SETAC Russian Language Branch Meeting and the International Bioassay School in Moscow
Dragan Jevtić, Jagiellonian University, Vera Terekhova, Moscow State University and Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, and Kamila Kydralieva, Kyrgyzstan Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology
The first meeting of the newly established SETAC Russian Language Branch (SETAC RLB) was held from 21–22 November at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in Moscow, Russia. It was co-orgainzed with the Laboratory of Soil Ecotoxicological Analysis (LETAP) and the Faculty of Soil Science of the Moscow State University. Set up as an international school aimed at young scientists, the meeting theme was “Biotesting Technologies in the Ecological Risk Assessment of Agrocenosis and Humic Substances.” In addition to the scientific agenda, the meeting included the first face-to-face meeting of the SETAC RLB Council, presentations of the SETAC Europe Student Advisory Council (SAC Europe), and a soft-skills workshop. Official languages of the meeting were English and Russian, with most presentations delivered in Russian.
The meeting attracted about 120 participants from various parts of Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan as well as Poland, Serbia, Germany and the USA. Many attendees were young scientists and not SETAC members prior to the meeting, so this presented a good opportunity for them to learn more about the society and join the SETAC family.
At the opening ceremony, Sergey Shoba, the dean of the Soil Science Faculty at MSU, Dan Olk of the United States Department of Agriculture, and Dragan Jevtić, the student representative of the SETAC Europe Council and Chair of SAC Europe, welcomed the delegates. Vera Terekhova from MSU and President of SETAC RLB followed and officially opened the meeting.
Presentations began right after the opening ceremony and covered a wide range of topicc, including a historical overview of toxicology methods followed by talks on soil organic matter degradation and humate samples preparation as well as environmental risk assessment methods for agricultural ecosystems.
A well-attended round table discussion on “SETAC and SETAC RLB for Young Scientists” was organized jointly by SAC Europe and the SETAC RLB Student Advisory Council (SETAC RLB SAC), and it gave Russian-speaking young scientists an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the work of SETAC Europe students. Tomica Mišljenović, Vice Chair of SAC Europe, announced the 4th Young Environmental Scientists Meeting to be held next year in Petnica Science Center in Serbia, and he extended an invitation to our Russian-speaking colleagues to join SETAC and attend the meeting.
The day continued with the inaugural SETAC RLB Council face-to-face meeting and an open presentation of RLB reports, by-laws and activities to be realized in cooperation with SETAC Europe and SETAC World. Attendees were invited to join SETAC annual meetings and SETAC advisory groups. Representatives of SETAC RLB SAC presented a strategy for young scientists’ activities within the branch. Taking into account the enthusiasm of the attendees, it seems that SETAC RLB is off to a good start!
The first day wrapped up with a welcome reception in the poster hall, which provided excellent networking opportunities. It is also worth mentioning that all posters were on display throughout the meeting, providing an opportunity for relaxed and stress-free discussions between poster authors and meeting attendees.
The second day featured a series of talks on terrestrial testing methods, covering a wide range of organisms and trophic levels. Meeting participants had an opportunity to get familiar with methods on ecotoxicity, genotoxicity and cytotoxicity assessments as well as methodological challenges in terms of sample preparation, test organisms culturing and the potential problems in environmental risk assessment posed by standardized test conditions neglecting the effect of abiotic environmental factors in the field.
The second day of the meeting ended with an awards ceremony for best poster presentations and a very successful soft-skills workshop on scientific writing and publishing held by Yakov Kuzyakov from the University of Göttingen, Germany.
Meeting organizers would like to thank the meeting sponsors: Lomonosov Moscow State University, Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Nonprofit Partnership “Humus Sapiens” and Europolytest Ltd. To find out more about this meeting or to view the conference proceedings, visit the LETAP website (in Russian). Visit the SETAC Russian Language Branch website for more information.
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