Annual report 2012
Society of environmental toxicology and chemistry 1
Content 01 Word from the President 02 Word from the Executive Director 03 About SETAC Europe 04 Annual Meeting 2012
05 Membership 06 Finances 08 Regional Branches 10 Committees
13 Advisory Groups 15 Other activities
Word from the President Paolo Masoni
Last year when I was asked to write a short statement for the annual report as Vice President, I expressed my contrasting feelings: excited but also worried for the major challenges SETAC was facing. Now, one year later, it is with pride and enthusiasm that I recall the events of 2012. It has been an incredible year of successes for the Society: first and foremost, the fantastic results of the 6th SETAC World Congress / SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting in Berlin, with the participation of more than 2500 scientists from more than 69 countries, and 2400 platform and poster presentations of excellent scientific quality. 2012 was also the year of the birth of the new Africa Geographic Unit, strongly supported by SETAC Europe. Congratulations to Patricia Bi Asanga Fai, first President and to all the members of the Africa Council for their well deserved success. After a nearly two-year effort, the SETAC World Council approved the Berlin Declaration on Sustainability at the SETAC North America 33rd Annual Meeting in Long Beach, CA. This was not only the the achievement of an important milestone, but it also marked a starting point. The declaration specifies areas in which SETAC can engage in the science of sustainability. It is now time to develop an implementation plan, with the involvement of you all. In the past year, SETAC Europe organised, besides Berlin, other successful meetings: • two SETAC Europe Special Science Symposia, one in February on Ecosystem Services and one in October on Endocrine Disruptors; • an LCA Case Study Symposium in Copenhagen, in cooperation with NorLCA, where 300 people participated in workshops, scientific sessions, poster dinner, training courses. This symposium has defined a new format and new quality standards for the LCA CSS that will be a real challenge trying to emulate this year in Rome. • The Young Environmental Scientist meeting in Krakow, Poland. This is the third meeting organised by the SETAC Europe Student Advisory Council (SAC) and the first outside Germany. Thanks to generous sponsors and the contribution of SETAC Europe, the meeting was not only free of charge but travel grants were also available for all the participants.
• several SETAC summer and winter schools are now a wellestablished way for training and sharing of knowledge and of environmental protection concerns. All these achievements do not happen without dedicated people and a lot of effort. I am particularly grateful to Dave Arnold, Past Executive Director, who retired at the end of October. His successor, Bart Bosveld, is well known by SETAC members because he previously ran the SETAC Europe office. His enthusiasm and competence will assure that SETAC Europe will be managed at the best. He can count upon a dedicated and competent team of excellent people in the office (Roel Evens, Barbara Koelman, Sarah Spanoghe, Veerle Vandeveire, Valerie Verstappen and Filip Gunst) who keep the office running smoothly even in stressful conditions typical of the annual meetings. The success of our meetings is very dependent on the voluntary work of the scientific and local organising committees, while the day-by-day progress in science promoted by SETAC is based on the voluntary work of the Committees and Advisory Groups. Behind the front stage of the Society is the work of the Council, a team of scientists that dedicate part of their valuable time for steering the Society. A special thanks to all them, wise women and men with whom it is a pleasure to discuss all the critical questions but also to have moments of friendship and pleasure: Peter Campbell (SETAC Europe Past President and now Vice President of SETAC World), Laurent Lagadic (Vice President), JoseJulio Ortega-Calvo (Treasurer), Anne Alix, Tania Alvarez, Mónica Amorim, Gertie Arts, Thomas Backhaus, Carlos Barata, Karel De Schamphelaere, Tim Kedwards, Kari Lehtonen, Gerd Maack, Merab Mirtskhulava, Alberto Pistocchi, Amadeu Soares, Ilse Schoeters and Jochen Zubrod (student representative).
I take this opportunity also to thank Tim Canfield (Immediate SETAC World Past President), Bill Goodfellow (SETAC World President) and Mike Mozur (Executive Director) for their support and assiduous participation to our council meetings, bringing a global perspective to the discussion. 2012 was a year of successes, but again, many challenges are in front of us. First of all, the organisation of meetings, comparable in quality and success to those of last year. Secondly, how to sustain growth in this period of crisis. In this regards, a new Regional Branch, Arabian Gulf, has been approved, while efforts have been made to grow of a SETAC community in Russia. Moreover, the excellent financial result of the last year gives us the opportunity to invest part of the revenues in services for members and to make a decisive step forward in the implementation of an accreditation scheme for risk assessors. With the guidance of the incoming new President, Laurent Lagadic, those challenges can be successfully met, in particular if all members would take the opportunity to provide your contribution of ideas, competencies and, when needed, constructive criticism.
WORD FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Bart Bosveld
Great achievements, great plans. An exciting year has passed. Exciting not only for SETAC, but also for me personally. Dave Arnold, who headed the SETAC Europe office, has completed - together with the Brussels team - a wonderful year for the society. With an unprecedented successful SETAC World congress taking place in Berlin, he set new standards. Retiring from the Society, Dave left an efficient and healthy organisation. His work and legacy is much appreciated. I was delighted to take over his role as Executive Director and to work with SETAC again, I look forward to build upon the successes that have been achieved over the past years. On the gangway of 2012, a number of priorities were set for the coming period. First and formost we are facing an impressive line up of SETAC Europe congresses, symposia, workshops and courses. This is our core business and consumes most of the SETAC Europe staff time. Our meetings help to build networks and facilitate the exchange of information among scientists, managers and other professionals within and between the three sectors represented in SETAC. Another important issue for SETAC is education. With collaborations and harmonisation of chemical regulation within Europe, a common standard for education for those working in environmental risk assessment is of great importance. The initiative has been taken for setting up a SETAC Post Graduate School for Risk Assessment, providing a comprehensive programme with courses at various institutions in Europe. I look forward to take on this opportunity and have the programme operational in the future. With this and much more our society is making good use of its collective strength. Our shared goals and good collaborations across the world provide practical solutions and a way forward for environmental risk assessment, decision-making and management. This makes me happy and proud to work for SETAC.
ABOUT SETAC EUROPE SETAC Europe
SETAC Europe Council
SETAC Europe is one of the four Geographic Units (GU) of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), established to promote and undertake activities of SETAC in Europe, and to support activities in the Middle East and Africa.
The daily affairs of SETAC Europe are managed by a Council elected by the voting members at the Annual General Assembly conducted during the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting. The Council is generally comprised of 18 members with equal representation from government, business and academia. Members of the Council serve for a period of three years, which may be renewed for one consecutive term. The terms of the council are staggered so that approximately one-third of the members is replaced each year.
