© S. Prada - UNIL
© S. Prada - UNIL
The Master's programme in Behavior, Evolution and Conservation (BEC) is for students who wish to deepen their knowledge in ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology, while developing relevant technical and quantitative skills. The programme offers a broad selection of courses on subjects ranging from evolutionary genetics and molecular mechanisms of evolution, through social behavior and interspecific interactions, to applied ecology and conservation biology. The technical and quantitative skills are fostered through dedicated courses in molecular methods applied to ecology, statistics, bioinformatics, programming, GIS, spatial modeling, and scientific writing. Several field courses prepare students for research in the field. A course on mountain ecosystems integrates many of these concepts and techniques in the context of the local Alpine environment. Finally, three interdisciplinary specialisations within the program provide links to economics, geosciences, and computational biology.
A strong emphasis is placed on students' personal research projects which account for 50% of the credits towards the degree. Researchers associated with the master's programme assure an opportunity for a large diversity of projects that may involve field work, laboratory experiments, genomics, bioinformatics or modeling, in a broad range of animals, plants and microbe systems. Most of the teachers and researchers associated with the Master BEC are at the Department of Ecology and Evolution (DEE); other involved departments include the Department of Computational Biology, the Center for Integrative Genomics (CIG), the Department of Fundamental Microbiology (DMF) as well as external institutions, such as the Zoological Museum of Lausanne, the Lausanne Botanical Garden, or the environmental research and education center Maison de la Rivière.
The language of the Master's program is English. While preexisting knowledge of French is thus not required, learning some French would make living in Lausanne much easier.
The Master's degree in Behavior, Evolution and Conservation prepares students for classical scientific careers, as well as for those where communication skills are essential, or where the ability to develop, manage and plan projects are key. Typical examples of career opportunities are in academic research, museums, conservation NGOs, federal research stations and offices, public services for environmental protection, and private applied ecology agencies. The strong statistical skills developed in the Master are also sought after, e.g., in public health, whereas the orientation towards biodiversity provides a good basis for students who want to become biology teachers.
Specific training objectives by specialisation are described on their individual webpage.
MSc BEC students may (but do not have to) choose to follow one of three interdisciplinary specialisations.
The programme in Behavior, Economics, and Evolution (BEE) aims at providing biology students with basic knowledge about economics and a way of thinking about making efficient decisions under limited resources, a situation prevalent in ecology, evolution, and conservation. This specialisation is a collaboration with two Masters of Science programs of the Faculty of Business and Economics, the MSc Management and the MSc Economics.
The programme in "Computational Ecology and Evolution" (CEE) aims at providing biology students with a quantitative way of thinking in ecology and evolution, and transferable skills in statistics and programming. Students can do purely theoretical projects, as well as combine field or lab work with advanced computational analysis.
The specialisation in "Geosciences, Ecology and Environment" (GEE) aims at providing biology students with complementary knowledge and quantitative skills in geo-environmental sciences that give them an integrated view of natural systems and allow them to solve complex ecological problems and conduct interdisciplinary basic and applied research projects in ecology and evolution.
Lausanne is a medium-sized city on the shores of Lake Geneva, bordering the UNESCO World Heritage region of Lavaux. It offers a multitude of cultural and recreational opportunities while the proximity of the lake and the Alps, easily accessible with public transport, present countless possibilities for outdoor activities.
The University of Lausanne is a vibrant community of about 17,000 students and 3,700 faculty and staff, with a long tradition of excellence in research, most recently recognized by the 2017 Nobel prize in chemistry.
The activities of Master BEC take place on the main campus located on the lake shore on the western outskirts of the city. The campus includes a sports center accessible to all students.