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All IB Plant and Microbial Sciences students have the opportunity to attend a one week long field course to Portugal at Easter. It provides marvelous exposure to plants in the Mediterranean environment, allowing you to understand plant diversity and adaptations to drought and high light, and revision of core course material through trips to a variety of habitats and evening talks.

You will also pursue a short group research project of your own design. Demonstrators are on hand to help you apply methods used in the practicals to novel investigations. Equipment is available for experiments within each of the key practical themes, from biochemical to physiological and ecological.

Currently, the cost of this is mainly covered by the University, but a small charge is made for subsistence. Many Colleges provide grants to cover this minor cost.

Quotes from students who attended the field course:

  • The trips out were fascinating and made it easier to put lecture information into context.
  • The project was very useful! I learned a lot about planning and implementing a scientific project and using/understanding equipment and calculations.
  • The opportunity to use the LI-COR and pressure bomb independently in the projects was brilliant. All in all the projects were extremely useful for supporting the lectures and practicals, and also just for getting some experience of doing a project.
  • Seeing some actual plants in their natural environment helps to understand limitations and interactions.
  • This field course was essential in understanding some broad ecological principles and experimental methods as well as plant phylogeny.
  • A really really great week.
  • Excellent trip - fun and very useful.