Subject description for 2024/25
Environmental Pollution and Ecotoxicology
Subject description for 2024/25

Environmental Pollution and Ecotoxicology

The course focuses on environmental pollution and the impact contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has on natural biological systems. Topics include sources and global transport, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, and ecotoxicological effects of environmental contaminants on organisms. Special focus will be on contaminants of relevance for food safety, and on the environmental impact of aquaculture.
Students must be qualified for admission to Master in Biosciences.


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.
  • Carry out a limited number of groupwise research projects (in seminars), and present the projects to fellow students.

General competence

After completing the course, the students should have:

  • Acquired an advanced understanding of all central principles of ecotoxicology, and risk assessment.
No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature apply.

Master in bioscience: Specialization course marine ecology

Elective other specilizations

Lectures and student-led seminars. Mandatory participation in student-led seminars and presentations (80%).
Evaluation using mid-term and final surveys. Students are also encouraged to participate in the central quality surveys.

Compound evaluation, grading scale Letter grades

  • 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 Letter grades.