Ecotoxicology – part II

Aim of the course

This course offers basic ecotoxicological training for PhD students and scientists from universities and research institutes who in the future will be involved in ecotoxicological research. The course is also suitable for industrial and governmental researchers, managers and policymakers. The basic knowledge offered in this course is essential for all those who are or wish to become involved in the field of hazards posed by environmental contaminants.

This course provides a broad overview of different aspects of ecotoxicology, including environmental chemistry, toxicology, ecology and risk assessment related topics. The course consists of lectures, working classes and practicals. Lectures will generally be held in the mornings. Experimental work, video training, working lectures and study visits will take place in the afternoons, to provide examples and practical understanding of the theory.

The second week (part 2) deals with effects and includes toxicological and ecological aspects of ecotoxicology. In this part of the course, focus will be on assessing effects on (life stages) of individual organisms of wildlife species in interaction with their changing environment, and their translation to effects at the population level. In this part of the course, attention will also be paid to the role of ecotoxicology in policymaking. Lectures also will deal with standardized tests carried out in relation to environmental legislation as well as the possibilities and limitations of ecotoxicological monitoring and experimental research.
Specific subjects are:
• Toxicokinetics and biotransformation in relation to species differences in toxicity
• Mechanisms in ecotoxicology and mixture toxicity
• Dose-response relationships
• Biomarkers and biosensors
• In vivo and in vitro bioassays
• Population effects
• Genetic adaptation to pollution in soil invertebrates
• Risk assessment and (international) legislation of chemicals

On successful completion of the course, participants should:

Ecotoxicology (week 2)
• understand the main aspects and principles of ecotoxicology;
• know the principles of dose-response testing and mixture toxicity;
• have insight in the main factors that are relevant in ecotoxicology and the consequence when choosing research methods to assess the toxicity or ecological risk of contaminants in environments;
• know the main research aspects of using bioassays, biomarkers and biosensors;
• have insight in the factors causing differences between species in toxicokinetics and biotransformation;
• know the principles of ecotoxicological risk assessment of chemicals and the basis for the extrapolation between different levels of biological organization;
• know the role of ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry in the risk assessment of new and existing chemicals, and of contaminated land, water and sediments.

Coordinator: N.W. van den Brink

Participants will give oral presentations on specific assignments, which will be discussed by the group. The course is concluded with a written exam.

Usually both Ecotoxicology courses (part I and II) are taken together. However, it is possible to follow the courses separately, e.g. when experience already exists on one of the courses.

Please note that the course can be cancelled up to one month before its starting date, when the number of applications is below the minimum required. For general inquiries please contact the PET Office.

Epidemiology for Toxicologists
Ecotoxicology - part I