Learning objectives

The Second-cycle degree course in Ecology and Ethology for Nature Conservation is a synthesis of the progress made in recent years by Ecology, the study of Animal Behaviour and for Nature Conservation. These disciplines have become mature sciences that are not limited to the description of observed phenomena, but are able to make quantitative assessments, propose experimental methods and predictive mathematical models to provide answers to theoretical and applied problems such as those posed by climate and socio-economic changes. This Second-cycle degree provides the cultural and methodological foundations necessary for the analysis of issues in ecology (individuals, populations, communities, ecosystems) and the human-nature relationship including natural populations, domestic animals and plants and urban ecosystems.
This course is aimed at the many students who are passionate about nature, animals and plants and wish to learn more about the causes and mechanisms of natural processes and the reasons for certain animal behaviour. These insights are based on scientific rigour, statistical verification of clearly delineated hypotheses and objectives through the production of numbers and experimental data, learning techniques and methodologies through innovative teaching tools such as practical exercises in nature and in the laboratory, preparation of research projects and dissemination exercises.
A solid multidisciplinary grounding is provided in ecology and ethology applied to the management and conservation of biodiversity, the maintenance of numerous important ecosystem services, the sustainable use of natural resources, and the forecasting of the effects of climate change on the biological components of ecosystems. The graduate in Ecology and Ethology for Nature Conservation is given the opportunity to turn his or her passion for nature into a highly technical-scientific profession capable of competing internationally, for example, for PhDs in ecology and nature conservation.
In the first year, the course includes the teaching of basic subjects, common to both ecology and ethology, supplemented by practical exercises: statistical analysis, geobotany, geology, paleoclimatology and ecology and ethology. In the second year, the more characterising and specialised subjects of the addresses are explored in depth. The internship and the dissertation begin in the second year and play a very important role in the teaching process as students are guided along a path leading to the realisation of a real individual research project. The work to prepare the thesis seminars induces students to continuously study, reason and discuss their research project, and this is an innovative aspect of the didactics that characterises this degree course.