Chris Metcalfe, Trudy Watson-Leung and Nicole Riddell, SETAC Toronto Tri-chairs

The Planning Committee for the SETAC North America 40th Annual Meeting is hard at work preparing for the conference scheduled from 3–7 November 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you haven’t visited Toronto before, it is a great location for a SETAC conference. The convention center is located next to Lake Ontario and in the heart of the downtown entertainment district. Of special note, SETAC Toronto marks SETAC’s 40th anniversary, and there will be special events to celebrate the occasion. Please make this a must-attend conference for 2019!

The theme for meeting is “Great Together: Separate Challenges and Collective Solutions.” We chose this theme to convey meaning on several levels. We need collaborative approaches to address the many environmental problems that we share. This can apply to binational (Canada–USA, USA–Mexico) issues, but it can also apply to the role that we can play in addressing global problems. The theme also speaks to the opportunities for researchers from academia, government and the private sector, as well as communities and non-governmental organizations to work together to address environmental problems. Finally, the theme includes the concept of using holistic or whole ecosystem approaches to find solutions for environmental problems. We’ve summarized a few session ideas below to give you an idea of the scope of the conference theme.

Calling All Students and Early Career Professionals

Anyone can submit a session proposal, and it’s easier than you might think. You do not need to feel pressure to ensure you have all eight speakers already figured out (5–6 recruits is good), you just need an idea for a session that you know would be of value and interest to SETAC, a short description with a well-defined focus, clear content and educational goals, and a willingness to chair the session during the meeting.

Remember, the deadline for submitting session topics is 20 February 2019.

We encourage you to submit proposals for sessions that are consistent with the conference theme. One way to highlight your session topic is to propose it as a Spotlight Session. SETAC defines Spotlight Sessions as those that “address cutting-edge scientific topics, which are related to the central theme of the annual meeting: A topic of regional importance to the location of the annual meeting, an issue currently of high societal concern, a topic that contributes to SETAC long-range planning, or an area that stimulates transdisciplinary collaboration.” These spotlight sessions do not necessarily have to be in a standard platform or poster format as they can include panel discussions, poster corners, etc.

Think Outside the Box

Which brings us to the topic of thinking outside the box in proposing the formats for sessions. Sessions that are based on a standard platform presentation format are more than welcome, and we also encourage other formats that generate discussions and present a new way to share research ideas. We encourage you to propose alternative formats for your session proposals. So, please help us develop a stimulating and innovative program for the SETAC North America 40th Annual Meeting. We look forward to hosting you in Toronto.

Session Ideas

Great Lakes water quality problems Approaches to community-based monitoring and management
Transboundary pipeline hazards Cooperative approaches for assessing the risks of contaminants in the environment
Challenges in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals Whole ecosystem studies
Global pesticide trends Integrated ecosystem management approaches
Long-range transport of contaminants The impact of climate change on contaminant dynamics
Contamination problems affecting Indigenous peoples “Big data” approaches to ecotoxicology

Authors’ contact information:, and

View job opportunities in the SETAC Career Center
Submit an abstract by 12 June for the SETAC North America 41st Annual Meeting
Nontarget 2021 save the date
SETAC Europe 31st Annual Meeting