This course is part of the programme
Bachelor's programme in Environment (first cycle)

Objectives and competences

The primary goal of this course is to give students the theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of ecotoxicology.
Students will gain basic knowledge about toxic effects of pollutants on organisms, populations, biocenosis and ecosystems and possible ways of toxicity assessment. They will learn how to obtain ecotoxicological data and acquire the ability to interpret them.


Knowledge of biology and chemistry acquired in secondary school.


• History of ecotoxicology, definition, terms, concept
• Uptake, metabolism, distribution, excretion of chemicals
• Effects of chemicals on cells, organisms, populations, biocenosis, ecosystem
• Toxicity testing, evaluation and interpretation of results
• Biomarkers
• Laboratory and field ecotoxicological studies
• Application of ecotoxicological data in practice
• Role of ecotoxicological data in environmental legislation
• Ethics in ecotoxicology

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Students will gain knowledge and understanding of basic principles in ecotoxicology. They will learn about the toxic effects of pollutants on different levels of biological organisation and how to assess toxicity. Students will learn how to obtain ecotoxicological data in practice, use and interpret them. They will be able to describe and explain existing and ecotoxicological problem in the environment and present it.


• Walker, C. H., Sibly, R. M., Hopkin, S. P., Peakall, D. B. (2012). Principles of Ecotoxicology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA. Catalogue E-version
• Hoffman, D. J., Rattner, B. A., Burton, G. A., Cairns, J. (1995). Handbook of Ecotoxicology. Lewis, Boca Raton, USA (poglavja 32, 36, 39). Catalogue E-version
• Rand G. M. (1995). Fundamentals of Aquatic Toxicology. 2. izdaja. Taylor and Francis, Bristol, PA. (poglavja 1, 2, 13, 17, 19, 28, 33). Catalogue E-version


• Seminars are prepared in a written form and defend orally in a discussion with professor and students (20 %), written examination (80 %)

Lecturer's references

Dr. Sara Pignattelli is Assistant Professor in field of Environmental sciences at University of Nova Gorica and is employed at Laboratory for Environmental and Life Sciences at UNG.