Mirta Menone, SETAC Argentina President, and Fabi Lo Nostro, SETAC Argentina Past-President
Almost 320 people met at the VII SETAC Argentina Congress from 16–19 October 2018. As part of the meeting, SETAC Argentina celebrated its 20th anniversary!
The conference was held in the San Luis province near the geographical center of Argentina, famous for its rugged hills and the temperate climate of the dry Pampas meadows. In the northwest, there is the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park, whose ocher-colored sandstone features include canyons and the huge Potrero de la Aguada valley shaped like an amphitheater. Here, you can also find preserved tracks of dinosaurs, turtles and peregrine falcons. The host for the conference was the Universidad Nacional de San Luis, and the conference theme was “Uniting efforts for a sustainable environment.” A special thanks to the local organizing committee headed by Fabricio Cid for the successful SETAC Argentina meeting!
Professionals, undergraduate and postgraduate students, scientists and representatives of Argentinian business, academia and government offices, and special guests from Argentina, Scotland, Spain, Norway and Australia taught five one-day, pre-meeting courses. Additionally, there were seven plenary speakers, six round tables, 46 platform presentations and 294 posters. The abstract book is freely available on the meeting website.
Lead by Gaston Iturburu, the student representative within the SETAC Argentina council, students organized different activities, such as the mentor lunch and the “mate” debate–a huge roundtable for informal conversations about science, research experience abroad and the future perspectives from the students in the chapter.
Sixty-three percent of the presentations were by students, and 18 students were recognized for the merit of their poster or oral presentations, receiving scientific books as gifts to honor their accomplishments. Special mentions were also given to two people who were instrumental in building the first steps of SETAC in Argentina: Jorge Herkovit and Maria del Carmen Rios de Molina.
A new board of seven members for the SETAC Argentina Chapter was elected during the assembly, and these new officers will lead the activities for SETAC Argentina over the next two years (2019–2020):
- President: Karina Miglioranza
- Past-President: Mirta Menone
- Treasurer: Ariana Rossen
- Secretary: Ana María Gagneten
- Member Representative: Lidwina Bertrand
- Member Representative: Agustín Harte
- Student Representative: Macarena Rojo
Throughout the meeting, positive discussions and dialogue occurred among participants from academia, business and government. There was an increase in the number of attendees coming from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Paraguay, which allowed for excellent networking opportunities.
Finally, many thanks to all the colleagues that have contributed during these last 20 years to sustain SETAC in our country.