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Environmental Toxicology

Code: MA315     Acronym: TA

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Environmental Sciences and Ecology

Instance: 2018/2019 - 2T (of 19-11-2018 to 18-01-2019)

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Microscopy
Course/CS Responsible: First Cycle Degree (BSc) in Aquatic Sciences

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
LCMA 34 Oficial Plan 2018 3 - 5 49 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Maria João Tomé da Costa Sousa da Rocha

Teaching - Hours

Theoretical classes: 4,00
Laboratory Practice: 3,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Theoretical classes Totals 1 4,00
Maria João Tomé da Costa Sousa da Rocha 4,00
Laboratory Practice Totals 2 6,00
Maria João Tomé da Costa Sousa da Rocha 6,00

Teaching language



The primary goal of the course is to present students with the basic principles of environmental toxicology, focusing on toxicological assessments, types and mechanisms of toxicological response, and the properties and effects of specific groups of toxicants that have been released into the environment (e.g. PAH, PCB, pesticides, metals, dioxins/dibenzofurans, natural and synthetic estrogens, pharmaceutical products). It is expected that students will became able to evaluate risk situations, propose solutions for its prevention and have the ability to use analytic tools to evaluate environmental toxicity.

Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of this course the student is expected to acquire the following skills:

- Have knowledge of different concepts of toxicity.

- Being able to predict the mechanisms of biotransformation of different toxic compounds.

- Understand how to plan and execute experimental tests of toxicity.

- Able to evaluate the toxic effect of chemicals and be able to implement appropriate toxicity tests.

- Know how to use the techniques and basic methods for toxicological research (laboratory diagnosis of environmental toxicants).

- Have developed critical reasoning in order to properly evaluate the data obtained from toxicity tests both in measurements and in direct toxic in the environment.

Working method



The course will cover the basic principles of environmental toxicology, focusing on evaluation of environmental toxicants, types and mechanisms of response to toxic properties and effects that specific groups of pollutants in the environment have on the health of various habitats, particularly water (eg PAHs, PCBs, pesticides, metals, dioxins / dibenzofurans, natural and synthetic estrogens, pharmaceuticals).

 This unit also will focus on the interdisciplinary nature of environmental toxicology. Toxic responses and measurement of these responses will be discussed at the level of biological organization, from molecular / biochemical, cell and animal until its impact on populations, communities and ecosystems. Part biochemical give particular emphasis to the toxic absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. A brief instrumental component will enable the student to understand the main analytical methods used in field analysis.

 The course will also focus on some topics that have received particular attention from environmental toxicologists, including the use and development of biomarkers.

Mandatory literature

Stephen M. Roberts, Robert C. James, Phillip L. Williams; Principles of Toxicology: Environmental and Industrial Applications, 3rd Edition, Wiley, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-470-90791-7
Wayne G. Landis, Ruth M. Sofield , Ming-Ho Yu ; Introduction to Environmental Toxicology: Molecular Substructures to Ecological Landscapes, Fourth Edition, CRC Press, 2011. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1439804100

Complementary Bibliography

Ernest Hodgson ; A Textbook of Modern Toxicology, Wiley-Blackwell, Fouth Edition, 2010. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0470462065
Marquita K. Hill ; Understanding Environmental Pollution, Cambridge University Press, Third Edition, 2010. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0521736695

Comments from the literature

The responsible for the classes provide additional bibliographic information, where appropriate.

Teaching methods and learning activities

Exhibition, demonstration, discussion of problems and experimental.

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation with final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Exame 60,00
Trabalho laboratorial 40,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 86,00
Frequência das aulas 28,00
Trabalho laboratorial 21,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

Presence to three quarters of classes taught and realization of special works.

Calculation formula of final grade

The evaluation will be conducted during class (40%) and a final exam (60%). In both components students must achieve a minimum of 10/20 values e both theoric an practical components.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

Student workers (TE), association leaders (DA) and other students with special status will be evaluated similarly to regular students. However, in cases where the law exempts failure by faults in the classes that will be evaluated (the DC component) are those in which the student will attend.

Classification improvement

The grade improvement will only be possible for the component measured in the final exam.

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