Spring 2022 - BISC 474 D100

Special Topics in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (3)

Current Issues in Ecotoxicology

Class Number: 1947

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    To be announced.



Selected topics in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation not currently offered in the Department of Biological Science.



Ecotoxicology aims to quantify the effects of stressors on natural populations, communities, and ecosystems. Ecotoxicology is a broadly defined discipline and includes (but not limited to) the study of the movement of contaminants through ecosystems, anthropogenic disruption of nutrient cycles, oceanic acidification as a consequence of climate change and the consequences of a changing community structure on geochemical processes.

We will first refresh our familiarity with ecosystem structure and function. Using case studies from previous research (e.g., acid rain, tar sands, aquaculture), the ways in which anthropogenic activities can alter ecosystem structure and function will then be examined.  Student presentations will serve to provide detailed information on a particular anthropogenic stressor and also provide the student the opportunity to challenge the problem solving skills of their peers.

Course schedule

Week 1           Introduction. Course objectives, learning outcomes. Organization of presentations. Explanation of marking scheme.

Week 2           Structure and Function

Week 3           A few case studies

Week 4           A few case studies continued

Week 5-10      Student presentations on Ecotoxicological topic of choice.



  • • Class Presentation 40%
  • • Class Participation 30%
  • • In Class Quizzes 30%


Mode of teaching: 

Lecture: Synchronous

Laboratory: N/A 

Tutorial: N/A 

Midterm(s): N/A 

Final exam: N/A

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.