10 Credits SPRING

Pre-requisites: A-Level Biology or Equivalent Scientific Qualification

Aims/Description: This module will examine the biology of life in extreme environments. The course aims to link the growth and ecology of the plants, animals and microbes with their physiology and biochemistry in order to understand the mechanisms which enable them to survive. Examples will be taken from a diversity of extreme environments, including tropical rain forests, saline and metal rich soils, ice and rocks and high temperature thermal vents. The course will examine the biology of micro-organisms, plants and some limited examples of animals in extreme environments. The importance of interactions between organisms, and particularly symbioses, in nutrient acquisition is considered. The course will identify common problems that are faced by life in extreme environments and the physical, biochemical and physiological adaptations that allow organisms to withstand these conditions.

Staff Contact: Dr Stephen Rolfe
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Animal and Plant Sciences):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK