Subject description for 2021/2022

Environmental pollution and ecotoxicology


Course description

The course focuses on environmental pollution and the 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 organisms. The focus will be put on contaminants of relevance for food safety, and on the ecotoxicological impacts of aquaculture. 


Students must be qualified for admission  to Master in Biosciences.


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:

  • Knowledge about sources and global distribution of environmental pollution.
  • Knowledge about exposure, accumulation, body distribution, metabolism, and excretion of unwanted substances.
  • Knowledge about modes of action of contaminants on molecular mechanisms, effects on cells and organs, on individuals, and on populations and ecosystems, as well as on biomarkers. 
  • Knowledge about ecotoxicology, environmental pollution including effects of aquaculture, causes and effects of 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 risk assessment.

Course type

Master in bioscience: Specialization course marine ecology

Elective other specilizations

Mode of delivery

Lectures. Face to face.

Teaching activities and methods

Lectures and student-led seminars. Mandatory participation in student-led seminars and presentations (80%).

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

Compound evaluation, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail
  • Compulsory participation - minimum 80% attendance, comprises 0/100 of the grade, grading scale Approved - Not approved.
  • Written examination, 4 hours, comprises 100/100 of the grade, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail.

Overlapping courses

ØKO5021v1 Environmental Pollution and Ecotoxicology - 5 study points.

Course literature

The reading list can be found in Leganto
Course coordinator
Start semester Autumn 2021
Teaching language English ECTS Credits 10 Course location Bodø. Faculty
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture