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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Details of the program

Details of the program
© pixabay
The Master's degree Functional Biology and Ecology is a two–year program.

During the first year, the Master proposes

An Integration Week (30 h) that takes place outside of the two university campuses, to provide several transversal training and build up teamwork capabilities among students coming from very diverse university courses. Transversal training proposed in the integration week includes Scientific Communication, Professional Insertion and Career, Ethics in Science and Professional Risk and Prevention modules. Also, a Mastering Grant Application module, designed as a role-playing game, is proposed to illustrate all facets of writing, answering and evaluating grant applications. Outdoor Team-Building activities complete this week.

A Guided Tour of the TULIP Consortium (210 h). Students spend one week in each of the six TULIP laboratories in Toulouse, Moulis and Perpignan, where teachers and researchers organize theoretical and practical training centered on laboratories’ main research projects. A visit to the technological platforms associated with each laboratory is also planned. An exam will evaluate acquired competencies at the end of each week.

The training program of the TULIP Guided Tour - Master 1

The proposed training allows students to acquire the necessary knowledge in functional biology, ecology-evolution and statistics to develop research projects at the interface between these scientific fields. Visits of the TULIP laboratories and associated platforms (Aquatron, Metatron, Genomics sequencing, metabolomics, microscopy, phenotyping) are proposed during this training.

Functional biology (~ 100h): Eukaryotic gene regulation mechanisms during development and stress; Epigenetic mechanisms and chromatin architecture (DNA methylation, histone modifications, epigenetic marks); RNA interference and small RNAs, RNA processing, stability, transport, translation; Epitranscriptomics; RNA binding proteins; Post-translational modifications, ubiquitination, sumoylation; Forward genetic, genome editing; Genome sequencing (methods and strategies), transcriptomics, translatomics, degradome; Cell signaling concepts applied to plant-microorganism interactions (pathogens and symbiotics) and development; Plant development and hormones; General concepts in phytopathology and analysis of the pathogenicity of microorganisms, adaptation to the environment, study of immune responses and interactions with climate change; symbiotic interactions at the level of roots and in the phyllosphere, evolution of genomes in symbiotic bacteria, symbiosis with fungi and nodular development, rhizogenesis; adaptations in plant communities.

Ecology and Evolution (~ 100h): How to do research in ecology and evolution? Key concepts in population dynamics; Genes in ecology and evolution; biology of species formation; key concepts in evolution of cooperation and mutualisms, behavioural ecology; functioning of the system, and prediction of its behaviour under different scenarios. Why species diversity varies from place to place? Is Nature chaotic? Intraspecific diversity:, ecosystem consequences and conservation ;  How animal behavior and human impacts interact; Evolutionary responses to climate change: population and community consequences; climate change and natural systems: Impacts, Conservation Challenges, Environmental and epigenetic diversity, from gene expression to ecosystem functioning ; holobiont, host microbiota interactions (bacteria, archaea, viruses, protists); holobiont dynamics and fitness; coevolution, methods of analysis with examples from the labs: phylosymbiosis in snails vector for schistosomiasis / the coral holobiont response to heat stress; Host-parasite compatibility and immunobiological interactions; from the molecule to the population. Visit of experimental infrastructures (vertebrate and invertebrate). Mechanisms of virulence, cytotoxity, and immune evasion observed in natural populations of vibrios colonizing oysters. An integrative view, from genetics to cellular and molecular interactions; Introduction to Theoretical Biology and to systems biology, modelling.

Statistics for Biology (~ 20 h): introduction to R, programming, parametric and non-parametric hypothesis tests (distribution tests, independence tests, comparisons of means and variances, ANOVA), linear model (single and multiple regression, ANCOVA) and generalized linear model, classification and multivariate analyzes (ACP).

Team Construction of the “Junior Lab” Project (8 weeks). Working in small groups, students address problems raised by non-profit organizations, associations, natural reserves, municipalities, professional organizations or private companies. With the help of tutors, students write a formal grant application describing (i) the interdisciplinary aspect of the problem-solving strategy they propose, (ii) the experimental protocols with associated costs, and/or (iii) the statistical/theoretical models that are performed.

Team implementation of the “Junior Lab” Project and Reporting (5 months). Each student team will perform the experimental/modeling strategy proposed in their “Junior Lab” grant application. Free access to necessary experimental equipment and/or computing facilities are provided and, under tutors’ supervision, teams are autonomous enough to organize and execute their project. Then, each student team collectively writes a report on their “Junior Lab” project and defends it in front of a jury.

Before your arrival in Master 1 FBE, Here is a non-exhaustive list of books you should read to catch up in ecology and functional biology:

Natural Systems: the Organisation of life
Author: Markus Eichhorn
Ed: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2016

The Tangled Bank: an Introduction to Evolution
Author: Carl Zimmer
Ed: Roberts & Company Publishers
Year: 2009

Molecular Biology of the cell, 5th edition
Author: Bruce Alberts
Ed: Garland Science
Year: 2008

Biology of Plants, 8th edition
Authors: Peter Raven, Ray F. Evert, Susan E. Eichhorn
Year: 2012

During the second year, the TULIP-GS Master proposes

Two Guided Tours of the International Community (2 weeks). Training during these two weeks is provided by ten invited renowned international scientists who give lectures followed by round tables with practical exercises.

Construction of the individual Internship Project (7 weeks). Based on experiences gathered in the two Guided Tours, students chose a topic and work with a tutor to develop a scientifically sound interdisciplinary internship project. Each student will defend all aspects of their project (including funding) in front of a TULIP-GS jury. M2 TULIP-GS students who need to be hosted by other labs than TULIP labs for all or part of their project will be eligible for a supplemental TULIP-GS Master Mobility Package.

Individual Internship and Reporting (7 months). Under the supervision of their tutor, students perform their internship projects. A mid-term progress report is requested, followed by a final reporting and oral interview in front of a jury at the end of the project.

Team Writing of a Mini-Review Article (6 weeks). Working in small groups, students chose a topic and write a mini-review supervised by a tutor. A TULIP-GS jury selects the mini-review(s) deserving to be submitted to a scientific journal for publication.