Environmental Toxicology and Monitoring

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Environmental Toxicology and Monitoring

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Science, Field Component

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    This course requires additional faculty approval for entry.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Chemicals are an essential part of our life; but which ones are hazardous, when do they cause harm, what are the effects, and how can we safeguard our environment and health while balancing risks versus benefits? Finding scientifically sound answers to such questions is the mission of environmental toxicology; it combines elements of many scientific disciplines to assess and help manage the sources, fate and effects of chemicals on the environment and humans. This course offers an overview on some of the most important concepts and modern methods applied in this field, integrating basic and applied science throughout lectures, field sampling and laboratory work. The compulsory field trip is held in the mid-semester break and additional fees are payable.
    Course Introduction
    Environmental toxicology is a field that studies how toxic chemicals are released and move in the environment, and how they affect human health, wildlife and whole ecosystems. It is an interdisciplinary science that combines elements of biology, chemistry and environmental sciences and has major impacts on environmental risk assessment and environmental management. This course introduces students to a range of pollutants detected in the environment and provides key field and laboratory practical skills in designing and implementing a monitoring program to screen for contaminants in aquatic environments.
    Fundamental concepts will be covered including dose-response relationships, source, fate and transport of contaminants in the environment and key elements comprising the design and implementation of monitoring programs will be addressed.
    The course includes a compulsory 5-day field trip to Moreton Bay Research Station (additional fees required) with the objective of reinforcing knowledge delivered through lectures by providing laboratory experience in specialised methods of identification, quantification and toxicity testing of pesticides found in aquatic environments.
    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1. Form an understanding of critical terms and concepts in environmental toxicology.
    2. Understand classification of contaminants and effects of contaminants (cell to ecosystem wide impacts), with an emphasis on aquatic systems.
    3. Understand how to design a representative monitoring program with the aim of detecting, identifying and quantifying an environmental hazard.
    4. Provide practical skills to undertake a monitoring program for environmental pollutants, including sample preparation steps, deployment of representative samples and chemical and toxicological evaluation of samples.
    5. Facilitate interpretation of data, understand the limitations of sampling approaches and associated implications for interpretation of results (accuracy, uncertainty and detection limits in analytical methods). Apply this understanding to the broader context of toxicology, risk assessment and the development of guideline levels.
    Class Contact
    2hours Lecture, 5-day field trip

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.