Subject description for 2019/2020

Environmental pollution and ecotoxicology (ØKO5021)

Environmental pollution and ecotoxicology


Course description

The course focuses on environmental pollution and impacts of contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) on natural biological systems. Topics include sources and global transport, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, and ecotoxicological effects of environmental contaminants on aquatic organisms. Focus will be put on contaminants which might affect food safety aspects, and on ecotoxicological impacts of aquaculture.


No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature apply.

Learning outcomes


Students who have completed this course should have advanced knowledge about the major topics in ecotoxicology

  • In depth knowledge on sources and global distribution of environmental pollution.
  • In depth knowledge on exposure, accumulation, body distribution, metabolism, and excretion of unwanted substances.
  • In depth knowledge about mode of action of contaminants on molecular mechanisms, effects on cells and on higher biological levels, as well as on biomarkers.
  • In depth knowledge about ecotoxicology, environmental pollution, impacts of aquaculture, causes and effects of the major groups of contaminants, and understand risk assessment.



After completing the course, the students should know how to:

  • Analyze and interpret ecotoxicological issues.
  • Learned to use relevant methods to conduct independent, basic research or projects under supervision and in accordance with ethical codes.


General competence

After completing the course, the students should have:

  • Acquired an advanced understanding of all central principles of ecotoxicology, and communicate issues within the field of environmental pollution and ecotoxicology, both on the professional and lay people.

Course type



Students must be qualified for admission  to Master in Biosciences.

Mode of delivery

Lectures. Face to face.

Teaching activities and methods

Lectures and student-led seminars.

Recommended prior knowledge

Basic knowledge in biology and chemistry.

Course evaluation

Evaluation using mid-term and final surveys. Students are also encouraged to participate in the central quality surveys.

Assessment and examinations

Written examination, 3 hours, grading scale A-E, Beste A, Ikke bestått F

Course literature

The reading list can be found in Leganto
Course coordinator
ECTS Credits 5 Course location Bodø. Faculty
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture