TOX-30806 Environmental Toxicology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Excursion (one day)3
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. NW van den Brink
Lecturer(s)JHJ van den Berg
dr. ir. NW van den Brink
Examiner(s)dr. ir. NW van den Brink

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

Prior to the course it is assumed that some information of the online text book Environmental Toxicology is read, i.e. chapter 1.1 Environmental Toxicology (!page-4124228) and 1.3 Short history (!page-4124230)

Continuation courses:

TOX-31306 Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals


This course gives an overview of different aspects playing a role in the challenging field of environmental toxicology. Toxicology itself already is very interdisciplinary, but environmental toxicology even adds (environmental) chemistry, earth sciences, biology of a wide range of species and ecology to this. The course is set-up as an integration between lectures, practicals, computer sessions, videos and excursion. The book 'Principles of Ecotoxicology' is used to develop a basis for the rest of the subjects in the course. About half of the lectures will focus on a variety of timely additional issues. In the practical part of the course you will use a set of experiments to identify two unkown chemicals based on their toxicity profiles. Applying a set of modern in vitro and in vivo assays you will address the toxicity of the unknown and compare this with literature data/ Based on this, the identity of the chemicals can be assessed. This will be presented both orally as well as in a small report.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- summarise the most relevant terms, principles and methods in environmental toxicology;
- distinguish the main sources and types of environmental pollutants and assess their potential environmental fate;
- evaluate the characteristics of compounds, organisms and ecosystem for their consequences for environmental fate and effect propagation:
- design and execute toxicological dose-response experiments in a comprehensive way and analyse and critically discuss the results (written);
- create an experimental approach with meaningful endpoints to assess the environmental and human risk for a topical environmental contamination case;


Lectures and the excursion will provide detailed information on the relevant topics of the course (learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3). An intensive practical will enable to the students to acquire hands-on experience in designing, performing and analysing experimental dose-response studies (learning outcome 4 and 5).
Lectures and excursion will be assessed at the individual level by the exam. Practical will be assessed by the written report and an oral presentation, group wise (2-3 persons per group).


Assessment will be based on two outcomes.
- exam: in this exam the theoretical base of environmental toxicology will be assessed, using multiple choice questions (60%);
- practical skills: this will be tested with a written report and a group presentation. This will also include work attitude (40%);

For both parts a minimum grade of 5 is needed


We will use parts of the online textbook Environmental Toxicology, which is free of charge (

Restricted Optional for: MBIBiologyMScD: Spec. D - Ecology5MO
MESEnvironmental SciencesMScA: Spec. A - Environmental Quality5MO
MAMAquaculture and Marine Resource ManagementMScB: Spec. B - Marine Resources and Ecology5MO