Biology in Conservation-Restoration


This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the biodeterioration caused by different organisms on cultural heritage, its prevention and control.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Filomena Meireles Abrantes de Macedo Dinis


Weekly - 5

Total - 5

Teaching language



This UC has no requirements


 Madigan, M.T. ; J.M. Martinko and J. Parker. 2000. Brock - Biology of Microorganisms. Southern Illionois University Carbondale. Prentice Hall International, Inc.
- Madeira Lopes, A. & Fonseca, A. 1996. Biologia Microbiana, Univ. Aberta.
- Ricklefs, R.E., Miller, G.L. 2000. Ecology. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.
- Brimblecombe, P. (Ed.). 2003. The Effects of Air Pollution On The Built Environment. Imperial College Press, London.
- Berge, B. 2000. The Ecology of Building Materials. Architectural Press, Oxford. 
- Allsopp, D., Seal, K., Gaylarde, C. 2004. Introduction to biodeterioration. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Caneva G., Nugari M.P., Salvadori O. 1991. Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art. Iccrom Ed. Roma.
- Ciferri, O., Tiano, P., Mastromei, G. 2000. Of Microbes and Art – The Role of Microbial Communities in the Degradation and Protection of Cultural Heritage, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical, with appropriate illustrations to the objectives of the course. This includes also study visit

Evaluation method


This course  has frequency, that is, set of conditions to be satisfied by the student to have access to the exam; The student will have access to the Examination as long as it does not miss more than 2/3 of the theoretical and practical classes.

There are 3 components of continuous evaluation: 2  tests of theoretical evaluation (T) and one of practical evaluation (P). To be aproved in this course  is necessary to have a minimum of 9.5 values in both components (theoretical and practical)

The theoretical evaluation (T) includes 2 tests carried out during the semester, the final theoretical evaluation being obtained by the average of the tests. Those who can not /or will to do the theoretical evaluation by tests can always do it in Exam of Appeal. The Theoretical Assessment is worth 60% of the final grade.

The practical evaluation (P) is carried out on the basis of a final group report and oral presentation of that report. Students worked in groups and the grade will be assigned to the group. Thus the final grade is calculated as follows:

Final Note = (0.6 * T) + (0.4 * P)

T =  theoretical tests average or Exam note.

Admission to examination depends on the frequency of 2/3 of theoretical-practical classes, except in legally defined cases.

Factors such as problem solving ability, attendance and punctuality will be continuously assessed throughout the semester and across all components.

Subject matter

1.Introduction to Conservation Biology: concepts and definitions

2.The molecules of life

3. Main metabolic pathways

4. General biology: the cell, its composition and structure.

5.Reproduction. Transmission of genetic information.

6.Methods of molecular biology versus culture methods

7.Biodiversity. Classification of living beings

8.General Principles of Ecology.Limiting factors.

9. Biodeterioration of inorganic materials

10.Biodeterioration of organic materials

11.Methods for the prevention and control of biodeterioration.

Practical cases - they are illustrated throughout the  entire program


Programs where the course is taught: