SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
17 March 2016
Volume 17 Issue 2

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Six Good Reasons to Attend the SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting: A Taste of Nantes

Laurent Lagadic and Thierry Burgeot, SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, Delphine Delire and Roel Evens, SETAC Europe

The Local Organizing and Scientific committees of the SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting have joined efforts to offer you a memorable visit in Nantes, France. Here are six good reasons why you should not miss this meeting!

  1. Keynote Lectures
    Thomas Maes
    Thomas Maes

    These lectures will cover current hot topics in environmental science. On Sunday evening, Thomas Maes from the Center for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas, UK) will address the burning issue of microplastics in aquatic environments in the opening keynote lecture. Maes chairs the Oslo–Paris (OSPAR) Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment of the Northeast Atlantic Monitoring and Assessment Group and acts as the UK Expert on Marine Litter in the European task groups. Marine litter, including microplastics, is one of the descriptors detailed in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive designed towards achieving good environmental status defined as “Properties and quantities of marine litter so not to cause harm to the coastal and marine environment.” The European Marine Strategy Framework Directive states that marine litter needs to be at levels that do not adversely affect the ecosystems. However, so far good practices for adequate monitoring or impact determination are relatively sparse.

    Marc Léonard
    Marc Léonard
    On Monday, Marc Léonard (L’Oréal, France) will present on recent advances in the environmental risk assessment of personal care products. Léonard leads the Unit of Ecotoxicology in the Research and Innovation Division of L’Oréal. He is actively involved in the development of alternative testing methods. As human health goes hand-in-hand with environmental health, the cosmetics and personal care products industry is developing methods to anticipate the beneficial or negative effects of their products on humans and to evaluate their potential effects on the environment. Studies are conducted on model organisms such as unicellular algae, micro-crustaceans (daphnia), fish eggs and coral cells to name a few. Such methods should fulfill global regulatory requirements including, for example, the implementation of REACH.

    Arja Rautio
    Arja Rautio
    Arja Rautio (Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland) will give the Tuesday keynote lecture on interactions between climate change and environmental contamination by chemicals. As a national key expert in the Human Health Expert Group of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program and the Sustainable Development Working Group,  Rautio is involved in a number of international research initiatives on environmental health, social exclusion, and indigenous health and well-being. Climate change has the potential to threaten food and water security because of the contaminants that are released into the biosphere. Each time a new chemical is introduced, its effects on human health need to be carefully examined as well. This is a never-ending research endeavor, and multidisciplinary research projects are important when estimating future health risks.

  2. Special Sessions

    Considerable time will be allocated to special sessions, which traditionally focus on:

    1. Topics that are timely and of very high societal concern
    2. Specific environmental issues important to France as the hosting country of the meeting
    3. Topics beyond the core business of SETAC and how the society can build bridges with other fields of expertise

    Incisive talks and lively discussions are thus expected on the following topics:

    • Are we going about chemicals risk assessment for the aquatic environment the wrong way? – 2:00 p.m. on 25 May
    • Tendency towards higher complexity in environmental risk assessment of plant protection products: To accept or to avoid? – 8:10 a.m. on 24 May
    • Improving the usability of ecotoxicology in regulatory decision-making: Findings from a SETAC Pellston Workshop® – 8:10 a.m. on 23 May
    • The sustainability of wine production in France – 2:00 p.m. on 25 May
    • Consensus building in life cycle impact assessment: Experiences, achievements and challenges – 2:00 p.m. on 25 May
    • Ecotoxicological assessment and water quality monitoring in support of marine and freshwater legislation in Europe – 8:10 a.m. on 24 May
    • Science integrity and publication bias – 2:00 p.m. on 24 May

  3. Marine Monitoring: 

    Coastal areas are the receptacle for many environmental contaminants. A great research effort was achieved over the last 20 years to develop an ecosystem approach of the fate and biological effects of marine pollutants. Specific biological monitoring tools and chemical indicators have been developed under the OSPAR, HELCOM and Barcelona marine conventions, and the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The challenge for scientists to develop new indicators now depends on knowledge about trophic transfers of chemicals and on the biological mechanisms of exposure from the molecular level to the population and community levels. These approaches, based on known mechanisms of toxicity, can provide useful modeling tools for the interpretation of risk levels indicated by biomarker data and the levels of different chemicals measured in the environment.

    Look for the following sessions related to marine monitoring:

    • Biomonitoring of contaminants in the marine environment: Integration of biological and chemical approaches – 10:50 a.m. on 24 May
    • Ecotoxicological assessment and water quality monitoring in support of marine and freshwater legislation in Europe – 8:10 a.m. on 24 May

  4. SETAC Science Slam

    Once again, the SETAC Science Slam is coming to Nantes! Slammers will trade their laboratories and research offices for the stage to participate in the 3rd SETAC Science Slam from 16:30-18:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 25 May.

    They will surprise the audience by presenting their research topics in an unexpected way. Creativity and imagination will be their only limit.

    Have a look at our 2016 science slam teaser and see what some of our past science slam participants have to say about this experience. Apply now and submit your video before the 25 March deadline!

  5. SETAC Banquet

    The banquet will be held on Wednesday, 25 May, on a pleasant tributary of the Loire River, L’Erdre. Enjoy a three-hour cruise aboard the “Vessels of Nantes,” where you will get to see the castles along the river and the “petites folies,” pretty houses of ship owners and storekeepers from the 18th century. This cruise will be followed by a French-style open-air dance on the boat and along the riverbank.

  6. Flights to NantesEasy Travel to Nantes

    The local crew is ready to welcome you to Nantes! Nantes International Airport offers easy access with many direct flights from bigger European cities and connecting flights via London or Paris. The French capital is about two hours from Nantes by train. Hostesses will welcome you at the railway station or at the airport. Please consult the meeting website to learn more about this service. Free bus and tramway tickets will be offered to meeting attendees at the registration desk of the congress center starting on Sunday, 22 May, and taxi services are also available at the hotels. For your accommodation, a list of hotels is available on the meeting website.

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