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Practical Skills in Biology

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If you are a student of biology then this book will be an indispensable companion throughout your entire degree programme. It clearly explains the laboratory and field skills that you will draw on time and again for the practical aspects of your studies, and also gives you a solid grounding in those wider transferable skills which are increasingly necessary to achieve a higher level of academic success.
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Table of Contents

Study and examination skills 1. The importance of transferable skills 2. Managing your time 3. Working with others 4. Taking notes from lectures and texts 5. Learning effectively 6. Revision strategies 7. Assignments and exams 8. Preparing your curriculum vitae Information technolgoy and learning resources 9. Finding and citing published information 10. Evaluating information 11. Using online resources 12. Using word processors, databases and other packages 13. Using spreadsheets Communicating information 14. Organising a poster display 15. Giving a spoken presentation 16. General aspects of scientific writing 17. Writing essays 18. Reporting practical and project work 19. Writing literature surveys and reviews Fundamental laboratory techniques 20. Essentials of practical work 21. Bioethics 22. Health and safety 23. Working with liquids 24. Basic laboratory procedures 25. Principles of solution chemistry 26. pH and buffer solutions The investigative approach 27. The principles of measurement 28. SI units and their use 29. Making observations 30. Drawings and diagrams 31. Basic fieldwork procedures 32. Samples and sampling 33. Scientific method and design of experiments 34. Making notes of practical work 35. Project work Obtaining and identifying specimens 36. Collecting animals and plants 37. Fixing and preserving animals and plants 38. Collecting and isolating microbes 39. Naming and classifying organisms 40. Identifying plants and animals 41. Identifying microbes Examining specimens and samples 42. The purpose and practice of dissection 43. Introduction to microscopy 44. Preparing specimens for light microscopy 45. Setting up and using a light microscope 46. Interpreting microscope images 47. Sterile technique 48. Cell culture 49. Working with animal and plant tissues and cells 50. Photography and imaging 51. Measuring growth and responses 52. Fundamentals of chemical analysis 53. Calibration and quantitative analysis Environmental investigations 54. Ecological analyses 55. Analysis of aquatic environments 56. Analysis of soils and sediments 57. Measuring atmospheric variables 58. Measuring light Advanced analytical techniques 59. Immunological methods 60. Enzyme studies 61. Mendelian genetics 62. Fundamental molecular biology techniques 63. Using stable isotopes 64. Using radioisotopes 65. Measuring oxygen content 66. Photosynthesis and respiration 67. Centrifugation 68. Spectroscopic techniques 69. Chromatography 70. Electrophoresis Analysis and presentation of data 71. Manipulating and transforming raw data 72. Using graphs 73. Presenting data in tables 74. Hints for solving numerical problems 75. Descriptive statistics 76. Choosing and using statistical tests

About the Author

Allan Jones is Chancellor's Award Fellow in Ecology, Environmental Science and Zoology at the University of Dundee, UK. Jonathan Weyers is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee, UK Rob Reed is Adjunct Professor (Education & Science) at Central Queensland University, Australia.

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