Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health


At the end of the course, students will have acquired knowledge, skills and competences that will allow them to:

- Apply the concepts of ecotoxicology relating environmental exposure (including distribution routes and environmental and / or anthropogenic factors such as climate change and dredging operations that may intensify environmental pollution) with effects on living organisms (including humans) and addressing the importance of exposure to contaminant mixtures (frequent form of exposure).

- Be able to use standard methodologies and current technologies used in the toxicity assessment of natural and anthropogenic pollutants.

- Intervene in ecological and human health risk assessment studies and in the development of sanitary water and waste surveillance actions.

- Know the current legislation in the area of regulation of chemicals and quality control of ecosystems.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Marta Susana Silvestre Gouveia Martins


Weekly - 5

Total - 80

Teaching language



Available soon


  1. Amiard-Triquet, C., Amiard, J.-C., Mouneyrac, C. (2015). Aquatic Ecotoxicology: Advancing Tools for Dealing with Emerging Risks. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 504 p.
  2. Connon R. E., Geist, J., Werner I. (2012). Effect-Based Tools for Monitoring and Predicting the Ecotoxicological Effects of Chemicals in the Aquatic Environment – Review. Sensors, 12, 12741-12771
  3. Newman, M.C. (2010). Fundamentals of Ecotoxicology. 3rd ed. CRCPress., NY. 571 p.
  4. Principles and Methods of Toxicology, A Wallace Hayes eds, Fourth edition, Taylor & Francis, 2001.
  5. Gonçalves Ferreira, F. 1990. “Moderna Saúde Pública”, 6ª ed. Fund. Calouste Gulbenkian
  6. Artigos científicos e documentos gerais fornecidos ao longo do curso.

Teaching method

The methodology will include theoretical and practical classes, in classroom and tutorial. Theoretical classes include the exposition of theoretical contents and presentation and interactive discussion of case studies. The practical component includes laboratory and field classes that allow the practical application of the knowledge acquired. tutorial includes discussion  of the progression of lab work and monography.

The methodology also includes: 1) Theoretical presentation using slides; 2) Expository videos with practical demonstrations; 3) “Retrival practice” will be used in the form of “Kahoots” ( in the sessions of theoretical and practical classes; 4) clarification of doubts with the teacher about the contents of the UC.

The structure of academic work and elements of study are available at moodle platform.

Evaluation method

The assessment consists of two components, theoretical and practical, with equal weight for the final grade.

The theoretical assessment is performed through two tests with equal weight being 9,5 values the minimum arithmetic mean. 

The practical assessment is performed through two reports, one report with oral presentation and one monography, developed by groups of students (máx. 3 students/group), with equal weight and arithmetic average of at least 9,5 values.

The frequency is given by mandatory attendance of at least 2/3 of the practical lectures.

Subject matter

1.   Introduction – From contamination to pollution

1.1. Distribution and transport of contaminants in the environment; 

1.2. Biotic and abiotic factors involved in chemical transformation processes and bioavailability of contaminants; 

2. Ecotoxicology

2.1. Toxicokinetics e toxicodynamics; 

2.2. Bioaccessibility, bioaccumulation and bioamplification concepts; 

2.3. Bioassays (standardized, in vivo, in vitro, in silico, in situ);

2.4. Biomarkers (including omic technologies), bioindicators, biotic indices, population, community and ecosystem responses; 

2.4. Effects and responses on human health.

3. Ecological, health and human health perspective

3.1. Introduction to the Water Quality Directives and REACH; 

3.2. Epidemiology: concepts, health indicators; Dose-response assessment based on epidemiological studies.

3.3. Ecological risk assessment and human health; development of actions for the quality of water supply, wastewater, recreational water and solid waste.