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Summer School in Natural Toxins and Drinking Water Quality
Provider: Department of Plant and Environment Sciences

Activity no.: 5481-17-09-31There are 30 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 04/08/2017
PlaceDepartment of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Date and timeSeptember 2017 - October 2017
Regular seats30
ECTS credits8.00
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserHans Chr. Bruun Hansen    E-mail address: haha@plen.ku.dk
Written languageEnglish
Teaching languageEnglish
Block noteDuration: 10 days
Scheme group noteScheduled dates: 23.09.17 - 03.10.17
Exam formAssessment of participants based on their poster presentations (own area of interest, posters prepared for the course)
Exam formEvaluation of the participant’s assignments prepared during the course
Course workload
Course workload categoryHours
Preparation / Self-Study150.00
Course hours100.00


Subject area:
Natural Toxins and Drinking Water Quality. The course is the 1st summer school organized by NaToxAq which is a multidisciplinary European Training Network (ETN) (see more at www.natoxaq.eu ). NaToxAq comprises 21 leading universities, research institutions/agencies, and water enterprises in 7 European countries and USA, which aim to expand insight on natural toxin identity, analysis, fate, dissipation, removal during water treatment, health effects, and risk assessment under impact of climate change, to ensure safe and healthy waters for European consumers. The summer school aims at giving a solid scientific background within these fields as well as providing valuable complementary skills for students which are early in their PhD.

More specifically the summer school is divided in three scientific modules (S1-S3) described below combined with an excursion and complementary modules C1 and C2 (described below). Furthermore, a complementary module C3 is arranged for supervisors. The modules can be combined as desired by the student. Also a single module can be selected. All modules include homework to be done before the module (reading, exercises, presentations).

Scientific content:
S1. Sampling and monitoring of natural toxins in plants, sediment, groundwater and freshwaters
Qualifies to monitor the occurrence of natural toxins in the environment. Natural toxins in plants and emission patterns; biochemical variation of secondary metabolites in plants; spatial variation of soils and sediments at pedon to catchment scale; sampling strategies for soils and freshwaters; natural variation of toxins in the environment. The PhD students must make a poster presentation of a sampling issue in relation to their own research topic. 2 ECTS.

S2. Analytical chemistry for determination of natural toxins and metabolites.
Introduction to analysis of natural toxins in environmental matrices with special emphasis on aquatic media. Sampling, sample preparation and preconcentration procedures, and off-line and online clean-up approaches. Fundamentals on liquid chromatography and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and mass spectrometry including single and triple quadrupole analysers, ion traps, quadrupole time of flight (QTOF), and Direct Analysis on Real Time (DART), as well as on novel analytical and computer tools for structure elucidation. 2 ECTS.

S3. Sorption and degradation of natural toxins in sediment and water
This module provides an overview of the different mechanisms behind sorption and abiotic/biotic degradation of natural toxins in the environment, and introduces different models that can be applied to quantify the thermodynamics and kinetics. Particular focus is devoted to sorption due to partitioning, and degradation due to enzymatic processes, hydrolysis and photolysis. 2 ECTS.

C1. Introduction course for PhD students:
This module is to introduce self-reflective learning tools and tools for planning of PhD studies. Time and project management; competence based development planning; learning needs analysis; responsible conduct of research; introduction to oral and written presentation techniques; feed-back exercises. The PhD students must prepare a Personal Career Plan (incl. personal development goals), as well as a research plan for the scientific part of the PhD project. 2 ECTS.

C2. Design of experiments and good laboratory practice:
This module improves the experimental planning and implementation skills. Multivariate experimental design; laboratory safety; ISO9000/17025; Good Laboratory Practice; visit to a quality control department of a large industrial company. The PhD students must prepare a quality assurance plan for their project together with an example of a Standard Operational Procedure for a method of their own choice. 2 ECTS

Excursion to field locations:
The excursion is a tour through different landscapes and regions to provide examples of natural toxin producing plants in forests, other non-cropped areas and in crop systems, and also to demonstrate examples of natural toxin producing invasive species. The excursion also follows the natural toxin track from plant sources to drinking water at the end user, and issues with respect to sampling, natural toxin quantification and transport will be discussed. Visit at a water work and water treatment facilities illustrating the state of the art technologies to treat raw water before distribution as drinking water.

Learning outcome
The PhD students that follow this course will:

1) Get a solid background knowledge and understanding of current topics and methods within sampling, sample treatment, analytical procedures and environmental chemistry of natural toxins in the environment (plants and soils) and in drinking water sources.
2) Gather experience in design and execution of projects within environmental chemistry (design of experiments, good laboratory practice, time and project management, research plans etc.)
3) Be able to discuss their projects and assignments with experts in the field (e.g. by poster presentations, research plans etc.), and
4) Obtain a broad network within the field. NaToxAq is already a large network of 15 international Early Stage Researchers, which will all participate in the summer school. Furthermore, all the 21 leading universities, research institutions/agencies, and water enterprises will be represented during parts of the PhD summer school giving PhD students a unique opportunity to meet central researchers, companies, agencies etc. within the field. For a full list of all the participating partners please see our website: http://natoxaq.ku.dk/about/who-is-involved/

Guest lecturers:
Senior researcher Dana Kolpin, US Geological Survey (USGS), Illinois-Iowa Water Science Center, Iowa city, State of Iowa.
Professor Alistair Boxall, University of York, UK.

Teachers from UCPH-SCIENCE:
Professor Hans Chr. Bruun Hansen, haha@plen.ku.dk
Associate Professor Bjarne Strobel, bjwe@plen.ku.dk

If you would like to participate please:

1) Register online by clicking on "Apply" and
2) Send an e-mail to natoxaq@plen.ku.dk indicating which modules you apply for (S1, S2, S3, C1, C2). Please also state your motivations (10 lines), your CV and a PhD description.

Costs for materials, accommodation and food will depend on which modules are selected.

Evaluation of students and the course:
One of the deliverables to EU of the NaToxAq project is evaluation reports after each summer school. Therefore, thorough evaluation will be conducted in the following ways:
1) Assessment of the participants based on their poster presentations (own area of interest, posters specifically prepared for the course).
2) Evaluation of the participant’s assignments prepared during the course
3) Questionnaire filled by the students regarding the courses (content, duration, relevance, quality of course material and experiments, evaluation of the lectures).

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