SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
10 April 2014
Volume 15 Issue 4

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Summer School on Dynamic Modelling of Toxic Effects

Nina Cedergreen, Copenhagen University, Tjalling Jager, VU University Amsterdam, and Roman Ashauer, University of York

A summer school on Dynamic Modelling of Toxic Effects will be held from 5–13 August 2014 at Søminestationen, Holbæk, Denmark.

The toxicity of a chemical depends on the properties of the compound and on the species that is exposed; it also depends on the exposure time, endpoint (e.g., growth, reproduction or survival) and exposure conditions (temperature, food level, etc.). In ecotoxicology, the interdependencies of these factors are generally ignored by rigid standardisation of the tests and descriptive summary statistics such as half maximal effective concentration (EC50) and No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC). We need a more mechanistic interpretation of toxicity to make an unbiased comparison of toxicity between species and chemicals, and to extrapolate the effects to untested exposure conditions. Because it is impossible to test all chemicals on all species under all possible exposure scenarios, extrapolation is of key importance for ecotoxicologists and environmental risk assessors.

Summer school

Mathematical modelling is a powerful tool to interpret the results of laboratory toxicity tests and to make educated extrapolations. The process of mechanistically modelling toxicity can be divided into two steps: toxicokinetics (TK) and toxicodynamics (TD). TK deals with the uptake, biotransformation and distribution of a chemical into the body of an organism, whereas TD deals with the next steps, from internal concentration of the active compound to effects on the organism over time.

This course will teach the basics of TK and TD modelling, how they can be linked, and how to analyse and interpret toxicity data on a mechanistic basis. For TK modelling, we will focus on 1- and 2-compartment models. TD modelling will be based on a simple Dynamic Energy Budget model (DEBkiss). The course will consist of a combination of lectures, computer exercises and discussions. The computer exercises will teach basic TKTD model-building and work with advanced pre-programmed models to fit more elaborate data sets. The output of the course will be individual reports where the students use their newly acquired skills to fit TKTD models to their own or provided data, and to interpret the results.

For more information visit the Dynamic Modelling of Toxic Effects website.

The registration deadline is 1 June 2014.

Authors' contact information:

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