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Admissions requirements

Environmental Science: Ecosystems and Biodiversity OR Biology OR Chemistry
QRM or Biostatistics is advised


This course will provide students with a theoretical and applied approach to the science of environmental toxicology. The first part of the lecture series will focus on Environmental Risk Assessment. Next basic principles of ecotoxicology will be discussed, including i) uptake, bioaccumulation and elimination of contaminants, ii) dose-response models, and iii) biomarker responses that can be observed in organisms.

As part of the course there will be several hands-on labs planned. During these labs students will apply the tools and procedures discussed in class to further understand toxicant fate and effects in ecosystems. In addition, there will be a risk assessment assignment, in which field (e.g., community level environmental “effects” monitoring) and laboratory (e.g., LC50 tests) methods for understanding contaminant fates and effects will be examined in a systematic manner.

Course objectives


  • Students can define and discus the concept of Environmental Risk Assessment

  • Students are able to describe and discuss important principles in ecotoxicology, such as i) uptake, bioaccumulation and elimination of contaminants, ii) dose response models, and iii) biomarker responses that can be observed in organisms;

  • Students can discuss strengths and shortcomings of the use of biomarkers to assess environmental impacts.


  • Students can conduct an environmental risk assessment using a weight-of-evidence approach;

  • Students can write a report in a scientific format, which includes an abstract, introduction, methods section, results section and discussion section;


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The main mode of instruction will center around lectures and labs. In addition, students are required to complete individual and group assignments. To facilitate completion of these assignments, there will be some time set aside during lectures to discuss and work on assignments (the remainder of the work is conducted outside class hours). MAKE SURE TO BRING A NOTEBOOK AND A PEN TO CLASS! Attendance is compulsory for students.


Assessment will occur through one exam, one individual assignment, and a group assignment (review on a topic). In addition, participation in class will determine part of the final grade.

  • Individual Assignment: 35%

  • Toxicity testing assignment: 25%

  • Course Participation: 10%

  • Final Exam: 30%

Exam: The exam will consist of a combination of short-answer and essay questions.

Individual assignments: You will conduct a risk analyses, and write a summary report on your findings.

Toxicity testing assignment: You will conduct one or more toxicity tests in the lab, will analyse the results and produce a short report, including figures/tables

Course participation: You will be assessed throughout the block on your class participation.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

No textbook is required. Readings will be made available prior to the class


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Thijs Bosker,
Dr. Martina Vijver,