Independently of the thesis thematic area, students acquire standard common competencies such as literature reviewing, hypothesis formulation and experimental design, sampling and collection of data, statistical analysis of acquired measurements (where necessary), scientific writing and critical interpretation of results. Linked to the thematic area of their research work, students gain specific competencies that might fall in different groups:

  1. soil and leaves lab analytical methods (e.g. spectrophotometer, Khendal, ICP, etc.);
  2. sugars and antioxidants measurements in fruits, chlorophyll and carotenoids analysis in leaves (e.g. HPLC etc.);
  3. operation of fully automated hydroponics fertilization and irrigation system;
  4. evaluation of photosynthetic and evapotranspiration status of plants (LI-COR 6400 system);
  5. molecular biology techniques (RT-PCR, agroinfiltration, nucleic acids and proteins hybridizations, fluorescence microscopy etc.).

Research activities

The following topics generally available for Master of Science theses:

  • Compost evaluation as a substrate in hydroponic systems with simultaneous application of additional variables such as CO2, salinity etc;
  • Study of Mediterranean insect pests activity and their bio-ecological characteristics;
  • Host-virus interactions essential for virus replication or plant resistance;
  • Nutrient and energy budget analysis for integrated crop management and organic farming systems;
  • Selected research topics on organic farming, integrated crop management.