Scientific Sessions:

  • Environmental and Analytical Chemistry:
    • As the production, use, and disposal of chemical compounds continues to reach unprecedented levels, the probability of encountering them in the environment significantly increases. The introduction of chemicals into the environment represents one of the most concerning global threats, as it is often unknown how chemical compounds behave in different environmental matrices and how they affect biological organisms. For appropriate evaluations of risk, the identification and quantification of chemicals in the environment is fundamental. This session is oriented to facilitate the understanding of instrumentation, methodologies, modeling, and appropriate analyses employed in the investigation of the fate and distribution of chemical compounds in water, sediments, soil, and all other components of the biosphere. Furthermore, the session aims to include technical, practical and conceptual approaches directed to improve the techniques to qualitatively and quantitatively describe the behavior of environmental pollutants.

 

  • Toxicology of Nanomaterials:
    • The development of nanomaterials is observed as one of the major scientific and technological advances in recent years. Nanotechnology has proven to be advantageous in the improvement of human and environmental welfare; however, many of the negatively-associated impacts of nanomaterials continue to be under investigation. As the use of nanomaterial-containing products continues to increase, exposure to them is likely to increase as well. The work presented in this session will highlight the toxicology of nanomaterials, from an environmental perspective. The presented information will describe adverse biological effects resulting from exposure to nanomaterials, including aspects of bioavailability, bioaccumulation, and biomagnification. The session is oriented to describe aspects of both eco- and human toxicology, as well as current challenges and future directions to minimize exposure, and reduce the induction of adverse effects.

 

  • Alternatives to Animal Testing:
    • Experimentation with laboratory animals has been historically employed in different scientific disciplines and aimed to describe biological processes under different scenarios. While great scientific advances have resulted from the use of living organisms, these methods have come with ethical and economic disadvantages. Movements such as the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) have been fundamental in describing alternatives to laboratory testing, employing tools such as computational systems, cells and cellular components, and, to some extent, the use of embryos for early-life stage evaluations. The goal of this session is to communicate novel advances and strategies to reduce animal testing in environmental toxicology, and the development of high-throughput technology for toxicity testing. Presentations in this session will highlight the use of in vitro systems (embryos, primary cultures, cell lines, etc.) and in silico methods for mechanistic evaluations of toxicity.

 

  • OMICS in Environmental Science:
    • Molecular approaches in environmental toxicology have been revolutionary as the ability to characterize the structure, expression, function and overall dynamics of biological molecules has increased. The use of omics has provided advantages and support to the description of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and has been effectively integrated in studies using a weight of evidence (WoE) approach. This session aims to present relevant work in fields such as genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, and their application to environmental science and toxicology. Moreover, presentations in this session will provide information on the development of new techniques, and state-of-the-art methodologies for effective use of omics approaches, and mechanistic evaluations of biological processes under environmental stress.

 

  • Freshwater Ecotoxicology:
    • Freshwater ecosystems represent one of the most studied components of the biosphere in the field of ecotoxicology. The introduction of organic and inorganic xenobiotics to freshwater and their interaction with aquatic organisms continues to warrant comprehensive evaluation. Therefore, this session aims to highlight aspects of freshwater toxicity assessments for micro- to macro-organisms and for different levels of biological organization. Moreover, novel tools for appropriate assessments of freshwater ecosystem health will be discussed. The work featured in this session will include information to further the understanding of freshwater ecotoxicology, and the use of the results to promote effective management and protective measures in these ecosystems.

 

  • Marine Ecotoxicology:
    • The marine environment has been negatively impacted by the introduction of foreign substances, often causing detrimental effects on the populations inhabiting these areas. Recently, much effort has been devoted to marine ecosystems for the purpose of understanding adverse outcomes for marine communities and the subsequent implications for ecosystem welfare. The information presented in this session will include processes leading to the exposure of marine organisms to xenobiotics, effects observed after exposure, and resulting modifications to the ecology wherein such organisms are found. The interaction of large biogeochemical processes and toxicity of xenobiotics in the marine environment is also featured in order to help identify current and emerging threats to marine communities.

 

  • Terrestrial Ecotoxicology:
    • The introduction of environmental pollutants to terrestrial ecosystems continues to grow over the years. The number of species exposed to these pollutants is unprecedented, and sometimes difficult to identify. Substances such as pesticides and industrial waste have the potential to adversely affect the ecology of terrestrial species, leading to larger ecological consequences. This session aims to present on-going research and efforts devoted to understanding the exposure and effects of pollutants to terrestrial species, from microbes and plants to birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Additionally, information on the effects of pollutants across trophic levels will be presented to further the understanding of negative ecological impacts.

 

  • Environmental Modeling:
    • The use of mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling has provided many advantages in environmental studies. Due to the difficulty of assessing complex environmental processes, laboratory and field experimentation are often strengthened by integrating modelling into the analyses. Models facilitate the understanding of natural processes, especially when it is necessary to predict changes after environmental stress. In this session, presenters will have the opportunity to share work related to the generation of models for environmental evaluations, and their application to support field and laboratory assessments, as well as their use to direct policy and regulations.

 

  • Environmental Risk Assessment and Engineering:
    • As the environment continues to experience detrimental changes, the necessity of continually refining risk assessments becomes imperative. The description of what, where, when, and how environmental components experience negative impacts is essential to establish appropriate measures of protection. Moreover, the information obtained in risk assessments needs to be integrated into other disciplines, such as engineering, where the application of scientific and technological principles is directed to enhance environmental health. This session is oriented to highlight case studies where risk evaluations were conducted to further risk estimation and description, and how this information was combined with engineering to enhance environmental protection.

 

  • Emerging Topics of Concern in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry:
    • In the last decade, emerging environmental issues have led to intensive research designed to describe both their impacts on the environment as well as appropriate measures to mitigate these impacts. Increases in the use of consumer products, development of new chemical compounds, unprecedented rates of pollution, and climate change are some of the many current topics of concern. In this session, featured work will highlight evaluations of topics such as microplastics in the environment, contaminants of emerging concern, and harmful algal blooms, from chemical and toxicological perspectives. Additionally, the information in this session will present major challenges in conducting scientific research for emerging environmental issues, and future directions as the science moves forward.