SETAC Europe is dedicated to the use of multidisciplinary approaches to examine the impacts of stressors, chemicals, and technology on the environment. The Society also provides an open forum for scientists and institutions engaged in the study of environmental problems, management and regulation of natural resources, education, research and development, and manufacturing. SETAC Europe is incorporated in Belgium as a not-for-profit organisation. The society is governed according its articles of association and by-laws. SETAC Europe maintains its administrative office in Brussels, Belgium SETAC Europe’s major initiatives are as follows:
Executive committee: President | Vice-President | Treasurer | Immediate Past-President |
Paolo Masoni, ENEA, IT Laurent Lagadic, INRA, FR Jose Julio Ortega, CSIC, ES Peter Campbell, Syngenta, UK
Other council members: Anne Alix, Dow, UK Tania Alvarez, Syngenta, UK Mónica Amorim, University of Aveiro, PT Gertie Arts, Alterra, NL Thomas Backhaus, Gothenborg University, SE Carlos Barata, CSIS, ES Karel De Schamphelaere, University of Gent, BE Tim Kedwards, SC Johnson Ltd., UK Kari Lehtonen, Finnish Environment Institute, FI Gerd Maack, Federal Environment Agency (UBA), DE Merab Mirtskhulava, National Center for Diseases Control,GE Alberto Pistocchi, Gecosistema, IT Ilse Schoeters, Rio Tinto, UK (ad interim) Amadeu Soares, University of Aveiro, PT Jochen Zubrod, University of Landau, DE (student representative)
• Organise the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting attended by more than 2000 individuals. This is the major meeting in Europe in the field of environmental toxicology and chemistry. • Organise a range of smaller meetings, including Special Science Symposia focussed on specific subjects and workshops to discuss the state of science in hot topics with the aim of producing recommendations for preparative regulatory use in Europe. • Run an education programme that includes summer schools and short courses for professional education on environmental sciences and practices. • Complete a Framework 6 EU-funded project as dissemination partner for the Coordination Action for Innovation in Life Cycle Analysis for Sustainability project (CALCAS). Since 2009, we have been actively engaged as dissemination partner for the 7th Framework Programme Engineered Nanoparticle Impact on Aquatic Environments: Structure, Activity and Toxicology project (ENNSATOX).
From left to right (top): Bart Bosveld, Jochen Zubrod, Paolo Masoni, Kari Lehtonen, Gertie Arts, Gerd Maack, Bill Goodfellow, Kirit Wadhia. From left to right (bottom): Merab Mirskhulava, Karel De Schamphelaere, Mónica Amorim, Carlos Barata, Jose Julio Ortega, Peter Campbell.
CHAIRING THE ANNUAL 2012 IN BERLIN By Henner Hollert (Chair local organising committee) and Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, RWTH Aachen University and Norbert Scholz (Chair scientific committee), Evonik Industries. Organising the 6th SETAC World Congress in Berlin has been a great honour and a unique experience. We’d like to thank both the Local and Scientific Organising Committee members and the SETAC Europe office staff for their tremendous work and for being a great team during the preparation of this congress. We also would like to thank all the session chairs, the presenters and all student helpers for their invaluable support facilitating this excellent meeting. And we would like to thank all participants contributing to a successful conference with sound scientific discussions but also unique moments of friendship. The World Congress in Berlin was one of the most successful and largest meetings in the history of SETAC, with more than 2500 participants coming from over 69 countries. In 88 regular sessions and 11 special sessions, divided in six main topics, 2400 platforms and posters were presented. Besides classical topics such as environmental and analytical chemistry, ecotoxicology, life cycle assessment (LCA) and risk assessment, some innovative issues such as exposure modelling, emerging contaminants and science communication highlighted new insights in environmental toxicology and chemistry. In the keynote lectures, Jeff McNeely from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gave a comprehensive overview of the biological basis of sustainability; and Jochen Flasbarth (President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dessau-Roßlau, Germany) discussed sustainability as an ecological, economic and social programme for future development. Finally, the lecture of Arab Hoballah (Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP) highlighted the role of resource efficiency as one of the key drivers for sustainability. The 21st century demands a broader approach to sustainability. This not only draws on the the full range of environmental sciences and practices found in SETAC, but encompasses economical and social science aspects at the same degree. The Berlin World Congress aimed in further developing a broad and credible SETAC statement on sustainability (“Berlin Declaration on Sustainability”) and to
establish a sound theoretical approach that leads to tangible results and contributed to the global Rio-plus-20 process and beyond. The draft of the position paper, developed under the auspices of the SC and a dedicated writing team was publically communicated via the programme book, and via a dedicated poster board display, open for comments and membership contributions. A round table debate during the closing session on 24 March focused on the paper and the inputs received during the congress. This stipulated a debate of the declaration during summer 2012 in all Geographic Units. The final version of the “Berlin Declaration on Sustainability” has been approved through the SETAC World Council during the Long Beach meeting in November 2012. It is now the time to follow the declaration with tangible results, not only to align theory with practise, but also to further stipulate SETAC internal discussions with its different views on how to proceed. The World Congress in Berlin featured a number of novel ideas being introduced to a SETAC meeting for the first time: - Two student film teams captured the meeting and its atmosphere on video tape. A short video clip was produced, showing the liveliness of our meetings. Find the short trailer on youtube: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YN1P7Ntr7E&feature=youtu.be - Buddy bears have been sent around the word serving as ambassadors at scientific meetings in order to promote the SETAC World congress and to tackle environmental issues. These trips had been captured in a 2 min video, which is available on request. The Buddy Bears were auctioned off at a silent auction during the congress, and the proceeds were donated to a local nature conservation organisation, the Naturschutzzentrum Ökowerk Berlin (www.oekowerk.de). - For the first time the world meeting also served as a platform for the SETAC Regional Branches having a SETAC regional branches booth, and an associated Poster Corner presenting regional environmental hot topics from all over the world.
The Berlin World Congress offered young students an excellent platform for building networks for their careers and to make friends. During a mentor lunch organised by the Student Advisory Council, students had the chance to meet with established professionals gaining insights into their work and how they developed their careers. In order to have an environmental friendly meeting with low CO2 emission, the meeting was avoiding plastic garbage, and unique conference bags out of recycled tarpaulins from trucks have been prepared. With these bags the materials entered another phase in their life, and which we hope will last for many years to come as they were taken home to recycle as shopping bags, brief cases, or simply to wear as a new fashion statement. The meeting developed in a warm and friendly atmosphere during the scientific programme as well as in the social events, it allowed for stimulating contacts and scientific discussions among the 2500 participating participants from all over the world. It had been an honour to contribute to this prestigious event, challenging and rewarding.
