We approach these questions from various angles with various techniques. This will help you decide which ones fit to your interests best.
You may choose to investigate fundamental mechanisms underlying evolution and ecology, or you may prefer to tackle conservation problems dealing with threatened species and habitats. Maybe you wish to acquire data and analyse them so as to answer some specific question? Or you are more interested in developing tools -- conceptual, technical or analytical -- to solve particular problems? You may be looking for a direct contact with some species of the local fauna or flora; for instance by collecting data on the field (tracking, trapping, sampling, etc.), or by conducting behavioural experiments either in nature or in the laboratory. Perhaps you are appealed by the power of the latest laboratory techniques to measure the genetic relationships, for instance to understand how populations are linked through dispersal, or how parent species have evolved through time. You may even want to address theoretical issues, by developing mathematical or computer-based models, to understand in silico systems that are too slow, too complex or too large to be tackled directly. The Master BEC will allow you to quench your thirst of knowledge for any of these subjects and approaches, and any combination of them.
The role of conservation biology in this MSc program
Conservation biology is the multi-disciplinarian science of preserving biodiversity at all its levels (genes, populations, species, communities, ecosystems). Conservation problems can be very complex, and each is different. We don’t usually provide cookbook style instructions for direct applications. Instead, we focus on developing the conceptual understanding that is necessary to create solutions to conservation problems. We aim at producing MSc BEC graduates who are broadly trained and have the capacity to do high-quality research that may also be relevant for conservation.