ESST 3000 Environmental Toxicology
Healthy ecosystems rely on interactions between the living portions of the environment and its non-living components. However, human activities can cause significant disturbance as a result of the accidental or deliberate introduction of contaminants into the environment. These disturbances can cause significant alterations in the interactions between the various components that make up the ecosystem. This course introduces the concepts of environmental toxicology. It is concerned with the toxic effects of environmental chemicals (both natural and anthropogenic) on living organisms. Fundamental toxicological concepts will be covered including doseresponse relationships; absorption of toxicants; distribution and storage of toxicants; biotransformation and elimination of toxicants; acute and sub-lethal toxicity; target organ toxicity and risk assessment. The interaction between toxicants and organisms would be investigated at varying levels of biological organizations, ranging from molecular, tissue, organ, individual, population and ecosystem. The delivery of course materials would involve a combination of lectures, practicals, tutorials, and web based materials. Assessments are designed to encourage students to work continuously with the course materials.