This course is an advanced course in biology aiming to provide understanding and practical knowledge of the fate, uptake and effects of anthropogenic pollutants in the environment. We study and apply ecotoxicological theories, models, and common methods and approaches concerning: fate of pollutants in the environment using fugacity based multimedia partitioning models; uptake and accumulation using models of bioconcentration and biomagnification, and effects on different levels of biological organisation: cellular, organism, population and ecosystem using ecotoxicologigal test methods with different endpoints. Learning activities are in the form of lectures, laborations, modelling excercises and seminars.
Two research projects are performed during the course. A one-week laboration practicing ecotoxicological test methods using simpler, short-term, standardized test methods, and a longer three-week laboration testing effects on populations, communities and ecosystems. The latter is designed and planned by the students using tools and concepts aquired from scientific methodology earlier during the course. The projects are presented orally and in writing after completion. The aim is to learn and practice hypothesis testing, experimental design and scientific communication and presentation technique, plus to perform and interpret ecotoxicological test methods and approaches using different endpoints and degrees of complexity.
The understanding of ecotoxicology will be tested in a written exam at the end of the course. In addition, project work and presentations make up a part of the final grading of the students.
The course provides a solid basis for further studies and for work with environmental issues regarding pollutants, in industry, municipalities, county administrative boards or authorities. The course is a prerequisite and provides the theoretical foundation for BIOR52 Applied ecotoxicology.
The course will be given during the second period of the autumn semester.