Prof. Dr. Thorsten Stumpf

Director Institute of Resource Ecology
Phone: +49 351 260 3210
+49 351 260 4600

Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen
Phone: +49 351 260 2148

Lecture: Radioecology

The Radioecology lecture is part of the module "Umwelt- und Radiochemie". Lecture topics on environmental radioactivity deal with e.g. sources of radionuclides in the environment, factors influencing radionuclide migration and uptake in food chains and our ecosystems, sampling and pre-treatment of environmental samples, radionuclide separation methods and specific counting techniques for low-level samples. In addition, examples on how radioecology is present in every-day life are given. A short outline of the course is given below.

Content of the lecture (PDF file)

  1. Formation of Earth and the elements
  2. Natural radioactivity
    • Primordial radionuclides
    • Cosmic radiation
    • NORM
  3. Anthropogenic radionuclides
    • Sources
    • Fission products
    • Transuranium elements
  4. Radionuclide transport pathways
    • Atmospheric deposition
    • Radionuclide uptake in plants
    • Radionuclide uptake in animals and humans – the food chains
  5. Mobility of radionuclides in the environment
    • Radionuclide speciation in aqueous solution
    • Radionuclide interactions with interfaces
    • Formation of solid phases
  6. Impact of microorganisms on radionuclide mobility in the environment
    • Interaction of radionuclides with microorganisms
    • Environmental effects of the radionuclide-microbe interaction
    • Effects of radionuclides on biology
    • Radionuclide contamination in the environment - bioremediation
  7. Environmental samples and their radiochemical separation methods
    • Special aspects of radionuclide chemistry
    • Collection and pretreatment of environmental samples
  8. Separation methods
    • Precipitation
    • Ion exchange
    • Solvent extraction
    • Extraction chromatography
  9. Measurement of environmental samples
    • Radioanalytical methods
    • Mass spectrometric methods
  10. Radioecology in everyday life
    • Age determination
    • Environmental processes
    • Forensic science

Lecture notes

The Radioecology lectures 2021 will be held as a livestream. Starting on Thursday 20th of May, the lectures will take place on zoom. To access the zoom link and required passcodes, please click here.

The lectures and any additional material will be uploaded here. To access the material you will need a user name and password, which have been communicated to registered students via Selma.

2019 lecture notes

The lecture scripts of the last year (2019) are also available for further self-study

  • Dr. N. Huittinen: Part 1 (03.4.2019, 11.7 MB)
  • Dr. N. Huittinen: Part 2 (29.4.2019, 13.3 MB)
  • Dr. N. Huittinen: Part 3 (18.6.2019, 10.5 MB)

Exam dates

The exams will take place in the week from 6.9. to 10.9.2021.

Certificate of achievement

Master studies in Chemistry (MA-CH-MRBO 10) see Modul "Umwelt- und Radiochemie"
Other courses:

  • Certificate of participation with grading after oral examination or
  • Certificate of participation only.


The lecture will take place in the summer semester starting Thursday the 15th of April from 9.20 to 10.50 a.m. in room CHE/0091/H, Chemie Neubau, Bergstraße 66.

Course literature

  • Kratz, Lieser: "Nuclear and Radiochemistry"
  • Choppin, Rydberg, Liljenzin: "Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry"
  • Atwood: "Radionuclides in the Environment"
  • Poinssot, Geckeis: "Radionuclide behaviour in the natural environment"
  • Lehto, Hou: "Chemistry and Analysis of Radionuclides"


Prof. Dr. Thorsten Stumpf

Director Institute of Resource Ecology
Phone: +49 351 260 3210
+49 351 260 4600

Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen
Phone: +49 351 260 2148