Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation

Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation is a new, internationally-oriented prominent master’s specialisation in biological sciences at Leiden University. The world is a breeding ground for the most unusual and special organisms, varying from obscure invertebrates to enormous trees in the rain forest, and, of course, our own species, man. Each of them has its own unique characteristics. This master’s specialism is concerned with understanding, describing and maintaining this variation. Its broad scope enables you with many opportunities to pursue your own scientific interests, whether it is research on the developmental biology or behaviour of animals, understanding the natural protection mechanisms of plants, examining marine biodiversity in the tropics, or revealing the consequences of introducing exotic animals and plants – to mention just a few of the options.

What are the processes that give rise to the enormous diversity in plant and animal forms? How do they function in their environment? How can we explain how new life-forms emerge? What affects their distribution in space and time? How can we conserve biodiversity in the face of global and local environmental changes? How can we use our natural resources to develop new medicines and other products? How can we manage our resources in a sustainable way?

This internationally oriented MSc specialisation addresses these types of questions, capitalising on the unique combination of biological institutes in Leiden: the Institute of Biology (Leiden University); the Institute of Environmental Sciences (Leiden University) and the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity (incorporating the National Herbarium and the National Museum for Natural History Naturalis). Theoretical training and hands-on research projects offered by all institutes provide you with the knowledge and skills for a successful career in a broad range of areas.

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