Ecotoxicology

Description

The course provides students with an introduction to the field of ecotoxicology: the study of the fate and effects of contaminants in ecosystems. Students will gain knowledge of the principles and current theoretical issues within the field. The course models the process of conducting collaborative scientific research in the field of ecotoxicology from hypothesis formulation, to design, sampling, analysis and dissemination of findings through a variety of scientific contexts. As such, the course provides students with an understanding of experimental design and analysis, designing and performing ecotoxicological research, and the skills of presenting findings in both written and oral scientific settings.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. Navigate and synthesise the scientific literature to gain a detailed knowledge of the sub-discipline area of ecotoxicology;

2. Apply knowledge of ecotoxicological theory to new environmental situations;

3. Interpret, summarise, validate and critique ecotoxicological data from the scientific literature;

4. Collect and analyse field and/or laboratory data.

5. Interpret and analyse statistical data;

6. Make informed management decisions based on data;

7. Work as part of a team to design, plan, carry out, analyse and report the findings of an experiment in ecotoxicology;

8. Communicate findings to a scientific audience in both written and oral formats.

Content

  • Contaminants and their fate in ecosystems

Major classes of contaminants
Routes by which contaminants enter ecosystems

  • Environmental fate of contaminants in individuals and ecosystems
  • The effects of contaminants on individual organisms

Toxicity testing
Biochemical and molecular effects of contaminants
Physiological, organ level, individual and behavioural effects of contaminants
Interactive effects of contaminants
Biomonitors

  • Biomarkers
  • Effects of contaminants on populations and communities

Population level effects and population dynamics
Evolutionary responses to environmental stressors
Community and ecosystem level effects
Experimental design and data analysis

  • Ecological risk assessment and environmental management
  • Bioremediation

Replacing Course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): BIOL3350. Students who have successfully completed BIOL3350 are not eligible to enrol in ENVS3004.

Assumed Knowledge

STAT1070; BIOL1002

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Critiques

Written Assignment: Draft Paper, Peer Review, Final Paper & Letter to Editor

Proposal / Plan: Research Proposal

Formal Examination: Final Examination

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Student Project may include field and/or laboratory study.

Workshop

Face to Face On Campus 36 hour(s) per Term