their evaluations. There are no hard and fast rules on the style of evaluations or the number of papers or the level of detail needed, but students obtaining top grades normally submit detailed analyses of at least 2 or 3 papers in each of the 5 or 6 major themes of the course. The value of this assignment is appreciated by most students, although it is considered by some to be onerous, as evidenced in these representative comments from other students taking the module.
Munn, C., Guy, H., Phillips, G., and Robertson, E. (2009) 'Recent advances in marine microbiology - a selection of critical evaluations of research papers', The Plymouth Student Scientist, p. 303-320.
University of Plymouth
The Plymouth Student Scientist