MEMBERSHIP SETAC Global membership
SETAC North America* (SNA)
SETAC Europe* (SE)
SETAC Asia/Pacific (SAP)
SETAC Latin America (SLA)
SETAC Africa (SAF)
SETAC Global Partners & Affiliates (SWC)
* Includes Sustaining Members
membership % 53,23% 32,41% 8,87% 3,76% 1,37% 0,36%
“SETAC’s activities for early stage researchers made me feel sincerely welcome being a member of the Society. Getting insight to scientific meetings as those organised by SETAC while attending the 2nd Young Environmental Scientists Meeting in Aachen increased my confidence in actively attending the meetings in Milan and Berlin. Having had the opportunity to present my work at both meetings and publish my first article in one of the society’s journals, SETAC supported me growing up in the world of science. This Society became a solid part and parcel of my work and I’m looking forward attending multiple activities in the coming years by presenting my work and broaden my network and horizon.” (A.A., student member)
SETAC Europe membership by sector 4,44 8,63
Academia Business Not stated Government Other
11,39 49,54 20,68
SETAC Europe membership by member type Regular member
Recent graduate member
3-Year regular member
Sustaining member (business partner)
Affiliate member (government and academic partner)
*LIC = Low Income Countries, LUMIC = Lower and Upper Middle Income Countries, as defined by the World Bank.
“Being a member of SETAC Europe, means that I can participate in valuable networking opportunities like conferences. It also allows me to keep up to date with developments in LCA methodology and case studies.” (C.A., regular member)
“In my opinion, SETAC can be described as a successful and powerful multifunction platform. I say multifunction as I think it serves as a potential way to enhance future scientist careers, knowledge sharing and research improvement on the field of environmental protection. When I attended my first SETAC World congress in May 2012, I was amazed by the amount of information and knowledge that was offered to me, and all with a great organisation despite I did not stop seeing session rooms and corridors full of people. At the same time, I realised it is not only me and a few more who are worried about the status of the environment with respect to toxic compounds ‘attacking’ them. There were so many people, all with great ideas and marvellous intentions to changing things! I am very glad my supervisors gave me the opportunity to attend this conference and join this scientific group. I think SETAC could be the beginning of a very promising future for me and the world.” (A.A.S., student member)
Finances The revenue of SETAC Europe reached a record level in 2012 with more than 1.8 Million Euros due to the growth in scientific activities and membership. With a new accountancy advisor (Filip Gunst), accounting practices in the office have been realigned in order to meet the requirements of the vzw account auditors. Income and expenditures will now be accounted for in the year in which they are expected, instead of the year that invoices are paid. This will allow further clarity within our financial systems and budgetary processes, and prevent late or early payments to SETAC having apparent, impacts on actual results for the respective financial year. Membership General Membership fluctuated during 2012 but continues to grow. Whilst income was slightly less than budgeted this may reflect a change in the number of members in different categories, i.e. more student members. We discussed possible changes to our SETAC Europe Partner scheme by trying to attract more academic institutions and, whilst we missed our financial target in 2012, we are confident of attracting at least four more Partners (two academic and two private) in 2013. Annual Meeting From a financial perspective our annual meeting in Berlin (this year together with the World Congress) was a complete success, as we attracted more than 2500 delegates. Income from the meeting was above budget, around 1.32 M Euros whilst expenses were as budgeted at 0.84 M Euros. As this is our major income generator to finance the office operations we needed to secure 0.40 M Euros which was achieved. As a result, the global budget in 2012 (148K euro) can be used in the following years to span our activities.
Office and salaries Office operational expenses were slightly higher than budgeted in regards to personnel costs (26K Euro) partly due to the switch in Executive Directors. Depreciation and VAT Starting last year, attention was paid to depreciation of assets and VAT has not been budgeted for. As a consequence these have now been included in the 2012 accounting report as expenses. Non-recoverable debt With an improved accounting system we are now in a better position to follow up non payments of invoices and to include an estimate for non recoverable debt in future budgets. Assets and liabilities Our investments remain at 249K Euros.
Symposia The Special Science Symposia were established to be both focused topic meetings and income generators. The two SESSS planned for 2012 (dealing respectively with endocrine disruptors and ecosystem services) had a dissimilar outcome, as related to the number of delegates, but they compensated each other to give a net result above budget, with a total surplus of around 60K Euro. Another successful input to SocietyÂ´s balance was the Case Study Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment, held in Copenhagen, generating a net income of around 23K Euro.
FINANCIAL OVERVIEW 2012 EXPENDITURES Operations Rent & leasing Communication Postage Insurances Representation general Transportations Gifts Personal development Membership dues / subscriptions Service contracts Copies Office supplies Public relations Social secretariat Membership SETAC Journals Cost Sharing / Sponsorships / Outreach Sponsoring third party meetings, Outreach Advisory Groups Committees SETAC World cost sharing and reconciliation Awards & Grants External Projects SETAC Europe Governance Annual General Assembly Executive Committee and Council Meetings Venue scouting Annual Meeting 2011 Annual Meeting 2012 Annual Meeting 2013 LCA symposium 2012 Special Science Symposium (SESSS) NANO summerschool SETAC Africa Meeting Cameroon 2011/Nigeria 2012 Financial Depreciation office material Depreciation receivables Taxes Other Credit Card Charges Personnel Costs / Salaries Other / Contingency Exceptional Costs TOTAL EXPENDITURES
€ 92.359 € 31.094 € 9.860 € 3.000 € 5.000 € 7.000 € 4.400 € 1.000 € 3.000 € 900 € 9.305 € 2.800 € 7.000 € 4.000 € 4.000 € 23.257 € 59.078 € 3.000 € 2.500 € 500 € 53.078 € 18.000 € 6.200 € 8.850 € 250 € 8.600 € 953.954 € 750 € 841.140 € 28.368 € 80.946 € 2.750
€ 102.837 € 30.718 € 7.093 € 2.212 € 6.333 € 7.673 € 985 € 753 € 578 € 443 € 10.082 € 3.117 € 11.889 € 17.509 € 3.453 € 118.954 € 3.500 € 10.000 € 105.454 € 36.800 € 4.460 € 13.961 € 13.961 € 982.181 € 895 € 837.360 € 73.811 € 64.693 € 5.144 € 278
€ 25.000 € 25.000 € 345.319 € 73.500 € 1.605.517
€ 48.014 € 4.423 € 838 € 6.806 € 9.161 € 26.786 € 372.124 € 1.679.331
Annual Meeting 2012
LCA symposium 2012
Special Science Symposium (SESSS)
Individual membership fees
SETAC Europe Partnership
External project subsidies
SETAC EUROPE BALANCE SHEET 2011 Fixed assets
Tangible fixed assets
Long term loans and investments
Stock piles and orders
Short term receivables (<1 yr)
Transferred benefits and losses
Short term debts
REGIONAL BRANCHES Regional Branch Italy The SETAC Italian Branch, has organised an international workshop entitled Ecotoxicology of large marine vertebrates: potential sentinels of Good Environmental Status of marine environment, implication on European Marine Strategy, at the University of Siena (IT) on 31 January 2012. This event was supported by the Tuscany Region. The workshop had the goal to identify gaps where relevant research might be carried out to facilitate the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The specific remit was to discuss the potential use of large marine vertebrates (ranging from large pelagic fish, sea turtles, sea birds and cetaceans) in determining the environmental status of pelagic marine ecosystems, especially, but not exclusively, within the Mediterranean Sea. 90 participants from 8 countries (including non - EU countries such as Tunisia and Brazil) attended the meeting. Particular attention was paid to the qualitative descriptors 8 and 10 mentioned above. The workshop’s focus followed from the observation that within the text detailing descriptor 8, only 4 lines appear in which top predators are mentioned (Task Group 8 Report – Contaminant and Pollutant effects). Details can be found via the website http://www3.unisi.it/eventi/workshoplargemarinevertebrates
other members and guests. Guests from Russia, opened the discussion on Russian scientists and the potential relationships with SETAC. The main question was whether or not Russian scientists should join the CEE branch or start a new Russian branch. The latter was most recommended by participants of the meeting.
