2019-2020 / OCEA0157-1

Biodegradation of organic molecules in a sea environment


20h Th

Number of credits

 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Mathieu Poulicek

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The first part of the course is devoted to description of "natural" organic molecules biodegradation in the marine realm (external and internal processes for control and optimisation of the activity within the "microbial loop")(8 hours).
The second part consists in description of some mathematical models of microbial activity in natural conditions (2 hours).
The third part is devoted to exploring the ways of artificially introduced molecules biodegradation (domestic wastes, detergents, aromatic cycles and halogenated molecules, hydrocarbons and plastics)(8 hours).
The last part of the course is devoted to "biodeterioration" processes (when biodegradation goes too far) (2 hours).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

To get in touch with the complexity of interactions within the microbial world and focus on positive aspects of bacterial activity.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Elementary knowledge (general microbiology course) of the bacterial world.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Five times 4 hours to place according to scheduled courses

Recommended or required readings

Course notes and copy of all illustrations distributed at first course.
Course edited, printed and distributed by Oceanographic Institute Press (Paris)

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam with notes

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks


Mathieu Poulicek - Tél 04 366 50 67 - Email: mpoulicek@ulg.ac.be