University of Newcastle

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    University of Newcastle

  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Ecology, Environmental Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    STAT1070; BIOL1002 or BIOL1070 (or BIOL1050)

  • 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
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    The course provides students with an introduction to the field of ecotoxicology: the study of the fate and effects of contaminants in ecosystems. Students will gain knowledge of the principles and current theoretical issues within the field. The course models the process of conducting collaborative scientific research in the field of ecotoxicology from hypothesis formulation, to design, sampling, analysis and dissemination of findings through a variety of scientific contexts. As such, the course provides students with an understanding of experimental design and analysis, designing and performing ecotoxicological research, and the skills of presenting findings in both written and oral scientific settings.
    1. Navigate and synthesise the scientific literature to gain a detailed knowledge of the sub-discipline area of ecotoxicology;
    2. Apply knowledge of ecotoxicological theory to new environmental situations;
    3. Interpret, summarise, validate and critique ecotoxicological data from the scientific literature;
    4. Collect and analyse field and/or laboratory data.
    5. Interpret and analyse statistical data;
    6. Make informed management decisions based on data;
    7. Work as part of a team to design, plan, carry out, analyse and report the findings of an experiment in ecotoxicology;
    8. Communicate findings to a scientific audience in both written and oral formats.
    Contaminants and their fate in ecosystems
    Major classes of contaminants
    Routes by which contaminants enter ecosystems
    Environmental fate of contaminants in individuals and ecosystems
    The effects of contaminants on individual organisms
    Toxicity testing
    Biochemical and molecular effects of contaminants
    Physiological, organ level, individual and behavioural effects of contaminants
    Interactive effects of contaminants
    Effects of contaminants on populations and communities
    Population level effects and population dynamics
    Evolutionary responses to environmental stressors
    Community and ecosystem level effects
    Experimental design and data analysis
    Ecological risk assessment and environmental management
    Written Assignment: Critiques
    Written Assignment: Draft Paper, Peer Review, Final Paper and Letter to Editor
    Proposal / Plan: Research Proposal
    Formal Examination: Final Examination

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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.