SETAC ILB has sponsored and contributed to the organisation of: - 2nd level Master in Quality systems: GXP & ISO at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, 2012, in collaboration with the Società di Scienze Farmacologiche Applicate. - 2nd level Master in Integrated evaluation of the quality of marine and coastal environment, management and conservation at the Università degli Studi di Siena, Polo Grossetano, 2012.
The 3rd SETAC Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) branch meeting was held from 17-19 September 2012 at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Entitled Ecotoxicology Revisited, the meeting was aimed at exploring fresh perspectives on problems in ecotoxicology and environmental chemistry, with a special emphasis on issues common to CEE countries. The meeting attracted about 100 delegates from 18 different countries including young scientists (65% were PhD students). Many attendees were not SETAC members prior to the conference and (hopefully) for them it was a good starting point to join the SETAC world family. To find out more about this meeting or view the conference proceedings, visit: www.eko.uj.edu.pl/setac-cee2012/. During 2012, the branch website www.setac-cee.cz was still running, enabling branch members and associated scientists to announce meetings related to environmental issues. In 2013, at the SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting in Glasgow, branch council members will meet and elect a new president. The future role of the branch will be discussed there, because excellent CEE scientists visit regular SETAC meetings, they communicate with their European colleagues and participate in international projects. Possibly the focus of the activities should be shifted more to south-east Europe and especially to Russia. However, while region-specific problems of south-east Europe might be covered by the CEE branch, a Russian region would be better managed by its own branch.
Regional Branch Central & Eastern Europe A small branch meeting was held during the SETAC World Congress in Berlin. Eleven participants discussed the further activities for the year, especially the branch meeting planned for September 2012. SETAC office support was one of the issues, as the branch is counting on SETAC Europe representatives. Our previous activities were also presented to
Regional Branch UK The SETAC UK Branch Conference entitled Bioavailability: Linking complex Environmental Chemistry with Environmental Response, held on 17 - 18 September 2012 was a resounding success. A milestone event, the meeting was particularly significant because of the collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry. The venue was RSC’s magnificent Burlington
The SETAC Italian Language Branch Annual Meeting 2012 was held during the SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting/6th SETAC World Congress in Berlin in May.
House, London. The prestigious venue of historical significance provided an ambience of grandeur echoing the achievements of great scientists. The busts of famous RSC legends, Dalton, Faraday and Davy lining the corridors provided poignant reminder of the significance of developments in chemistry and the valuable role prominent societies like SETAC and RSC fulfill. The conference was well attended and an engaging audience listened to speakers during the five sessions spread over two days. Some of the participants had travelled from as far as Japan and Nigeria in order to attend the event. The presentations from speakers conveyed state of the art research and innovative developments. Speakers covered various topical issues constituting post-graduate research and national and international projects of profound importance. The distinguished speakers included Francesco Falciani, John R Dean, Richard Handy and Christer Hogstrand. The theme of the conference dealt with serious scientific issues, but there were ample opportunities for informal discussions and friendly banter during lunch, refreshment breaks and conference evening dinner, organised at a delightful Covent Garden restaurant. Acknowledgement of the valuable role SETAC plays in providing the impetus for young scientists to become future trend setters was exemplified with the awarding of prizes for the best student presentation and poster. The conference proved to be a real success judged on the delegates’ positive feedback. This success is attributed to the proactive interaction of participants from the vibrant scientific community and the consolidated efforts of the SETAC UK Council members. Regional Branch Germany The SETAC World congress 2012 took place in Berlin, the capital of Germany. Needless to say that SETAC GLB wanted to support this event of the global SETAC society. Henner Hollert, a council member of SETAC GLB for many years, stepped in as local organiser for this meeting, enormously supported by his own working group and with help from the SETAC GLB council, too. A SETAC Regional Branches session titled ‘Regional Hot Topics’ was organised by SETAC GLB, exhibiting posters prepared by regional branch members on environmental topics focused on their part of the world such as antimicrobial resistance (Canada), micropollutants in wastewater (Germany), and e-wastes (Africa). In addition, SETAC GLB held its annual meeting in September 2012, hosted by the Umweltforschungszentrum (UFZ) in Leipzig. For the fifth time, it was a joint meeting with the group
Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). The meeting attracted more than 200 scientists, among them many students and early career scientists. The annual Young Scientist Award of GLB was officially handed over at this meeting. This year, the winners were Mirco Bundschuh, University of Landau, for his PhD thesis Application of ozone as tertiary treatment step to reduce the load of micropollutants – An ecotoxicological assessment at various levels of ecological complexity and Markus Brinkmann, RWTH Aachen University, for his master thesis Uptake and effects of particle-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from sediment suspensions in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum). The next annual meeting of SETAC GLB will be
held 23 – 26 September 2013 at the University of DuisburgEssen in Essen, Germany. Another regular activity of SETAC GLB, in cooperation with the GDCh, is the organisation of a post-gradual training course offering a certificate. This activity is now in its 9th year and the number of graduates is steadily increasing. Regional Branch Africa | A new Geographic Unit The first major achievement for SETAC Africa in 2012 was the attainment of an independent Geographic Unit (GU) status, which was declared by the SETAC World Council at the SETAC World Congress in Berlin. This great realisation crowned the efforts made by many individuals. SETAC Africa was represented at this meeting by its General Secretary, Silke Bollmohr. She presented a beautiful poster about SETAC Africa. In addition, she held a meeting with SETAC Africa members and discussed pertinent issues of concern. The new GU is with the challenge of living up to its new status. The first major task was to increase awareness about SETAC Africa among current and potential members, which was achieved by publishing and circulating the maiden issue of our newsletter, thanks to the hard work of Silke. This newsletter was read with great interest by many who expressed their joy at such an initiative. In the newsletter the 5th biennial conference from the 2 - 5 September 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia, was announced. This will be the first conference as a GU and the intention is to make it the biggest so far. A first announcement was published on the SETAC website, and the information was circulated widely. Patricia Bi Asanga Fai, SETAC Africa’s Acting President, says: “The establishment of relationships with local and international organisations, including businesses in Africa, African governments and NGOs, is one of our primary aims. Our treasurer, Aviti Mochi, on the invitation of Mike Mozur attended the ICCM in Kenya thanks to SETAC Global sponsorship where he made useful contacts. In November 2012 I represented SETAC Africa at the SETAC World Council Long Range Planning meeting in Long Beach, California during the last SETAC North America annual meeting. There the SETAC Africa conference was publicised and several scientists and businesses showed an interest to participate.”
