2011 EMAG Report
What is EMAG?
Exposure Modeling Advisory Group (EMAG) is an
advisory group within the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
(SETAC) that is accountable to the SETAC World Council. The group was
established in May, 2008 to provide a collegial home within the Society for
scientists and decision-makers interested in modeling the properties, sources,
environmental fate and exposure of environmental pollutants.
Objectives of the
Exposure Modeling Advisory Group is committed to the founding principles of
SETAC, 1) A multidisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems, 2) A
balanced representation of academia, business and government, and 3)
Science-based objectivity. The goals of the EMAG group are threefold:
- To encourage the scientific development of quantitative
models that describe the behavior and exposure pathways of chemical,
biological and physical contaminants in the environment and for human and
ecological populations. Examples include, but are not limited to, models
of source-to-concentration relationships in defined systems, models to
estimate overall persistence and long-range transport potential of
contaminants, models of bioaccumulation of contaminants by individual
organisms or in food webs, models of human exposure to chemicals,
biological agents or nanomaterials by multiple pathways, and
pharmacokinetic models of the distribution of chemicals, biological agents
and nanomaterials in the bodies of exposed humans or animals.
- To encourage the development of a sound data-basis to
support the application of models in scientific studies and policy-making
activities for chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials of
environmental interest. This includes: 1) physical properties and
degradation rates, 2) emissions inventories, and 3) monitoring data for
environmental media (air, water, soil, sediments and vegetation) and biota
from locations near areas of use and release and at remote, background
- To encourage and support the use of scientifically
sound models by decision-makers to formulate effective management of
chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials, and by scientists to more
effectively interpret monitoring data on contaminant concentrations in the
EMAG Background and
advisory group for environmental fate and exposure modeling has existed in some
form within SETAC for over 15 years. A group was initially formed in the
mid-1990s, with Professor Don Mackay (Trent University, Canada) as the first
chairperson, and was an outcome of a Pellston Workshop on multimedia modeling
of environmental contaminants. The group was originally accountable to the
North American branch of SETAC. Under Don’s leadership the group was active in
the late 1990s with scientific sessions at the annual meetings in North
America, and regular communication through the SETAC Globe. Around 2000, the
chairpersonship of the group was passed to Dr. Debbie Bennett (Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory, USA) who organized both social and scientific
meetings of the advisory group at SETAC conferences in North America and edited
the Globe column. In about 2003, Dr. Randy Maddelena (Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory, USA) took over as chairperson, and in 2005 Dr. Matthew
MacLeod (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland) joined as
co-chairperson. Dr. MacLeod took over as chairperson of the North American Fate
and Exposure Modeling Advisory Group in 2006.
2007 a proposal to establish the Exposure Modeling Advisory Group as at the
Global level of SETAC was drafted by existing members of the North American
group and volunteers recruited at the SETAC Europe meeting. The proposal was
accepted by the SETAC World Council at their meeting in May of 2008, and the
EMAG group in its current form was officially born.
Organization of the
Exposure Modeling Advisory Group is lead by a Chairperson and a Steering
Committee who are SETAC members, and are appointed by the President of SETAC.
The Chairperson and the Steering Committee provide leadership and initiative to
carry out the goals of the Group, and co-ordinate their activities through
meetings at the SETAC conferences and regular communication by email.
Membership in the EMAG is open to all interested persons, whether they are
SETAC members or not.
EMAG steering committee for 2009 is:
Matthew MacLeod (Chairperson), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich,
Joseph DePinto, LimnoTech, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Christopher Warren, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences Inc., Clinton, New Jersey,
Don Mackay, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Mark H. Russell, DuPont Haskell Global Centers for Health and Environmental
Sciences, Newark, Delaware, USA.
Thomas E. McKone, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California
How to become a
member of EMAG
members and non-members can become a member of the Exposure Modeling Advisory
Group by expressing their interest on their SETAC profile. This will enable
access to the forum for the EMAG on the SETAC communities site.
EMAG activities and
The EMAG group hosted a scientific session at the SETAC Europe meeting in
Goteborg, Sweden, and a successful and well-attended social event at a local
restaurant. Thanks to Robin Vestergren of the Department of Applied
Environmental Science at Stockholm University for organizing the social event!
The EMAG Steering Committee initiative to develop a set of "Good Modeling
Practice” (GMP) guidelines for applying exposure models has entered a phase of
active development. Andreas Buser of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
Zurich, Switzerland has agreed to take the lead on the project, in
collaboration with an initial team that includes members of the EMAG Steering
Committee. We plan to develop a first draft of the GMP that will be circulated
among the entire EMAG group for comments and contributions. Our ultimate goal
is to submit the GMP document as a scientific paper to the SETAC journal
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM).
The Exposure Modeling Advisory Group (EMAG) hosted a successful scientific
session at the SETAC North America Meeting in Tampa Bay, Florida. The title of
the session was "Exposure Modeling: Linking Sources to Concentrations in
Ecosystems, Humans, Animals, and Plants” and the platform and poster sessions
were well attended.