Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Seat Scienze
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 3
Hours 24
Period 2^ semestre
Language ENG
U-gov code ST03 3S433


Knowledge of general and organic chemistry, general and cell biology is important requisites for this course.

Development of the course

The course will include 64 hours of lectures (8 CFU), of which 40 hours (5 CFU) of  Ecotoxicology (3 CFU and 2 CFU explained by Prof. Maura Benedetti and Prof Francesco Regoli, respectively) and 24 hours (3CFU) of Environmental Impact Assessment (Prof. Stefania Gorbi). The teaching activity includes both lectures and practical lessons in didactic and computer laboratories.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn to use the main toxicity tests for the characterization of the quality of the various environmental matrices, including soils, sediments and water. They learn the meaning of the use of bioindicators and biomarkers.

Ability to apply knowledge. 
Students must be able to apply an ecotoxicological approach in environmental monitoring, also from the practical point of view, thanks to practice exercises performed in the laboratory. In addition, students will be able to apply correctly the main toxicity tests using appropriate test species and to correctly interpret the results obtained from the different endpoints analyzed.
Soft skills. 
At the end of the course and laboratory activities the students will be able to demonstrate an independent judgment on the interpretation of analytical data resulting from ecotoxicological approach; in addition the increase in communication skills is also resulting from the group’s activities done during laboratory attendance.


Environmental toxicology; importance of toxicological studies, definition of dose and dose-effect relationships; definition of LC50, EC50, NOEL, NOAEL, LOAL; main features of toxicity tests and bioassays, choice of test species, biological end-points and applications.Use of organisms as bioindicators in environmental monitoring contamination and definition of biomarkers at the molecular, biochemical and cellular levels.

Laboratory exercises:
During practical lessons we will apply the main analytical methods used in ecotoxicology field.

Development of the examination

Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The final exam consists of an oral examination in which 3 questions are provided. Each question is given a score between 0 and 10.

Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
During the oral exam, the students must demonstrate that they have acquired basic knowledge about the main issues concerning the ecotoxicology and environmental impact assessment.

Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final mark is assigned in a scale of thirty. The exam is passed when the score is equal or greater than 18. It is expected to be awarded the highest marks with honors (30 cum laude).

Criteria for conferring final mark:
The final grade is awarded according to the answers adequacy to the questions proposed by the examining committee.
The honors (cum laude) will be given when the students will demonstrate full mastery of the subject, the correct use of terminology and the ability to make connections, where it is possible, between the various topics.

Recommended reading

Lecture notes
Slides and scientific literature suggested during the course.
Manuals and Guidelines ISPRA 67/2011: “Batterie di saggi ecotossicologici per sedimenti di acque salate e salmastre” 
Manuals and Guidelines ISPRA 88/2013: “Batterie di saggi ecotossicologici per sedimenti e acque interne. 

  • Scienze ambientali e protezione civile

Università Politecnica delle Marche
P.zza Roma 22, 60121 Ancona
Tel (+39) 071.220.1, Fax (+39) 071.220.2324
P.I. 00382520427