COMMITTEES Awards The SETAC Europe Awards Committee solicits nominations for SETAC Europe awards and advises the SETAC Europe council on the selection of award winners. The Committee indentifies potential areas for new awards and looks for funding resources that will allow SETAC Europe to expand its award programme. Dorothea Gilbert
Lisbeth Van Cauwenberghe
Please contact the chair of the awards committee if you would like to join the Awards Committee, or if could spend a couple of hours in the early spring to review candidatures for the Best Publication Awards.
Since 2012 this committee is chaired by Tania Alvares. Her impressions: “I took on the responsibility of chairing the Awards Committee. I found this to be a quiet activity, until the early spring 2012 heralded a short sharp burst of frantic activity for the solicitation, review and election of the Environmental Education Award and the Best Publication Awards. Although few and a bit last-minute, the quality of the applications was excellent. Marten Scheffer was designated as the winner of the 2012 NOACK Laboratorien Environmental Education Award; the Best Publication Award winners were Mirco Bundschuh for the RifCon Award, Thomas Sizmur for the Eurofins Award, and Karina Petersen for the AstraZeneca Award. These were happily presented at the closing ceremony in Berlin. For the 2013 BPA awards we tried to increase the visibility of these awards and advertised more widely in the autumn of 2012, as they present an excellent opportunity to celebrate the achievements of young scientists, and enable them to attend the annual SETAC meeting for free – a fantastic help in these hard financial times. I am very pleased to say that for 2013 we have received far more entries, and once again they look to be of excellent quality. I was amazed by how many young people were working during the Christmas holidays, and how motivated they are by deadlines – most entries arrived in the late hours of December 31st! I look forward to meeting the next winners in Glasgow. Lastly I must thank many people, both in the Awards Committee and the randomly chosen independent reviewers that give up their time to help us choose the winners – we can’t do without you!” In 2012 the following awards were presented: Young Scientist Award sponsored by ECETOC for best platform presentation: Dorothea Gilbert (Aarhus University, Denmark) for a talk entitled Passive dosing under the microscope reveals that microorganisms enhance the mass transfer of hydrophobic organic chemicals.
Young Scientist Award sponsored by the Tom Feijtel Fund for best poster presentation: Lisbeth Van Cauwenberghe (University of Gent, Belgium) for a paper entitled Selective uptake of microplastics by a marine bivalve (Mytilus edulis). Eurofins /SETAC Europe Best Publication Award for Chemical Analysis and Environmental Monitoring: Thomas Sizmur (University of Reading, UK) for a paper entitled Impact of gut passage and mucus secreation by Lumbricus terrestris on mobility and speciation of As in contaminated soil. Astra Zeneca /SETAC Europe Best Publication Award for Risk Assessment, Modelling and Theoretical Studies: Karina Petersen (NIVA, Norway) for a paper entitled Assessing combined toxicity of estrogen receptor agonists in a primary culture of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) hepatocytes. RifCon /SETAC Europe Best Publication Award for Ecotoxicology: Mirco Bundschuh (University of KoblenzLandau, Germany) for a paper entitled Ozonation of secondary treated wastewater reduces ecotoxicity to Gammarus fossarum (Crustacea; Amphipoda): Are loads of (micro) pollutants responsible? SETAC Europe Environmental Education Award sponsored by NOACK Laboratorien: Marten Scheffer (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) for being such a successful, suprising and inspiring scientist. SETAC Europe Award for Lifetime Achievement in Life Cycle Assessment sponsored by EDANA: Bengt Steen (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) for his achievements in the field of LCA and particularly LCIA with the Environmental Priority Strategies (EPS) system. SETAC Europe Life Cycle Assessment Young Scientist Award sponsored by PE International: Miguel Brandão (International Life Cycle Academy, Spain) for his several contributions to the LCA field.
Education & Publications The purpose of this Committee is to plan and coordinate activities of SETAC Europe as related to continuing education of the membership and development of educational information for the general public. The Education & Publication Committee was involved in several activities, namely the screening of the annual meeting short courses. The evaluation procedure includes written forms and discussions via phone conference for final agreements. There was a very high number of proposals for Berlin (24), overlapping topics were suggested to merge or to focus on the different aspects to keep individual courses. The SETAC Europe Summer Schools were implemented. Courses were pre-assessed by the committee for quality assurance and basic criteria fulfillment. All information is available online at the SETAC site, go and have a look at http://summerschool.setac.eu. Seven summer (+ winter) schools were available in 2012. The SETAC office prepared the leaflet to advertise summer schools, which was distributed at the annual meeting in Berlin together with the bag documents – this was thought to be beneficial as it increased visibility. A call for 2013 courses was launched via the SETAC Globe, and the website has been updated and improved.
