autumn 2013
BIO-3007 Ecotoxicology: A practical introduction to environmental monitoring tools - 5 ECTS

Last changed 13.07.2013

Type of course

Practical training

Course content

The course gives knowledge of ongoing national and international monitoring programs, the guidelines and demands that are linked to the programs and the monitoring tools that are utilized in the programs.

Environmental monitoring involves chemical measurement of environmental pollutants in biota and abiotic compartments (water, sediment) as well as measurement of environmental pollutants bioavailability and bioactivity through implementation of biomarkers and bioassays that provides insight into the causality of any higher-level adverse effects that may be observed. Cod (Gadus morhua) and blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) are recommended species for monitoring faunal effects of anthropogenic activities. An experimental setup will be conducted to simulate an acute oil spill where cod and blue mussels are exposed to crude oil. Through this experiment the students will gain practical training in sampling procedures and up-to-date chemical and biological analysis utilized in environmental monitoring programs: Measurement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in sea water, blue mussel (body burden) and cod muscle; lysosomal membrane stability in blue mussel haemocytes; EROD activity in cod hepatocytes and PAH metabolites in cod bile. The results from the experiment are to be presented and discussed in a written laboratory report. The written report, together with an oral presentation of it, constitutes the foundation of the student evaluation from the course.


Objectives of the course

The course aims to give an introduction to- and practical training in biological and chemical monitoring tools utilized in environmental monitoring programs.


Students that have completed BIO-3007

  • Knows examples of national and international monitoring programs, and the guidelines and demands linked to the programs
  • Can undertake biological sampling for oil spill monitoring
  • Understands and can describe the principles of chemical analysis of PAH concentration in biotic and abiotic compartments
  • Have practical training in three biomarker analysis: Lysosomal membrane stability, EROD, bile PAH metabolites.
  • Can interpret, present and discuss biological and chemical analysis results within the monitoring context

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

Lectures (4 hours), colloquiums (6 hours) and laboratory work (five days).


Participation at experiment and laboratory work and delivery of laboratoty report is mandatory. The final exam is an oral presentation of approved laboratory report. Grade: Passed/Failed

Recommended reading/syllabus

Selected publications and guidelines
  • About the course
  • Campus: |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: BIO-3007