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Department of Biological Sciences (BIO)

Master's Programme in Biology - specialization Environmental toxicology

Photo:
Ill: Marianne Brattås

Objectives and content

Environmental Toxicology is the study of environmental contaminants and their effects on different organisms. Environmental Toxicology is an interdisciplinary research field that requires extensive knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, biology, and molecular biology. Knowledge of chemistry is important to understand how the substance's chemical properties affect dispersion, distribution and uptake by organisms. Knowledge of biology is important to understand how the physiology and lifestyle of different organisms determine the degree of exposure and vulnerability, and how the effects of different toxicants can affect reproduction and growth, and even entire ecosystems. The molecular biological knowledge is important to gain insight into the mechanisms that determine the substance's behavior and impact on fundamental life processes such as reproduction, metabolism and growth. Cellular biology and molecular biological methods are central to this research, along with bioinformatic analyses of changes in the transcriptome and proteome of study organisms. The research ranges from studies of the ability of endocrine disrupting substances to activate nuclear receptors in cell cultures, to investigations of pollutants dispersion and biological effects in field and laboratory experiments. Current model systems include Oikopleura, cod, stickleback, zebrafish, salmon, seals, polar bears, mice and humans.

The aim of the programme is to provide students with a broad understanding of the subject Environmental Toxicology and research within this field, and a good understanding of current issues in the discipline and its role in society. This Master's degree will make the student qualified to go into a wide range of positions where knowledge of pollutants and environmental toxicology is relevant.

You can find more information about BIO's research in environmental toxicology and possible thesis projects on the website of the research group in Environmental Toxicology: http://www.uib.no/fg/toks

 

The graduated candidates should

Knowledge

  • Understand the dicipline in a societal context
  • Understand the biological basis for environmental toxicology
  • have extensive knowledge about environmental toxicants and their ability to cause effects in organisms or on the environment

Skills

  • Have well founded scientific knowledge and skills in environmental toxicology
  • Understand the scientific working methods and master the relevant analytical methods in this field of study
  • Be able to carry out a scientific project, in accordance with the scientific method and current practice
  • Be able to interpret, discuss and disseminate research results and methods in the students own project
  • Use scientific working methods and use modern methods.
  • Retrieve, evaluate and apply new knowledge within the field
  • Handle, and present quantitative data, and evaluate confidence to conclusions by use of basic statistical principles

General competences

  • Be able to work independently with comprehensive and demanding scientific tasks.
  • Be able to work independently and in a team with extensive and demanding academic tasks
  • Present, oral and written, scientific results based on analysis, in the context of existing research results also to non-specialists
  • Be able to discuss the subject in public debate
  • Be able to analyze biological scientific issues and participate in the discussion of approaches and ways of solving the issue.
  • Show understanding and respect for scientific values such as remaining accurate, open, honest, objective, factual and distinguish between knowledge and opinions

 

Full program description for the specialization in environmental toxicology