Finance The Finance Committee gives advice and makes recommendations on policy and operating procedures to the Council and Executive Director on all aspects of SETAC Europe´s finances. This includes The Education and Publication committee members are working the annual operating on a European Risk Assessors SETAC-accredited programme for budget, increasing professional training, which is expect to provide an excellent S ETAC ´ s financial opportunity for SETAC (student) members. base, membership dues charges, fee structure for meetings, short courses and publications, and long range planning for SETAC. In 2012, we faced a significant (but smooth) renovation process in the financial team at SETAC. In the Brussels office a new Executive Director (Bart Bosveld) was appointed, together with a new ccountant (Filip Gunst). Additionally, a new treasurer (Jose Julio Ortega) took over the excellent work carried out by his predecessor (David Philips), together with an enthusiastic group of new committee members (Paolo Masoni, Mónica Amorim and Tania Alvarez). They all had an easy start by harvesting the excellent economical results from the Berlin campaign! Membership & Public Relations In 2012, a new internet platform was installed; go and have a look at www.setac.org. Although we have had a few typical teething problems, the system is running smoothly now. We already started implementing the first things for an individual SETAC Europe page and are now in the position to make the website clearer and easier to navigate, especially for members and non-members who are not regular visitors. As mentioned in the SETAC Europe 2011 annual report, we now have a better tailored partner programme for academic, non-profit and profit organisations, reflecting the tripartite structure of SETAC. Starting at the SETAC event in Berlin, the committee members hope to gain more academic and non-profit partners. Currently the 19 SETAC Europe partners are not really in a good balance, so we are still looking for non-profit and academic As in every SETAC Europe committee you do not need to be in partner organisations. For the SETAC Europe council to get involved. Feel free to contact 2013 we hope to harvest the SETAC office or a committee chair, if you want to be part from what we planted in of the team. 2012.
Regional Branches The SETAC Europe Regional Branches and International Programmes Committee advises on policy with regard to SETAC Europe Regional Branches and acts as the liaison between the SETAC Europe Council and the regional Branches. As always, the 2012 activities of the Regional Branches and International Programmes Committee were to support initiatives of the Branches and to develop a uniform model for organisation structures of the SETAC Europe Branches. More about the invidual branches on page 10 of this annual report Nominations It is the charge of the Nominations Committee to prepare a list of nominees for election to the council of SETAC Europe (SE), and identifying SETAC Europe representatives to the SETAC World Council (SWC). The Committee is also responsible for identifying candidates to serve as vice president and treasurer, and if necessary president, for the council. The composition of the council should reflect the membership and diversity within the council will aid in providing a broad range of perspectives useful in decision making. The SETAC Europe Nominations Committee invites and encourages SETAC members in Europe to consider nominating themselves or colleagues to stand up for elections to SETAC Europe Council. Science In 2012 the SETAC Science Committee organised a successful booth for the SETAC Advisory Groups during the SETAC World meeting in Berlin. In the booth the groups presented themselves via a poster on their current activities and future plans. The booth was so successful that it was also offered during the North America annual meeting in Long Beach. In 2012 the SETAC Europe Science Committee contributed to and played an active role in the organisation of workshops and SESSS meetings. At the time of writing, the Modelink workshop has successfully held its first meeting and is moving forward with its second meeting in April 2013. A risk mitigation workshop is in preparation and will be supported from the Science Committee. SESSS meetings are SETAC Special Symposia focusing on specific topics and targeting a wide audience of all stakeholder groups. The SESSS meetings on ecosystem services and endocrine disruption held in 2012 were successful and attracted a wide audience. For 2013 three SESSS meetings are being planned and those will be a successful follow-up of the long line of SESSS meetings organised over the last years.
Student Advisory Council The SETAC Europe Student Advisory Council (SAC) organised three activities for the 6th SETAC World Congress/SETAC Europe 22nd Annual Meeting in Berlin, Germany. During a Mentor Lunch (co-organised with the North American SAC) nearly 80 students had the opportunity to meet and chat with established scientists from all over the world in a relaxed atmosphere. Three Career Talks – held by Ralf B. Schäfer, Lúcia Guilhermino, and John Sumpter – provided useful insights into academic careers. Furthermore, the annual Student Assembly was held. During the rest of the year, the SAC – together with the Scientific Committee chaired by Michael Melato and the Local Organising Committee chaired by Dragan Jevtić– was busy preparing the 3rd Young Environmental Scientists (YES) Meeting taking place in February 2013, at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. The SAC is composed of Annika Agatz (University of York, England), Grazia Barberio (ENEA, Italy), Markus Brinkmann (past-chair; RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Dominic Englert (University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany), Tilman Floehr (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Dragan Jevtić (co-chair; Jagiellonian University, Poland), Varja Knežević (University of Novi Sad, Serbia), Michael Melato (Cape Peninsula University, South Africa), Mirco Weil (ECT Oekotoxikologie GmbH, Germany), and Jochen Zubrod (chair; University of KoblenzLandau, Germany). For more information about SETAC Europe SAC visit http://www.sac-online.eu.
ADVISORY GROUPS DOTTS | Dung Organism Toxicity Testing The DOTTS group has a flat structure. Since 2002, the group is organised by a small group of 13 active members. Decisions are made during the annual meetings, usually by acclamation. Several non-members regularly contribute to the group activities. Due to its small size, most communication is done during the annual meetings (face-to-face) or through e-mail. The group is chaired by Jรถrg Rรถmbke. The affiliation of members is: business (= 9), academia (= 9) and government (= 9).
out and featured the largest SETAC Case Study Symposium to date. This event featured 11 sessions, two workshops devoted to Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment and Social LCA, and an interactive Ecodesign session. New features included a software developers fair and a new format for the poster session (dine & discuss) were positively received by the participants. The partnership with the local organisers (University of Technology, Denmark) and the involvement of the Scandinavian LCA network (NorLCA) can certainly be seen as important success factors.
Recent publications: Lumaret, J-P., Errouissi, F., Floate, K., Roembke, J. & Wardhaugh, K. (2012): A review on the toxicity and non-target effects of macrocyclic lactones in the terrestrial and aquatic environment. Curr. Pharm. Biotech. 13: 1004-1060. Adler, N., J. Bachmann and J. Rรถmbke (2013): New test strategy for dung beetles during the authorization process of parasiticides. Integ. Envir. Assess. Manag. In press The work of the group was presented with a poster in at the SETAC meeting in Long Beach, USA
This year two awards were given: The LCA Young Scientist Award went to Miguel Brandao for his research in the field of land use assessment and consequential modeling. Bengt Steen was elected to receive the LCA Life Time Achievement Award.
