Molecular Ecology and Microbial Biotechnology (MNM)

Recent advancements in molecular biology now help us to differentiate organisms within three domains i.e. bacteria, archaea and eukarya, and identify evolutionary traits that result in speciation, which ultimately shapes the ecosystems. Meanwhile, anthropogenic activities greatly impact life and ecosystems at both micro and macro levels. This area covers a broad range of research topics including microbial ecology and genetics, environmental microbiology and biotechnology, conservation biology, bioinformatics, and molecular ecology and evolution.

The objectives of this concentration area are to introduce key concepts in environmental microbiology, molecular biology and genetics and use them for better understanding of natural and engineered systems, specifically the ecology and evolution of species, and the effects of environmental and geographical conditions on individual organisms, populations and communities.


Molecular Ecology and Microbial Biotechnology (MNM) Concentration Area

Fall Semester

Spring Semester

Compulsory Classes (6 credits to be fulfilled)

ESC 520 Fundamentals of Environmental Sciences


ESC 530 Research Methods for Environmental Scientists




Esc 579 Graduate Seminar


Specified Elective Classes (at least 12 credits to be fulfilled)

ESC 559 Molecular Ecology and Evolution


ESC 555 Genetic Data Analyses


ESC 557 Environmental Microbiology


ESC 569 Microbial Biotransformation and Genetics


ESC 558 Concepts and Models in Ecology


ESC 560 Molecular Ecology and Microbial Biotechnology Laboratory


Free Elective Classes (at most 6 credits to be fulfilled)

Upon advisor’s and supervisor’s consent, student can take classes from “specified” categories of all concentration areas and/or classes under “free” category within and outside the IES