Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (48 hours)

For the best understanding of the course it is recommended to have previous knowledge related to the courses of General and Applied Ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, environmental chemistry.
However, there is no compulsory prerequisite

The objective of the final exam is to verify the level of achievement of the educational objectives, evaluating in the first place the possession of the basic cognitive elements and therefore the student's ability to use them autonomously for the resolution of real problems.
The exam questions will be consistent with the types of topics and methods of study and analysis related to the topics covered.

The oral examination will focus on questions related to the program in order to define the knowledge and understanding (25%), the ability to apply knowledge and understanding (25%), the independence of judgment (15%), communication skills (15%) and learning ability (20%) in relation to the concepts of ecotoxicology.

Voto Finale

The course aims to provide students with advanced knowledge and specific skills to understand the basics of ecotoxicology so that this knowledge and acquired skills can be used for the advanced study of issues and problems related to the study of ecosystems present on our planet. As far as knowledge is concerned, we intend to provide the tools to understand the distribution of contaminants in the environment (and therefore the exposure concentrations of ecosystems) and the effects of these substances on ecosystems. The goal is to begin to understand how the use of chemicals can influence ecosystems, acquiring the fundamental concepts to assess the impact of human activities.
The student will develop specific theoretical and practical skills related to the impact of the use of chemicals on ecosystems, including communication skills related to the topics covered, the methods used and the results achieved, taking advantage of an appropriate language, ability to develop a critical approach to the subject and formulate an independent judgment on the main issues dealt with, developing their own learning skills also through links between the topics covered. The knowledge and skills and competences acquired will enable the student to learn to evaluate the environmental pathways of the chemicals as well as the main mechanisms that can produce toxic effects on populations, communities and ecosystems.

The theoretical knowledge of the course will be acquired through the following program:

PART 1 (20h)
Intro: definition and placement within the other disciplines. Differences between toxicology and ecotoxicology. (4 h)
Study of the exposure: environmental monitoring, advantages and disadvantages. Partition processes, diffusion and mass transport. Bioconcentration, biomagnification and bioaccumulation. Biotic and abiotic degradation. (10 h)
Five stage strategy for chemical evaluation, chemical classification, study of emission, emission estimate. Exposure models: some examples. (6h)

PART 2 (20h)
Study of the effects: basis of toxicology (uptake, distribution, excretion and metabolism). (4h)
Ecotoxicity essays: laboratory tests for aquatic and terrestrial environments. Bioindicators and biomarkers. (10 h)
Ecotoxicology evaluation, quality standards and criteria, mixtures of chemicals. (6h)

PART 3 Practice and lab work (12 h practice + 4 h lab work)
Environmental sampling and sample preparation. Environmental analyses and evaluation of results Test organism and ecotox test illustration. The practice part will be mostly performed in field.

The topics covered will allow to acquire the knowledge related to the treatment of advanced topics related to the study of ecotoxicology, with numerous references to the most recent results of international scientific research. They will also allow to develop the ability to apply the acquired knowledge to emerging issues related to the environmental context, and to acquire skills in terms of communication skills, critical approach skills and independent judgment related to the scientific topics covered

Walker C. H., Hopkin S. P., Sibly R.M., Peakall D.B. (2006) Principles of Ecotoxicology, CRC Press.
Additional material will be made available by the lecturer.
Slides will be available on the e-learning website.
The purchase of textbooks is recommended but not mandatory.


The educational objectives of the course will be achieved through lectures (40 h) and practice / lab. work (16 h).
For students with specific certified problems (disabilities, children under age, etc.) the activities of the practice/lab work will be replaced by additional activities to be agreed individually according to the specific problems.
At the beginning of the lessons, at the request of the students, the teacher will provide clarifications and in-depth analysis of the topics covered in the previous lessons. It will also be possible to ask for clarifications at any time during the lessons.

Send an email to the lecturer to obtain an appointment. The purchase of textbooks is recommended but not mandatory. (