UNIS contact person: Arne Aalberg
Enrolment in a relevant PhD programme. Background in toxicology, ecotoxicology (AT-210 Arctic Environmental Pollution or equivalent), and environmental chemistry or biology or biotechnology.
Arctic species have evolved biochemical, physiological and ecological traits specific for surviving in the harsh Arctic environment. Pollutants can be toxic, or interfere with biological processes through other mechanisms, thus reducing their fitness and causing resultant changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Effects can occur at all biological organization levels, from the subcellular level to the ecosystem level.
- Uptake, biotransformation and excretion of pollutants in Arctic organisms
- Effects of pollutants in organisms in relation to the specific Arctic environmental conditions
- Effects of pollutants on organismal acclimatization and adaptations to the Arctic environment
- How effects can propagate from the subcellular level to population, community and ecosystem levels
- How climate change and pollutants may interact in affecting Arctic organisms and ecosystems
- Specific ecotoxic effects of the major classes of pollutants, such as persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, petroleum oil, and novel man-made pollutants, on Arctic organisms
- The susceptibility of Arctic organisms and ecosystems to pollutants as compared to other organisms and ecosystems
- Effects of pollutants on humans in the Arctic
Upon completing the course, the students will have:
- an advanced academic knowledge on the effects of the major groups of pollutants that imposes a threat to Arctic organisms, including humans, and ecosystems, and on how contaminants in combination with other human imposed stressors, such as for instance climate change, affect Arctic biota and ecosystems.
- in-depth knowledge of how indigenous people (Northerners) are exposed to and affected by anthropogenic pollutants via consumption of traditional food
- knowledge on how to extract available scientific knowledge within the field, to produce an up-to date scientific review essay on a specific self-chosen topic within Arctic environmental toxicology.
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:
- interpret effects of anthropogenic pollutants on the organismal level (molecular, cellular and physiological) in key Arctic organisms, including humans, and in populations of Arctic organisms and in Arctic ecosystems.
- interpret which properties of pollutants that make them potential threats to Arctic organisms.
- carry through advanced scientific literature searching, and produce a written scientific essay (“mini-review”) based on up-to-date available scientific literature within the field of Arctic environmental toxicology.
Upon completing the course, the students will:
- within the field of environmental toxicology on an advanced level, be provided for future positions within nature and pollution management, research, or the industry.
The course extends over ca. 6 weeks including compulsory safety training, and is run in combination with AT-330.
The students must prepare an essay formatted as s research “mini-review” (ca. 4000 words excluding references, figures & tables) on a chosen research topic. The students must give a lecture (45 minutes) on the topic of the research paper manuscript, aimed towards the general public and decision makers.
Self-study and preparations: approx. 90 hours.
Total lecture hours: 24 hours.
Student-led seminars: 27 hours.
Field / lab work: 3–5 days.
Essay: approx. 90 hours (30% of the course).
Compulsory learning activities:
Seminars and field work. Oral lecture of the essay.
The essay must be handed in prior to the exam date.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.
Percentage of final grade
|Written exam||3 hours||70%|
All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course. Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.