General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Toxic Threats Of Aquatic Environments
Language English
Module lecturer Mikołaj Kokociński
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Academic professor
Faculty Faculty of Biology
Semester 2023/2024 (winter)
Duration 45


Module aim (aims)

The course introduces different types of toxic threats in the aquatic ecosystems (e.g. cyanotoxins, toxins produce by eukaryotic algae, heavy metals, ksenobiotics etc) and characterizes their influence on functioning of ecosystems and human health. Moreover harmful algal blooms, biocenotic transformation, reaction of organisms to different toxins are broadly presented as well as detection methods and economic cost of toxic threats.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

General knowledge in hydrobiology and ecology. Graduate students (B.A.)


Week 1 L: Introduction to the methodology and terminology of toxic threats of aquatic environment.Cl: Characteristic of potentially toxic cyanobacteria species from Chroococcales group;

Week 2 L: Characteristic of cyanobacteria toxins. Cl: Characteristic of potentially toxic cyanobacteria species from Nostocales group

Week 3 L: Toxic threats associated with harmful algal blooms. Cl: Characteristic of potentially toxic cyanobacteria species from Oscillatoriales group

Week 4 L: Reactions of organisms to toxins. Cl: Reactions of organisms to natural toxins – part I

Week 5 L: Ecotoxicological tests – practical aspects in monitoring of aquatic ecosystems. Cl: Reactions of organisms to natural toxins – part II

Week 6 L: Physical and chemical threats associated with anthropopressure. Cl: Detection of microalgae responsible for harmful algal blooms in marine ecosystems

Week 7 L: Economic costs of toxic threats. Cl: Visiting of biological laboratory of Aquanet – company supplying water to Poznan city (6h) and sampling cyanobacteria in the nearby ponds

Week 8 L: Summary and test. Cl: Assessment of toxic threats based on abundance of cyanobacteriaWeek 9 Cl: Examples of toxic threat of aquatic ecosystems – oral presentations of students

Reading list

Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms – In: Advances in experimental Medicine and Biology. Edited by H. K. Hudnell Volume 619; Springer 2008.

Environmental Toxicology. Editors: A.G. Kungolos, C.A. Brebbia, C.P. Samaras and V. Popov, WITPress 2006

Principles of ecotoxicology. C.H. Walker, S.P. Hopkin, R.M. Sibly, D.B. Peakall. Second Edition 2001.