Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIB07
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. Paula Pongrac, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 30 hours, seminar 15 hours, other learning forms 15 hours, individual work 120 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures with active participation by students, written essays and their presentation, e-learning


Course syllabus (download)


Finished bachelors and masters degree in Biology or equivalent program of study


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • History and introduction; terminology in toxicology and ecology
  • Sources, types and properties of toxins in the environment
  • Dose and concentration: Response relationships
  • Distribution and transformation of toxins in the environment
  • Molecular, biochemical, physiological and behavioural responses of organisms
  • Effects on population, community and ecosystem
  • Biomarkers and biomonitoring of toxins
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Ecotoxicology and management of toxins



  • Sparling D.W. 2016: Ecotoxicology Essentials: Environmental Contaminants and Their Biological Effects on Animals and Plants. Academic Press.
  • Walker C.H., Sibly R.M., Hopkin S.P., Peakall D.B. 2012: Principles of Ecotoxicology, Fourth Edition. CRC Press.
  • Connell, D.W., Lam, P., Richardson, B., Wu, R. (1999) Introduction to Ecotoxicology. Wiley-Blackwell.


Objectives and competences:

Environmental pollution is one of the most serious threats to the future health of our planet. A wide and ever increasing range of chemicals from industry, agriculture and medicine continue to contribute to the earth’s chemical load. Ecotoxicology evaluates the effects of toxins in natural ecosystems. Students, who have need to understand the basics of chemistry and biology, will learn of nature, properties and behaviour of environmental toxins, dose/response relationships and effects on organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems. In addition, environmental management areas such as biomarkers, biomonitoring, ecological risk assessment and the ecotoxicology and management of chemicals will be included.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Understanding basic concepts of toxicology, ecology and ecotoxicology.
  • Understanding processes of predicting the effects of pollution on organisms.
  • Knowledge of ways to prevent, limit or remediate any detrimental effects in the environment.



Written exam (40 %), essay (40 %), presentation of the essay (20 %).