Future Plans As the work on the standardisation of test guidelines is almost completed, the the focus of the group has shifted to the improvement of test strategies and risk assessment procedures (see the publication of Adler et al. in IEAM. Starting from a joint meeting during the Berlin congress, DOTTS will intensify its cooperation with people working on the fate of veterinary pharmaceuticals in dung. DOTTS members will meet during the next SETAC Europe meeting in Glasgow in May 2013. Depending on the outcome of a meeting with EMA staff, further meetings may become necessary. LCA | Life Cycle Assessment In 2012 the LCA Advisory Group (LCA AG) continued in realising the ambitious plans to strengthen and foster LCA within SETAC. In view of planning and organising LCA sessions and conferences two important milestones have been achieved: the LCA session track at the SETAC Annual Meeting in Berlin (7 sessions, with several poster presentations), and the 18th Case Study Symposium in Copenhagen which was completely sold
Looking ahead, the LCA AG has further shaped its strategic plan to consolidate its adherence to the SETAC mission, linking its planned and foreseen activities to different action programs of SETAC. The WG on Toxic Footprint within SETAC is developing as important interface between LCA activities and other relevant sections in SETAC. Another important activity is the scientific support for the international standardization process. As agenda member of the LCA Global Coordinating Group (LC A GCG), the LCA AG is involved in the two standardization projects in ISO TC 207: the SC5 WG on ISO DIS 14046 version 2 (water footprint) and the SC5 WG on critical review. In view of the increasing number and diversity of initiatives on national and European level, develop and promoting LCA on regulatory level but also in view of applicability and practicability, the key challenge for LCA AG in the upcoming years can be seen in sharpening the LCA profile within SETAC. EMAG-PEST | Environmental Monitoring Advisory Group on Pesticides The EMAG-PEST group is structured into four working groups: Terrestrial vertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates including foliar and soil organisms, surface water and aquatic organisms and ground water. Each subgroup has two co-chairs. Previously aquatic organisms were dealt with group and surface and ground water were dealt with in another group. This reorganisation has lead
to the nomination of new co-chairs. Group communication involves several teleconferences a year and an annual meeting organised alongside the SETAC Europe meeting. Short-term and long –term involvement in various forums/ meetings are as follows: • The group has organised two sessions in consecutive SETAC meetings dedicated to monitoring of pesticides, with the aim to gather what the scientific community counts in experts and users of monitoring studies. Both sessions have allowed to increase the number of participants and contributed to build our network. A third session is being proposed for 2013 in Glasgow. • The group is regularly invited to present its work in other scientific meetings like the annual Informa meeting and the Fresenius meeting on ecotoxicology. Four presentations have been given so far. • The group is connected with the Modelink advisory group. Future Plans: The group plans to publish recommendations on implementing and evaluating monitoring studies in the context of the regulatory evaluation of pesticides. The format of this publication is not yet decided as the needs for each covered by the four working groups might differ, although the approach to address the work is similar. It is also planned to build a network to advise regulatory risk assessors and industries when implementing/ evaluating monitoring studies. MEMORISK | Mechanistic Effect Models for Ecological Risk Assessment The MeMoRisk Advisory Group is focussing on the use of mechanistic effect models within the European Framework for authorisation and registration of chemicals like plant protection product, biocides, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals. The group is looking back on five successful years of MeMoRisk. Mechanistic effect modelling seems to be considered more and more as a promising tool to achieve ecologically more relevant To join one of these Advisory Groups, simply go to setac.org > get involved > advisory groups
risk assessment of chemicals. For example, the European Food Safety Administration has asked its Scientific Panel to prepare a Guidance Document on mechanistic effect modelling approaches for regulatory risk assessment of pesticides for aquatic organisms. Regarding chemical risk assessment in general, the Scientific Committees of the EU (SCCS, SCHER, SCENIHR) have written a preliminary report on Addressing the New Challenges for Risk Assessment where e.g. ‘the development of ecological models’ is explicitly recommended. During the SETAC World Meeting 2012 in Berlin, a special session was held on Ecological modelling in support of terrestrial risk assessments organised by Pernille Thorbek, Wayne Munn and Volker Grimm. Effect modelling was also represented in several other sessions. During the MeMoRisk group meeting, the SETAC Europe technical workshop MODELINK was introduced by Udo Hommen. MODELINK is focussing on the use of especially TK/ TD and population models in the risk assessment of pesticides. Based on experiences in six case studies covering different taxonomic groups and different regulatory questions guidance will be provided for when and how to apply ecological models to regulatory risk assessment. Mary Sorensen announced that the Ecological Risk Assessment AG has become global in 2012 and Frederic De Laender presented the aims of the new Extreme stress events and ecosystem recovery advisory group. Possibilities for cooperations were discussed and it was concluded that while until now, MEMoRisk is focussing on Effect Models for pesticide risk assessment in the EU, in the future it should be an important MEMoRisk activity to spread out its activities to other regulations and other geographical regions. As a first step, there was a joined ERAAG - MeMoRisk session at the SETAC North America meeting.
the report of the session are available upon request. As decided at the first meeting in Berlin, the preparation of a manuscript was initiated in summer 2012. In September a Skype call was organised to discuss the outline of the paper. Some members gave input via email. In October, the outline of the paper was revised based on the feedback received and all authors were asked to indicate where they wanted to contribute. In November, most authors replied where and how they wanted to contribute. In the meantime all authors were invited to insert their contribution. The resulting draft will be discussed at the SETAC meeting in Glasgow in May 2013. In 2012, both the group chair and co-chair have invested considerable effort in contacting potential candidates from industry and government to equilibrate the steering committee, which is currently dominated by academia. These efforts have resulted in two government members: Dick De Zwart (RIVM, The Netherlands) and Mark Kirby (Emergency Response & Offshore Industries Programme Leader, Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, UK). At the moment, Frederik De Laender is communicating with oil industry affiliates to join the steering committee. The number of members of the group is an issue of concern. Despite efforts by the steering committee, who was presenting posters of the group in Long Beach and in Berlin and announcing the existence of the group during platform sessions. A Globe article was dedicated to the group to raise new members. In 2013, the steering committee will continue to address this challenge and think about alternative approaches to raise awareness.
