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 


Ecotox Centre Dialogue Day

31. August 2023, in German and French, in Solothurn, fee: CHF 110
Course management: Dr. Benot Ferrari , Dr. Anke Schäfer

The increasing number of chemicals in waters, sediments and soils makes it ever more important to assess their risk and understand their effects on ecosystem quality. To achieve this, methods for ecotoxicological risk assessment and effect-based methods from the field of ecotoxicology - i.e. in vitro and in vivo bioassays and biomarkers - are particularly well suited. The Ecotox Centre is working to test and further develop these methods for practical application and thus to meet Switzerland's needs in applied ecotoxicology. On its Dialogue Day, the Ecotox Centre will first inform you about current projects in the morning. In an afternoon session, we offer discussion platforms to exchange views with other experts on current topics.

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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

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.

Registration as of October 2023


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