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The course will provide a broad overview of tropical ecology, flora and fauna. During the lectures, students will learn about practical aspects of doing field research in the tropics, of the relevant and unanswered questions, and of the application in biodiversity conservation. In addition, basic taxonomic overviews for taxa that are particularly relevant in tropical ecosystems are given.
The course will be held partly in Leiden, partly in South East Asia or the Caribbean, respectively, alternating (per study year) in the Danau Girang Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, or in the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI) in St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles.
The field work will consist of (a) demonstrations of field methods and techniques and (b) short research projects carried out by small groups of students. The course is a unique opportunity to get theoretical as well as practical instructions on tropical biodiversity from a broad range of experienced lecturers, in a setting that allows you to interact informally and intensively with fellow students, including Malaysian or Caribbean ones, respectively, as well as more experienced researchers and field biologists. The course is an excellent preparation for fieldwork in the tropics and can, in the case of the Caribbean, be easily extended by an internship. The course provides study credits and is also a coveted c.v.-item.