EXCESS | Effects of Extreme Stress events on ecosystems The long term objective of this Advisory Group is to promote research on ecosystem impacts of chemical spills and subsequent recovery. Its first short term objective is to assemble expertise on all related aspects, going from monitoring to predictive modeling and to synthesize this expertise in a publication. At the SETAC World Congress in Berlin there was a group meeting as well as a session on oil spills, chaired by Matthijs Smit and Frederik De Laender. The minutes of the meeting and
OTHER ACTIVITIES 5th SETAC Europe Special Science Symposium: Ecosystem Services: From Policy to Practice This two-day symposium took place in Brussels, 15-16 February 2012. An ecosystem services approach may result in risk assessment schemes with more relevant test organisms and endpoints. “We must link typical risk measurement endpoints on individuals to the providers of ecosystem services (i.e. populations or groups of populations) and their key functions”, was one of the statements discussed at the 5th SESSS on ecosystem services. This symposium, which was attended by over 60 participants from 17 countries, provided an overview of the use of the ecosystem services concept, ranging from policy views to practical applications. There was general consensus that the ecosystem services concept is regarded as a guiding principle for sustainability and is accepted and endorsed by policy makers, academics, industry, practitioners and funding agencies. The symposium highlighted a number of opportunities associated with implementing the ecosystem service approach in environmental management and protection, but also identified several scientific and technical challenges that remain to be addressed in order to fully implement this approach. These include increasing our understanding of the spatial and temporal distribution of ecosystem service provision and utilisation and developing models to quantitatively link stressor- and managementinduced effects on organisms and ecological processes to changes in ecosystem service delivery. The symposium was co-chaired by Joke van Wensem and Lorraine Maltby, who were ably assisted by a steering committee of Eamonn Farrelly, Udo Hommen, Katja Knauer, Thomas Koellner, and Paulo Sousa. Papers presented at this symposium will be published in a special issue of the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management in spring 2013. 6th SETAC Europe Special Science Symposium: Environmental Endocrine Disrupter Testing and Evaluation This symposium, co-chaired by Annegaaike Leopold and Peter Matthiessen, was held in Brussels on 24-25 October 2012 and attended by over 120 scientists and regulators
(a sellout!). The largest group of attendees was from the chemical industry, but substantial numbers of regulatory and academic specialists also took part. The meeting was generously sponsored by European Crop Protection, Solvay, Wildlife International Ltd, BASF, CEFIC, Syngenta, ECETOC, Smithers Viscient, and WCA Environment. The purpose of the meeting was to address the highly topical issue of how suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) should be tested and regulated. This is now top of the regulatory agenda in the EU and US, but substantial work is still needed to develop a full suite of EDC-sensitive testing methods, hazard assessment procedures and risk evaluation programmes. Attendees heard that endocrine disruption, caused by both natural and synthetic chemicals, is still an important issue for wildlife, and that a decade’s hard work at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had already validated many useful new chemical testing methods. However, it has become apparent that the EU will regulate many chemicals on the basis of their intrinsic hazards as EDCs, by-passing risk assessment. This differs from the line to be taken in the US and Japan, although it is recognised that the special properties of EDCs may require new approaches. The symposium addressed all these issues, and in particular heard about new testing methods and strategies which will in future be used to test very large number of existing chemicals in a much more efficient way, with greatly reduced use of animals. There was also useful discussion about how the EU regulatory criteria can be drafted so as to identify in particular those EDCs which are a real threat to the environment. As a next step following this successful symposium a Focused Topic Meeting under SETAC NA flag will be held. This meeting will discuss Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Testing and Risk Assessment Approaches and Implications, focusing primarily on the US approach.
SETAC Europe Nano Training School: Synthesis, Characterisation, Ecotoxicity, Hazard and Risk Assessment of Engineered Nanoparticles Environmental research activity on nanomaterials is growing rapidly, and with every new field of science comes the need to train new scientists. To this end, SETAC Europe has held the first Nano Winter Training School on the Synthesis, Characterisation, Ecotoxicity, Hazard and Risk Assessment of Engineered Nanoparticles at the University of Plymouth, from 4 - 6 January 2012.
The training event could not have taken place without the dedicated support of several academic staff, and the students learned from international experts including Professors Rik
ENNSATOX: ENgineered Nanoparticle Impact on Aquatic Environments: Structure, Activity and Toxicology ENNSATOX was launched in 2009 to produce a global and integrated toxicology study that relates the structure and functionality of well characterised engineered nanoparticles to their biological activity in the aquatic environment. Beforehand it would have seemed tremendously challenging to say that this target would be achieved in 36 months, as it was, but now that this FP7 project has come to the end of its funding period it is clear that the 7 consortium partners have done a great job.
The event was hosted by Richard Handy, the director of the Ecotoxicology Research & Innovation Centre for the University. The event was co-sponsored by two EU projects, ENNSATOX and Nanofate. ENNSATOX is concerned with the fate, behaviour and toxicity of nanoparticles in the aquatic environment, focussing on marine and estuarine impacts. It is coordinated by the University of Leeds in the UK. SETAC Europe is dissemination partner for the ENNSATOX project. NanoFate is concerned with the fate of nanoparticles and nanomaterials in freshwater environments and soil. It is coordinated by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK. Plymouth University is a member of NanoImpactNet a multidisciplinary European network on the health and environmental impact of nanomaterials, and the training activity was supported by several laboratory staff working on the new FP7 project, MARINA, which is about managing the risks of engineered nanomaterials. The training school was definitely hands on in the laboratory. After some lectures to set the scene, students went through the process of making gold nanoparticle dispersions, doing the chemical characterisation including nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA, using instruments from Nanosight). On the second day of the course the students learned a range of simple optical methods for monitoring dispersions of particles using spectrophotometers, and determined the critical coagulation concentration of their materials. The third day of the course focused on biological effects with a toxicity test of copper nanoparticles using Daphnia sp. (water fleas), and this also highlighted some methodological issues relating to dosing test systems and dispersing materials in ecotoxicity tests. In the afternoon the students received a practical demonstration of inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICPOES) to measure metallic nanoparticles, and also single particle ICP-MS for measuring particles in tissue digests.
• GIS-based modeling of chemical fate, transport and impacts for policy support (Trento, Italy, 23 - 29 July 2012) • Practical approach to ecotoxicogenomics (University of Aveiro, Portugal, 3 - 7 September 2012)
Like the previous terms, the Brussels office was committed to disseminate the project’s activities and to represent the consortium in the environmental research community around the globe... 2012 was definitely becoming a promising year. Together with the NanoFATE project, the Brussels office organised a Winterschool on nanoparticles research (Plymouth, UK) and a Knowledge Transfer meeting (Leeds, UK). The consortium was promoted via a newsletter and website, and all project partners were facilitated to present their results at the well-attended 6th SETAC World congress (Berlin). Finally, the project was also introduced to the wider scientific community via two publications in internationally renowned science journals: EU Research and the International Innovation Report of Research Media Ltd.
Brydson and Andrew Nelson (University of Leeds), Dr Claus Svendsen (CEH), Prof. James Readman (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), and Prof. Richard Owen (University of Exeter). Summer schools in 2012: • Ecotoxicology of amphibians and reptiles: from theory to practice (University of Aveiro, Portugal, 16 - 20 April 2012) • Implications of nanomaterials: A hands on course on synthesis, characterisation, and ecotoxicology (University of Aveiro, Portugal, 28 May - 1 June 2012) • Advanced course on protein profiling of microorganisms (University of Aveiro, Portugal, 13 - 19 July 2012)
But it was not only dissemination, it was even more a pleasure and great experience to see an integrated approach among the project partners, and their efforts to bridge the gap between different environmental key science areas … all with the common target to better understand the environment. New questions are being opened up, and the positive impact of the project will continue for some time, influencing further research and also giving the partners their next challenges. The EU recently rated the ENNSATOX project first class, a great honor to experience and definitely a proof that SETAC can act as an excellent dissemination partner in other FP7 projects in the near future.
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