SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
14 July 2016
Volume 17 Issue 7
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A Summary of the SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting in Nantes, France

Thierry Burgeot and Laurent Lagadic, Co-Chairs of the Program Committee, Bart Bosveld, SETAC Europe Executive Director, Roel Evens, SETAC Europe Scientific Project Manager, and Delphine Delire, SETAC Europe Communications Manager

Clisson dancers and Bagdad of Nantes
Clisson dancers and Bagad of Nantes performance during the opening ceremony.

The SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting took place in the inviting atmosphere and style of Nantes, France. The success of this meeting was evidenced by the 2,010 participating delegates and 43 supporting exhibitors. The opening ceremony featured a dynamic performance of the traditional dancers of Clisson together with musicians of the Bagad of Nantes. Thomas Maes from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), UK, followed with an informative keynote presentation on the scientific issues of microplastic pollution. The second keynote speaker, Arja Rautio from Oulu University, Finland, gave an inspiring talk on Monday on how climate change is affecting the distribution of PCBs and mercury in circumpolar regions. Marc Léonard from L'Oréal Advanced Research, France, followed on Tuesday and provided an illustratative and didactic presentation about research supporting the development of bioassays and embryonic tests in fish for risk assessment of cosmetics and personal care products.

Overall, this year’s meeting featured 70 sessions and seven special sessions, which took place at the congress centre “La Cité.” Some of the meeting rooms were filled to capacity or overflowing based on the large attendance of the sessions. The price of success! The bright open space of the congress centre was dedicated to the exhibitors and poster presentations, promoting networking and exchanges among participants. A number of traditional and hot topics were presented and discussed, thanks to the contributions of the congress participants.

Science Slam winner Louise
Louise-Emmanuelle Paris during her winning Science Slam presentation.

The Science Slam was held for the third consective year, and participants demonstrated their research in an ingenius and creative way. Thanks to the participants along with the the humorous hosts, former science slam winners Michele De Rosa and Òscar Aznar Alemany, the audience enjoyed a very relaxing and entertaining show. Louise-Emmanuelle Paris from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Canada, was crowned the Science Slam winner! She presented her project on metals in a very engaging and fun way that was well received by the audience.

At the closing ceremony, four “wrap up keynote speakers” presented their views on the scientific highlights of the meeting. Todd Gouin, Unilever, UK, summarized the environmental chemistry contributions. He mainly focused on studies that characterize freely dissolved concentrations in test systems (parent compounds, metabolites and their mixtures) that help to quanity exposure and that can provide mechanistic insight regarding environmental fate. In addition he highlighted several sampling and modeling techniques that can help in that regard. Ketyl Hylland, University of Oslo, Norway, summarized the ecotoxicology presentations and emphasized the urge to integrate informatics in -omics and epigenetics research, as well as the challenges we still face to unravel how exposure and consequences in nature compare to results from experimental settings. Véronique Poulsen with the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) summarized the sessions on environmental risk assessment and concluded that there is a strong need for testing scenarios and ecological and mechanistic models that can link effects to more realistic exposure. Serenella Sala, European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), Italy, reviewed the life cycle assessment and sustanability sessions. She introduced the audience to the Global LCA Data Access Network that functions as a structure that brings together scattered initiatives from data collection to interpretation and to decision support. She also underlined the need to move towards more transdisciplinary research where socioeconomic evaluations are integrated into environmental decision-making.

The closing ceremony took place in a friendly atmosphere despite of labor strikes on the streets, which complicated participant’s transportation to the railway station and the airport. We can only regret such a situation and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The SETAC Europe 26th Annual Meeting in Nantes fostered the exchanges between academic, business and governmental organizations in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. It helped improve the understanding of current environmental issues and strengthened existing and initiated new collaborations, together contributing to a sustainable environment and “Environmental Quality Through Science®.”

Authors’ contact information: Thierry.Burgeot@ifremer.fr, laurent.lagadic@bayer.com, bart.bosveld@setac.org , roel.evens@setac.org and delphine.delire@setac.org

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