Master programme in toxicology and ecotoxicology
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Owner/Developer: University of Aveiro
01 January 2007
Toxicology and Ecotoxicology Master programme at University of Aveiro. The increasing use of chemicals by man can pose risks to human health and the environment at all stages of chemical’s lifecycle (production, storage, use and final disposal). The adoption of new legislation in the European Union (EU), which requires the evaluation of these risks, and the growing concern about the effects of toxic agents and pollution on ecosystems and human health leads to increased need of specialists in toxicology and ecotoxicology. This study cycle focuses on the mechanisms of action of toxic agents at the sub-cellular and cellular levels and their effects on individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems, under the perspectives of Human Health (Toxicology) and Ecosystems (Ecotoxicology).
Hands-on training, Lecture
Computational methods, In vitro methods
Partial coverage (e.g. a module)
|Details on the topic or technology covered:||
1.Toxicology, Ecotoxicology And Chemical Risks
The outcomes of the unit will be to provide knowledge and tools for students in terms of risk evaluation, mainly for environmental risk. Additionally topics on population genetics and their adaptations, mixture toxicity, emergent substances, combination of stressors, and the new legislation of REACH and animal manipulation will be covered.
For this reason the program wants students to acquire knowledge on: (i) what are the stages of evaluation and management of ecological risk (ii) how to relate the legislation to ecotoxicological procedures and (iv) what are the basic principles of bioassays in ecotoxicology, with several examples. Overall, the program will focus on the exposure of chemical compounds or mixtures, taking into account the various components of ecosystems, their component of risk, how it can be evaluated and the applicability of legislation.
Students should acquire the historical context of ecotoxicology, realizing what led to its development as an independent science. In this context, students should know the different types of ecotoxicological tests, including those most recently developed and approved. The parameters and types of responses, as well as exposure durations and routes of entry of chemicals will be addressed. Students should acquire key concepts such as bioavailability, biomagnification, exposure, effects, and toxicity. The importance of species’ functionality and ecosystems will be another crucial concept.
Advances in methods of biomonitoring will be presented with examples of innovative techniques and methodologies, as well as more traditional ones.
Legislation and its applicability will also be explored, as well as animal testing in laboratory practices.
Introduction: Introduction on the thematic of pollution, risks and real scenarios; Ecotoxicological assays- bioassays available for the evaluation of water, soil and sediment quality and toxicity; Population Genetics- adaptation of populations living in contaminated environments; Biomonitorization- in situ, in the lab and online biomonitorization tools; Chemical mixtures- evaluation of mixture toxicity of chemicals and the combined effects of chemicals and other stressors; Environmental Risk Assessment- step by step phases involved on the evaluation and management of environmental risks; REACH- the new legislation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances; Animal testing- the legislation and critical points on animal testing procedures.
Acute toxicity test with Daphnia magna; Growth inhibition test with micro-algae; Chronic test with plants; Statistical data treatment.
The skills evaluation will be carried out through a group work (2 people) where a presentation of a scientific paper will be discussed, and with a report from a practical class (70% presentation+ 30% practical report). In the absence of this evaluation an exame will be provided.
Lectures will be divided in theoretical and practical, so that students can learn not only the theory but also the lab methodologies used.
The teaching methodology is based on theoretical (T-15H) and practice (P-15H). The theory is based on the presentation slides ("power point"), with practical examples in order to promote discussion with students. In the practical component bioassays on soil and aquatic ecotoxicology will be carried out, data treatment and examples how to present results. The evaluation shall consist of the weighted average of work group (two persons) presentation (70%) and a report of a practical classe(30%). An examination will be made for students who miss this evaluation or want to go to appeal. All students will receive additional support by the academic staff during the OTs.
REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 or equivalent
Students should acquire concepts and information on: (i) methodologies for risk assessment, (ii) legislation and (iii) assessment of ecotoxicity.
|Accreditation body and/or authority that approved the education or training:||
Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education - A3ES
Master Diploma, 120 ECTS
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