Chairs: Kerstin Winkers, Katharina Heye, Maria Bighiu, Lida Deermann

Aquatic ecotoxicology focuses on the effects of chemicals and other abiotic or physical stressors, including any chemicals of emerging concern, on aquatic organisms. This includes the impacts of ammonia, metals, legacy POPs, PAHs, pharmaceuticals, plant protection and personal care products, flame retardants, and perfluorinated compounds. Effects at different levels of biological organisation can be described in this session, ranging from tissue through individual (including endocrine and behavioural changes) up to population responses. Example topics will include: standard and novel aquatic toxicity assays, as well as microcosm, mesocosm and in situ studies. Mixture toxicity studies are highly encouraged.

Chairs: Melissa Ines Gomis and Josef Koch

Understanding the exposure and response of living organisms (including humans) to industrial chemicals is crucial to further characterise their risk. In this respect, mathematical models are powerful tools that help to identify potential exposure pathways and their magnitudes, understanding the chemical kinetics and (toxic) modes of action within organisms, and predicting future trends. This session will focus on state-of-the-art modeling methods that proceed to elucidate the impact of chemical and environmental stressors in acute and chronic exposure scenarios. Example topics will include: empirical or process-based (mechanistic) effect models, pharmacokinetic models, environmental fate models linking emissions to potential exposure sources, as well as strategies developed to reduce model uncertainties.

Chairs: Katherine Lees and Georgios Giovanoulis

Acquiring and interpreting high-quality chemical data is crucial to enhance our understanding of environmental pollution. This session will highlight analytical chemistry research related to more accurately and precisely characterizing contaminants in the environment. Example topics in this session will include: environmental fate of pollutants, chemical analysis and monitoring of pollutants in air, water, sediment, and biota, development of new analytical methods, and improvement of existing methods for analysis of pollutants in all environmental compartments.

Chairs: Kim Dahlgren Strååt , Tomica Mišljenović

The Earth’s climate is the product of complex and highly dynamic interactions among physical, chemical and biological processes occurring at many scales in the atmosphere, at terrestrial, fresh water and marine surfaces and in the depths of the oceans. Scientists are aware that climate change is happening due to anthropogenic activities, but our ability to predict how the Earth’s ecological as well as human systems will respond to climate change is still limited. Climate change is likely to affect the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment, the trophic balance in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the ecology of organisms, including pests and pathogens. Example topics will include: studies related to the effects of climate change on various environmental processes.

Risk Assessment and Regulation

Chairs: Katharina Heye and Katherine Lees

A number of approaches have recently been developed to reduce the uncertainty associated with contamination in soils, sediments and aquatic environments. The application of these advances in science is contributing to improve environmental policy, pollution prevention, ecosystem management goals, discharge objectives, remediation goals, and criteria development in regulatory programs. This session will review advances in science related to environmental stressors. This includes multi-stressor experiments and the assessment of complex substances/stressors in the context of risk assessment and regulatory initiatives. Example topics will include: development and use of “Adverse Outcome Pathway”, site-specific case studies, novel testing strategies and tools for risk assessment and issues in environmental management.

Life cycle assessment

Chairs: Efstathios Reppas-Chrysovitsinos

The rate at which new chemicals flow through the technosphere and into the biosphere is higher than the efficiency of the tools and techniques available to perform robust inventory and impact assessments. Uncertainty identification, quantification, reduction and management modeling strategies that integrate known production/consumption patterns and link resources to emissions are necessary to assess the impact of the life cycle of consumer products and explain variability of indoor concentrations of chemicals that are currently not included in biomonitoring programmes. Example topics will include: Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) studies that deal with methods on modeling uncertainty, however, the submission of abstracts from a broader Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) spectrum is also encouraged.

Chairs: Lida Deermann, Berit Gewert

Microplastics (MPs) (smaller than 5mm) are of rising concern because of the adverse effects exhibited within the environment as well as the continually increasing amounts. Primary MPs, which are produced in this size fraction, and secondary MPs, which are formed by abrasion and degradation of bigger plastic pieces, are both found all over the world, especially in the oceans. Due to their chemical properties and their high surface to volume ratio, MPs effectively sorb hydrophobic substances (including most anthropogenic chemicals). After ingestion partitioning processes can happen within biota, however, there is still little known about MPs and their biological and environmental effects. Example topics will include: accumulative effects of MPs within food chains, transport effects of chemicals, sources and degradation of MPs, sorption/desorption properties of MPs, sampling methods, etc.

Molecular and genetic ecotoxicology

Chairs: Mafalda Castro, Zandra Gerdes 

Molecular and genetic ecotoxicology focuses on the effects of chemicals on organisms at the subcellular level, such as gene and protein expression, protein activities and metabolism. Example topics will include: chemical interactions with molecular components (DNA damage, biotransformation, metabolic pathway disruption) to population-level effects of contaminants (changes in genetic variability, mutation rate, trans-generational and evolutionary responses). Epigenetics and biomarkers studies are encouraged to apply.

‘Omics as the future for ecotoxicology

Chairs: Donna Glinski, David Brew, Anton Ribbenstedt

There are over 100 million organic and inorganic substances known to mankind, making it analytically, physically and financially impractical to detect and test the toxicity of all of these chemicals in the environment. Therefore, better methods must be developed and validated to quantify biologically relevant endpoints of toxicity. ‘Omics technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics and metabolomics) are gaining increasing prominence in ecotoxicology because they can provide molecular insights into the biological significance of chemical exposure. This session aims to discuss how ‘omics technologies can advance the field of ecotoxicology, while providing data relevant for risk assessment. Example topics will include: ‘omics-based predictions of apical endpoints, cross-species extrapolations, studies integrating chemical monitoring and ‘omics, biomonitoring, biomarker development, chemical risk assessments and non-invasive ‘omics applications. Both field- and laboratory-based research of aquatic and/or terrestrial organisms are welcome.

Chairs: Alexander Feckler, Simon Lüderwald and Josef Koch

Nanotechnology is a growing field with numerous applications and increasing usage, which causes an unintentional release of nanomaterials (NMs) into the environment. The increasing release and the potential negative impacts of NMs raise concerns. This session aims to address the environmental fate as well as the biological effects of NMs. Example topics will include: effect evaluation of NMs from a subcellular up to a population level, modeling the release, fate, and effects of NMs in the environment, risk assessment of NMs, characterizing and synthesizing methods for NMs etc.

Chair: Tomica Mišljenović

The focus of terrestrial ecotoxicology is on the effects of chemicals as well as other abiotic stressors on terrestrial organisms. Submissions based on field and laboratory studies are welcomed, as well as ecological modelling approaches as a higher tier tool in risk assessment. Example topics will include: exposure and ecological effects of chemicals in soil and terrestrial biota, soil toxicity, fate and transport of chemicals in terrestrial environments, as well as impacts/assessments of agricultural chemicals.