Continuing Education

The Ecotox Centre is engaged in practice-oriented continuing education and training in the field of ecotoxicology with the goal of passing on expert knowledge and thus imparting professional skills. Selected courses are held in collaboration with the new Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT).

The further education courses are primarily intended for experts from administration, practice, research and industry. Every year, the Ecotox Centre usually offers a basic course on ecotoxicology and an application course and/or course on the impact on natural systems. Moreover, ad hoc workshops are held where the results of completed projects are presented and current topics are discussed.

In addition, the Ecotox Centre participates in education courses at university level and contributes its expertise in the field of applied ecotoxicology wherever needed. Teaching is done in close collaboration with ETH Zurich, EPF Lausanne, universities and technical colleges.

Course programme 


Systems biology in sentinel species: a case study and perspectives in ecotoxicology

20 February 2024, in English, in Lausanne EPFL Room GC B1 10 or on Zoom
Course management: Davide Degli Esposti

Speaker: Davide Degli Esposti, INRAE Lyon (France), RiverLy, Ecotox team

When: Tuesday February 20th, 2024, 16.00 - 17.00 CET

Where: Lausanne EPFL Room GC B1 10 (map)
or Zoom (id: 628 2701 0021, code: Ecotox)

Environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures is challenging because of the multitude of possible combinations that may occur. Biological approaches, such as active biomonitoring to measure both bioavailable contamination and the biological responses of organisms exposed in natura, may provide valid complementary tools to chemical and ecological monitoring. The freshwater amphipod Gammarus fossarum has been established as a sentinel species to assess the contamination levels of a great variety of aquatic sys-tems. Thanks to the advances in nucleic acid high-throughput sequencing and in mass spectrometry, proteogenomics has allowed developing the measurement of hundreds of proteins in this species.

In this talk, will show how datadriven protein network analyses may help to shed light on the molecular physiology of Gammarus fossarum, and on the molecular mechanisms involved in the response to chemical contaminants. The perspectives of this work in environmental proteomics and exposomics research will be also presented and discussed.

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PFAS in the environment

12. March 2024, in German and French, in Olten, registration fee: CHF 370
Course management: Dr. Alexandra Kroll

The course is fully booked and registration is closed. We are looking into an additional offer. If you are interested, please contact us at

PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) are a group of several thousand industrial chemicals that are now found everywhere in the environment. The substances are extremely stable and are therefore also considered "eternal chemicals". PFAS can have very different physicochemical properties. While some of the substances are known to be toxic, the effects of many have been poorly studied to date. The EU is currently considering a ban on substances of concern.

The course provides an overview of the sources, occurrence and effects of PFAS on the environment and humans. It also discusses the difficult regulatory environment and the limits in the environment, drinking water and food. Another focus is risk communication on PFAS, which poses major challenges to authorities, researchers and the media due to the complexity of this group of substances.

Download flyer in German or in French


Online Biomonitoring and In Situ Bioassays

6.-7. November 2024, in English, in Dübendorf and online, course fee: CHF 450
Course management: Dr. Cornelia Kienle

This one and a half day course aims to provide an overview on the application of online biomonitoring and in situ bioassays to monitor water, soil and sediment quality.

Online biomonitoring is applied to evaluate water quality with high temporal resolution using aquatic organisms as indicators and therefore allowing to capture patterns of peak events. To date, the method has been established mainly for the assessment of drinking water and surface water. Its application to wastewater is currently being explored. In situ bioassays, in which organisms are exposed directly in their natural environment, e.g. in cages, have been established for different environmental compartments, such as water, sediment and soil.

An overview of both methods will be followed by presentations of selected case studies for different environmental matrices and compartments. In addition, future research needs and perspectives for the application of online biomonitoring and in situ bioassays in regulation will be discussed. The second day will be devoted to demonstrating several of the methods presented.


Brigitte Bracken
Brigitte Bracken Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5562