2023-2024 / VEGE0034-1

Chemical, biological and environmental risks related to plant productions


24h Th, 33h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)6 crédits 


Patrick du Jardin, Benjamin Dumont , Jeroen Meersmans, François Verheggen


Jeroen Meersmans

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The main objective of this Module is to gain a good understanding of the risks due to crop production as well as the risks affecting the productivity of vegetation, and the associated interactions, including:
The methodology of risk analysis in its three pillars: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication.
Applications of risk analysis in various areas: risk linked with pesticides residues and other chemical contaminants, biological risks linked to exotic species, biotechnology risks, environmental risks (pesticide and nitrogen inputs; ecotoxicology) and GES emissions and climate change due to agricultural activities.
Ethical considerations when choosing actions considering they could generate risks, and methods for integrating ethical aspects into the analysis and decision-making diagrams, evaluation of moral standards and values explaining moral assumptions of this action.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this course, students will have demonstrated during seminars and the final exam its ability :

  • To analyze a problem in its complexity and assess a risk, incorporating not only the scientific data from various fields of science, but also rules applicable to societal impact, economic constraints, measurement of uncertainty, ...
  • To propose solutions for risk mitigation tailored to a professional context and a changing regulatory environment, to formulate conclusions and recommendations, and to propose appropriate forms of communication.
  • To address, through the exploration of controversial GMO or pesticide use, the ethical aspects of risk management (justify the choice of action by setting goals and respect of principles and values, that ethical analysis tries to explain).
  • To analyze and map crop productivity

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Module "Fondements sur la gestion et le contrôle des bio-agresseurs"
Module "Phytotechnie générale"
Good background on pesticides and biocides properties, basic knowledge on entomology, phytopathology and weed science.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Oral presentation (ex-cathedra)
Collection and research of information and documentation (on internet and other sources)
Group works and oral presentations with power points: application of theoretical elements presented during lectures to case studies (data integration, synthesis)
Reports of practical exercises (individual / group)

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face (En classe / collaborate)
Groups exercices

Recommended or required readings

Training material (texts, papers, notes and slides) available on line on Blackboard for each partim.

Average of the practical excises (personal or group) marked by the different teachers

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Schedule and distribution of topics posted on Blackboard


Jeroen Meersmans, coordinateur (jeroen.meersmans@uliege.be)
Patrick du Jardin (Patrick.DuJardin@uliege.be)
Benjamin Dumont (benjamin.dumont@uliege.be)
François Verheggen (fverheggen@uliege.be)

Association of one or more MOOCs