First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCO2043945, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IF0360, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MARINE ECOTOXICOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MARIA MARIN BIO/07

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/07 Ecology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2013 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 ECOTOSSICOLOGIA 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 MARIN MARIA (Presidente)
MATOZZO VALERIO (Membro Effettivo)
ZANE LORENZO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: None
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course is to provide knowledge on fate and effects of environmental contaminants at the various levels of biological complexity, from cell to community. Differing approaches in assessing toxicity in the lab will be presented. Particular attention will be paid to the use of bioindicators and biomarkers, as well as to biomonitoring techniques.
Examination methods: Written exam: 5 open questions
Assessment criteria: Acquisition of knowledge on the subjects presented throughout the course will be verified; ability to select, present and discuss case studies from the literature will be also evaluated
Course unit contents: 1) Introduction to ecotoxicology: origin and evolution of an interdisciplinary science (0.25 CFU)

2) Contaminants in the marine environment (1 CFU)
Major classes of legacy and emerging contaminants
Sources, distribution, partitioning, persistence, degradation

3) Contaminants and biota (1 CFU)
Bioavailability, bioconcentration, bioaccumulation, biomagnification; routes of uptake, sites of accumulation, biotransformation (detoxification/activation) processes, elimination; factors influencing bioaccumulation and trophic transfer

4) Approaches in assessing effects of exposure to contaminants at the various levels of biological organization: molecule, cell, organism, population, community (2 CFU)
• Criteria and conditions in toxicity assessment in the lab and in the field
• Toxicity testing: lethal, sub-lethal, chronic tests; early-life stage toxicity tests on fish and marine invertebrates; toxicity testing with differing environmental matrices
• Bioindicators: characteristics, criteria for selection, examples
• Biomonitoring: passive and active approaches; biomonitoring of marine populations and communities; biomonitoring as a tool for environmental quality assessment

5) Biomarkers (1.5 CFU)
General definitions and specific examples of their application
• metallothioneins as biomarker of exposure to heavy metals,
• cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase system and biotransformation of organic contaminants (PAHs, PCBs, DDTs, dioxins, etc.),
• biomarkers of endocrine disruption: organotin compounds and imposex; xenoestrogens and vitellogenin induction,
• biomarkers of genotoxicity,
• immunomarkers,
• biomarkers of oxidative stress

6) Predictive and regulatory tools (0.25 CFU)
QSAR and evaluative models
REACH regulations
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures and expert seminars; discussion on case studies selected and presented by the students
Additional notes about suggested reading: Power Point presentations and a selection of articles and reviews on specific themes will be provided
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • C.H. Walker, R.M. Sibly, S.P. Hopkin, D.B. Peakall, Principles of Ecotoxicology. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press, 2012. Fourth Edition Cerca nel catalogo
  • M.C. Newman, Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology: The Science of Pollution. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press, 2014. Fourth Edition Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Clean Water and Sanitation Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land