Sessions (co-)organised by Landau researchers @ SETAC AM in Brussels

In this post, we want to draw your attention to two sessions we are organising for the next SETAC Europe Annual Meeting.

The abstract submission for the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting to be held in Brussels between May 7 and 11, 2017 has recently opened and will close on November 23.  We would like to draw your attention to two sessions taking place at this meeting: the first one, entitled “Experimental approaches and field studies to investigate ecosystem integrity under multiple stress”, is organised by Mirco Bundschuh and me and is listed under the track “2 Ecotoxicology becomes stress ecology”. The second one, entitled “Wastewater effluents: How research can improve risk assessment and regulation”, is organised by Mirco together with Dean Leverett and listed under the track “4 Ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment of chemicals and other stressors and mixtures”. We hope that you consider submitting your work to one of these sessions. The abstracts for these sessions can be found below. You can access the abstract submission section of the webpage by clicking here.

All the best,

Mirco & Jochen

Experimental approaches and field studies to investigate ecosystem integrity under multiple stress

This session aims at discussing recent insights in the individual and combined impact of various stressors – which comprise amongst others anthropogenic chemical pollution, predation (including predator or alarm cues), temperature variation, invasive species etc. – on different levels of ecological complexity. Thereby, the impact on the physiology of individual organisms and the potential propagation of these effects to higher levels of ecological organization will be one focus topic. Moreover, contributions addressing the consequences of stressor-induced alterations in the community composition of prey and predator organisms on horizontal (within a trophic level) and vertical (across trophic levels) interactions within food webs under stress are invited. Studies using controlled experimental approaches (e.g., factorial designs) that further the mechanistic understanding of stressors’ interactions or correlational field studies are welcome. By doing so, the role of multiple stressors for the integrity of ecosystems’ structural and functional characteristics are discussed, fostering a more holistic and realistic assessment of risks associated with the use of organic and inorganic chemical stressors.

Wastewater effluents: How research can improve risk assessment and regulation

The vast majority of chemicals discharged to the aquatic environment are delivered in the form of effluents – aqueous mixtures of chemicals derived from industrial processes or the treatment of domestic sewage. Municipal wastewater treatment works are designed primarily to treat domestic wastewater and biological treatment processes are therefore employed to facilitate the removal of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, rather than to deal with the broad range of chemicals present in industrial and domestic wastewater. Additional ‘tertiary’ or ‘advanced’ treatments may help to deal with specific substances and reduce potential risks to the receiving environment. Moreover, the regulatory focus has shifted in recent years from industrial chemicals onto those derived from domestic sewage (e.g. pharmaceuticals, personal care products, etc).

This session will focus upon the considerable challenges, which underpin the risk assessment, regulation and control of these point-sources of chemical contamination. For this purpose, high quality information is required on the composition of effluents, the characteristics of the receiving environment, the sources of substances in the effluent, the effectiveness of advanced effluent treatments, and the effects of the substances (both alone and as a mixture) on ecosystems. Although this is an issue of global relevance, the systems used to monitor, control and regulate industrial and domestic sewage effluents differ among regions and countries. Some authorities focus on the overall ecotoxicological effects of effluents while others apply regulatory systems dealing with chemicals on a ‘substance by substance’ basis.

In this session we invite presentations which highlight how recent insights can be used to advance, support or challenge the regulatory processes that are applied to control wastewater effluents. This may include:

• Reviews of the effectiveness of regulations and procedures used to asses risk and control wastewater effluents, or substances entering wastewater systems,

• Chemical monitoring of wastewater effluents and the receiving environments • Sources of substances and potential source controls,

• The efficiency of new or existing treatment technologies and/or factors that may affect the viability of such treatments,

• The behaviour of substances discharged in effluents and their fate after discharge,

• Population-relevant ecotoxicological effects inferred by substances present within wastewater effluents (alone or in combination),

• Studies, which help to improve the resolution with which we can measure environmental change (e.g. following the introduction of new controls).