SETAC Cartagena: Global Horizon Scanning Project Special Session

Tatiana Furley, Aplysia Environmental Solutions and SETAC Latin America Immediate Past President; Helena de Assis, Parana University and SETAC World Council representative; and Yohana Velasco-Santamaría, Universidad de los Llanos and Coordinator of Nodo Llanos Red Colombiana de Mujeres Científicas, Colombia

The SETAC Latin America 13th Biennial Meeting was held from 15–18 September 2019 and was chaired by Boris Johnson-Restrepo from the Universidad de Cartagena. A total of 255 delegates from 25 countries attended the meeting, which featured a chemical risk symposium, three professional training courses, 11 keynote speakers and four parallel sessions that covered 12 relevant themes. Representatives from the SETAC World Council and SETAC Latin America Board of Directors, as well as SETAC staff and Executive Director Charles Menzie, attended this conference.

The Global Horizon Scanning Project was the theme of a Special Session at SETAC Cartagena. As a follow-up on to the publication of “Toward Sustainable Environmental Quality: Identifying Priority Research Questions for Latin America,” which captured the top 20 environmental issues in Latin America through participation in the SETAC Global Horizon Scanning Project (GSHP) and to understand the opportunities for research and innovation in the region, Tatiana Furley, Helena de Assis and Yohana Maria Santamaria chaired a special session called “Status of Priority Environmental Issues in Latin America: Opportunity for Research and Innovation.”

GHSP Special Session chairs

Yohana Velasco-Santamaría, Tatiana Heid Furley and Helena de Assis

Twenty-three oral presentations and posters were presented at the SETAC Cartagena meeting and the main topics included:

  • Risk characterization of mineral extraction like oil and gas
  • Climate change influence on fate and effects of pollutants and legislation
  • Understanding the complexity of pesticide toxicology in ecosystems
  • Algal toxins production and risk for human health
  • Impacts of pharmaceuticals and emergent contaminants from urban sewage in aquatic ecosystems
  • Solid waste effects and remediation
  • Water scarcity

The session brought together members from academia, government and business. It was very important to know the status of each theme in different Latin America countries and exchange views in the identified priority research questions.

We could clearly see that many of the environmental issues presented during the session were the same in different Latin America countries and also across different continents. Research from Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Norway and Spain covered issues like risks of oil and gas extraction and pesticides and emergent contaminants toxicology. We hope that research funding agencies likewise recognize the similarity in the research themes highlighted in this session and provide funds for intercontinental collaborations.

Authors’ contact information:, and

First SETAC Latin America Women’s Luncheon

Tatiana Furley, Aplysia Environmental Solutions and SETAC Latin America Immediate Past President
Setac Latin America Women's Luncheon speakers

Speakers from the first SETAC Latin America Women’s Luncheon

The first ever SETAC Latin America Women’s Luncheon was held during the SETAC Latin America 13th Biennial Meeting. The luncheon provided the 50 women registered for the event an opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another about a range of topics and experiences. Six women leaders from SETAC Latin America shared their personal stories, special challenges faced in advancing their careers and how they balanced obligations and expectations.

The speakers were Andrea Monroy-Licht, Yohana Maria Velasco-Santamaría and Beatriz Jaramillo-Colorado of Colombia; Karina Miglioranza of Argentina; and Helena de Assis and Tatiana Furley of Brazil. Participants were grouped together with one of the leaders at an informal lunch setting, which provided a relaxing environment for an open and sincere conversation. Some strategies were proposed with an aim to strengthen the participation of women in science in SETAC Latin America, which provides a great opportunity for these initiatives. Between them, the women shared a lot of “lessons learned.” It was a very inspiring moment. Thanks for these brave women!

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