ECOTOXICOLOGY

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2018/2019
Year: 
3
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2020/2021
Course type: 
Supplementary compulsory subjects
Credits: 
6
Period: 
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
56
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Exercise (12 hours)
Requirements: 

Previous knowledge of general and applied ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, environmental chemistry is highly recommended.
However, there is no mandatory preliminary eaxams to be taken.

Final Examination: 
Orale

The objective of the final exam is to verify the level of achievement of the educational objectives, evaluating, first of all, the possession of the basic cognitive elements and therefore the student's ability to use them independently for the resolution of real problems.
The exam questions will be consistent with the topics dealt with and the study and analysis methods related to the topics covered.
The final oral exam focuses on questions related to the course program and is aimed at defining knowledge and understanding, ability to apply knowledge and understanding, critical skills, expression skills with appropriate technical language in relation to the knowledge learned of ecotoxicology. The evaluation is expressed in thirtieths. Cum laude mark is given when the student shows optimal levels of preparation and processing of the information acquired ...

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

Educational objectives
The course aims to provide the student with knowledge and specific skills to understand the basics of ecotoxicology to understand the impact of chemicals on ecosystems. The course is part of the third year course and allows the student to approach the path for the chemical risk assessment. The aim is to frame how the use of chemicals can influence ecosystems, acquiring the fundamental concepts to evaluate their impact, to then expand and deepen the concepts in the master's degree
Learning Outcomes expected
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

1. develop specific theoretical and practical skills related to the impact of the use of chemicals on ecosystems,
2. learn to evaluate the environmental pathways of contaminants
3. highlight the main mechanisms that can produce toxic effects on populations, communities and ecosystems.

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

PART 1 (20 h)
Intro: definitions and framework in the context of other disciplines. Differences between toxicology and ecotoxicology (4 h).
Study of Exposure: environmental monitoring: advantages and disadvantages. Partitioning, diffusion and mass transport processes. Bioconcentration, biomagnification and bioaccumulation. Biotic and abiotic degradation (10 h).
Five-stage strategy for the evaluation of chemicals. Classification of chemicals. Emissions study: modalities and estimation of emissions. Exposure models. (6 h)

PART 2 (20 h)
Study of Effects: basis of toxicology (absorption, distribution, excretion and metabolism). (4 h)
Principles and methods for toxicity tests. Ecotoxicological laboratory tests: illustration of the main tests for the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Bioindicators and biomarkers. (10 h)
Toxicological assessments and quality criteria. Toxic mixtures. (6 h)

PART 3 Exercises and laboratory (12 h exercises + 4 h laboratory)
Environmental sampling and sample preparation. Important parameters in environmental analyzes and evaluation of results. Test organisms and illustration of an ecotoxicological test.

Walker C. H., Hopkin S. P., Sibly R.M., Peakall D.B. (2006) Principles of Ecotoxicology, CRC Press.
The teacher will make other didactic material available during the lessons.
The slides in pdf format will be made available on the e-learning site
The purchase of textbooks is recommended but not mandatory.

The educational objectives of the course will be achieved through lectures (40 h) and exercises / laboratory (16 h).
The lectures are supported by slides. During the lectures, the teacher constantly encourages interaction with students, in order to stimulate curiosity and develop critical analysis skills. For students with particular certified problems (disabilities, minor children, etc) the activities of the exercises / laboratory will be replaced by supplementary 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 insights on the topics covered in the previous lessons. It will also be possible to ask for clarification at any time during the lessons. In the exercises / laboratory the students will work mainly individually and occasionally in small groups. A final report is expected, which must be presented at the time of the oral exam.

Contact the teacher by e-mail to make an appointment (antonio.diguardo@uninsubria.it)