autumn 2018
BIO-2013 Fundamentals of Ecotoxicolgy II - 10 ECTS

Last changed 08.02.2019

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Concerns only admission to singular courses. Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is the practical component of the course Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology. The course is obligatory for undergraduate students taking the BSc programme Miljøledelse og Forurensningsbiologi. The course is also available for other biology students and exchange students at a biology study program. Available as singular course.

Admission requirements

Nordic applicants: Admission requirements are generell studiekompetanse + REALFA.

Application code: 9336

International applicants: Higher Education Entrance Qualification and certified language requirements in English. A list of the requirements for the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway can be found on the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education website -   Obligatory prerequisites: Students that have not taken the courses BIO-2002, KJE-1001, BIO-1601 or MBI-1002 must have taken simular courses in physiology, chemestry, cell and molecular biology at university level.

Obligatory prerequisites

BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology), KJE-1001 Introduction to chemistry and the chemistry of biology, MBI-1001 Cell and molecular biologyor BIO-1601 Introduction to microbiology, BIO-2002 Physiology II (Animal Physiology), KJE-1001 Introduction to chemistry and the chemistry of biology, MBI-1002 Cell- and molecular biology

Course overlap

BIO-2008 Introduction to ecotoxicology 8 stp
BIO-3007 Ecotoxicology: A practical introduction to environmental monitoring tools 4 stp

Course content

This course has two main goals:

  • To acquire practical skills (lab and field) within ecotoxicology.
  • To apply acquired theoretical ecotoxicological knowledge (from BIO-2012) in a realistic and practical situation (e.g. an environmental monitoring survey or in an experimental exposure set-up).

The course is built as a scientific project consisting in an environmental monitoring survey or an ecotoxicology experiment on marine species, with the goal to deliver a scientific report and give an oral presentation at the end of the semester. The course will include theoretical lectures, practical training including sampling of biological data in the field, biological analyses in the laboratory and finally seminars on data treatment and report writing.

Recommended prerequisites

BIO-1005 Ecology and Evolution

Objectives of the course

Students who have completed this course will:


  • have knowledge about the current Norwegian and European regulations for environmental monitoring of marine ecosystems and the responsible authorities.
  • be able to describe the purpose and methods of different existing environmental monitoring methods such as chemical, bioaccumulation and biological monitoring and differentiate between them.
  • Have knowledge about monitoring tools (e.g. biodiversity analyses, contaminant analyses, biomarkers), and discuss their advantages and drawbacks.
  • Know about the practical procedures from sample collection in the field to data analysis in the laboratory and understand their rationale.
  • Understand and apply equations in data treatment to transform raw data into final results (e.g. enzyme activities).


  • Be able to use sampling gear and take samples in the field in an appropriate way to preserve sample integrity and quality.
  • Be able to read and critically execute laboratory protocols on sampling procedures and sample analysis. For instance, make solutions and dilutions, determine the appropriate labware to use and the quantities of chemicals required as a function of sample numbers and other needs.
  • Be able to use Excel to process raw data, e.g. calculation of protein concentration and enzyme activities in the samples.
  • Be able to write a report in a scientific concise style.
  • Be able to formulate objectives and hypotheses
  • Be able to choose appropriate representation of their data
  • Be able to discuss critically own ecotoxicological data in the light of existing knowledge from literature
  • Be able to search and use relevant literature to discuss own findings critically.

General knowledge

  • Developed the ability to interpret ecotoxicology data (contaminant levels in different compartments, biomarkers in biota) within a specific environmental context (monitoring, experiment etc. ) and problematic (pollution, baseline monitoring, etc.).
  • Developed teamwork skills in the field and laboratory situations.
  • Acquired some confidence to work autonomously in the laboratory and take decisions based on few instructions. For instance, determine the best way to prepare reagents and samples and analyze them.
  • Developed the ability to plan ahead a long-term project with multiple steps such as an exposure experiment or a monitoring survey. This includes e.g. to define objectives, choose design and methodology, collect, interpret and represent data.

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

Lectures, lab and seminars.


Oral exam (50%), lab report (50%). A graded scale of five marks from A to E for pass and F for fail. The lab report has to be passed in order to take the oral exam. There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination. The re-sit exam consist of oral exam only.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Contact the course responsible.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: BIO-2013