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Environmental Pollution and Biological Remediation Methods (EPBR)
Course Description

This course provides an overview of issues related to the degradation and pollution of terrestrial ecosystems, with a focus on soil and water. Students will learn about soil and plant sciences, microbiology, water management, and environmental conservation strategies. The course will also cover practical aspects of remediation, including the use of phyto-technologies. These methods involve using plants and microorganisms to remove contaminants and restore ecosystem health. They are cost-effective, non-invasive, and can complement traditional engineering-based approaches. The course will also discuss the advantages and limitations of these green technologies, including their ecosystem services, regulatory requirements, and public acceptance.

The course is suitable for students with or without a science background.

Students will have the chance to study real-life examples, including a remediation site in Austria that is part of the EU-funded SYMBIOREM project.

Learning Outcomes
  • Analyze the impact of soil and water pollution on ecosystems and humans
  • Learn and apply the concepts of bioavailability and bioaccumulation
  • Learn and apply the concepts of degradation, transformation, and recycling of organic and inorganic elements (i.e., pesticides, heavy metals)
  • Analyze multi-scale phenomena from plant cells to terrestrial ecosystems
  • Examine the economic and social benefits/limitations of biological remediation methods
  • Examine ecosystem services, regulatory requirements, and public acceptance of green technologies
  • Analyze case studies and acquire an understanding of the complexity of what constitutes pollution remediation

Class participation  10%

Assignments  40%

Final Exam  50%



Course Level
Academic Year
US Credits
ECTS Credits
Course Code
ENVS 5136