Training Courses

On Sunday 5 May 2024, a variety of training courses are offered prior to the opening of the meeting. 

Course registration is open to members and guests. Make sure to register by the early bird deadline, to ensure that your preferred course will take place. Please note that training courses will be held onsite in Seville and will not be recorded. 

Sunday Full-Day Courses

8:30–17:30 CEST

TC01: Introduction to in Silico Modeling Approaches for Regulatory Ecotoxicological Hazard Assessment

Room: TBD
Course level: Indroductionary

In silico approaches, considered as New Approach Methods (NAMs), represent a great potential for regulatory ecotoxicological hazard assessment. They also represent a promising alternative method in response to the need to reduce testing on vertebrates, time to market and cost compared to standard methods. This course will especially focus on QSAR and read across approaches used to predict substance acute and chronic aquatic ecotoxicity, biodegradability potential and bioconcentration factor. The interest of innovative and powerful mechanistic QSAR, which can provide a more complete mechanistic understanding of the features of the chemical which empirical experimental data alone often cannot, will be also presented. The aim of this course is to help the participants to appreciate the strengths and the weaknesses of the presented methods and keys to identify reliable and trustworthy in silico models. Therefore, emphasis will also be placed on the guidelines defined by competent authorities for the use of QSARs approaches that are relevant for the regulatory context and the development of Safe and Sustainable by Design substances, among others. Trainees will have the opportunity to put their new skills/knowledge into practice by testing different models during the session.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  • Understand the principles of ecotoxicological hazard assessment.
  • Discover and apply mechanistic QSAR and read-across for ecotoxicity, physicochemical, and fate in the environment predictions.
  • Appreciate the reliability of predictions obtained from in silico approaches.
  • Appreciate the role of NAMs to achieve goals of 21st Century chemical sustainability.
Target Audience

Students, academics, regulators, environmental risk assessor. A basic knowledge of regulatory ecotoxicological studies (e.g. some of the OECD 202 series Guidelines) and a little physico-chemistry knowledge (water solubility, partition coefficient, volatility) would be an asset. No knowledge of statistical methodology or coding is required.

Instructors

Floriane Larras (KREATiS), Mark Cronin (Liverpool John Moores University), Paul Thomas (KREATiS)

Requirements

Participants should bring their own laptop to follow the course. 

TC02: Application of Wildlife Toxicology Studies to Support of Environmental Risk Assessment of Pesticides

Room: TBD
Course level: Intermediate

Environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pesticides is conducted to avoid unacceptable impacts on environmental health. A main concern about current ERA schemes is their low capacity to reflect environmental complexity; ERA is implemented on single model species that are exposed to single products. To improve ERA, a system-based evaluation is needed, that would integrate ecological interactions, landscape complexity and multiple stressors in a single assessment. Such a systems-based approach would strongly depend on field studies to assess pesticide risks at the community level. Wildlife species account, among all ecosystem compartments, for the highest number of ecotoxicological field studies with pesticides. However, since such studies cannot delimitate specific scenarios for single pesticides or crops, they are often not applicable to current ERA schemes. Motivated by the need to improve the ERA efficacy to protect wildlife and biodiversity from pesticide impacts, this training course will address the following: (i) comparative view of current and system-based ERA from a wildlife perspective, (ii) implementation of wildlife studies as part of ERA, (iii) risk mitigation measures for wildlife, and (iv) wildlife monitoring to support systems-based ERA. These modules will be complemented with hands-on exercises about wildlife monitoring and assessment in relation to pesticide ERA.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  • Foster capacities of ecotoxicologists and risk assessors to design ecologically relevant studies to support high-tier and post-registration assessments as part of the pesticide registration process.
  • Initiate and favour the adoption of initiatives towards systems-based approaches to achieve an integral protection of wildlife from undesired effects of pesticides.
  • Bridge the gap between academic and regulatory-focused science in the field of wildlife toxicology.
Target Audience

From graduate students to senior scientists working in wildlife toxicology or wildlife risk assessment.

Instructors

Manuel Ortiz Santaliestra (University of Castilla-La Mancha), Nico van den Brink​​​​​​​ (Wageningen University​​​​​​​), Johan Axelman​​​​​​​ (Swedish Chemicals Agency​​​​​​​), Ana Lopez-Antia (IDAEA-CSIC​​​​​​​), Ralf Dittirich (Eurofins), John Elliott​​​​​​​ (Environment Canada)

Requirements

Participants should bring their own laptop to follow the course

TC03: Beyond Persistent (Micro-)Plastics: Definitions, Testing Methods and Regulations for Biodegradable Structural and Water-Soluble Polymers

Room: TBD
Course level: Introductory

Biodegradable structural and water-soluble polymers are critical in achieving polymer circularity and overcoming plastic pollution. This training course provides information on fundamental aspects of biodegradable polymers.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of the course is to provide an expert overview of the existing scientific research and regulations for biodegradable polymers and to highlight existing research gaps to guide future research.

Target Audience

The course participants are required to have a scientific background with education at the Master’s or PhD level. In each of the topics covered, the levels will span from fundamental (i.e., providing necessary background information) to advanced (i.e., summary of forefront research on biodegradability). The course will address aspects of environmental science and engineering, material chemistry and polymer science, as well as polymer regulation.

Instructors

Michael Sander (ETH Zurich), Bruno DeWilde (Normec OWS), Michael Zumstein (University of Vienna), Dieter Hennecke (Fraunhofer Institute Schmallenberg), Glauco Battagliarin (BASF Biopolymers), Kathleen McDonough (Procter & Gamble)

TC04: The Endocrine System: Global Perspectives on Testing Methods and Evaluation of Endocrine Activity

Room: TBD
Course level: Introductory

In response to concerns that certain environmental chemicals might interfere with the endocrine system of humans and wildlife, regulations have been promulgated around the world targeting the evaluation of these types of effects. This short-course will address key topics related to endocrine system evaluation and regulatory requirements around the world. The course provides basic information on vertebrate endocrine systems, mechanisms of control, and adverse effects. The focus is the estrogen, androgen, and thyroid systems, although new endocrine system targets will be discussed. The requirements of the ECHA/EFSA Guidance document (2018) and the US EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program will be presented. As such it will cover regulatory needs for pesticides, biocides and REACH substances, including the development of definitions and criteria in the EU. Screens and tests used in these programs are discussed, including the use of high throughput in vitro assays, in silico modeling, and adverse outcome pathways. Use of weight of evidence evaluations in interpreting the data will be covered. Finally, an interactive simulation will be staged where groups of participants can engage in a transparent and quantitative weight of evidence evaluation of data, including the use of new approach methods.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

This is an update and extension of a previously taught course. As stated in the description, we will provide basic information on the vertebrate endocrine system focusing on the conserved estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormonal systems, although we will discuss differences between vertebrates and invertebrates. This information will be put to use as we discuss screens and tests included in regulatory requirements around the globe. After completion of the course, students should: 1) have a fundamental understanding of the endocrine system, 2) be able to describe the differences between endocrine regulations within and among Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, 3) know the types of tests required or that could be used and the objectives of each test 4) be able to apply a weight of evidence procedure to a test data set, and 5) understand the direction of future endocrine testing and regulation. The course will be updated with the latest activities in the endocrine arena throughout the world occurring at the time of the course, including recent advances in high throughput and computational tools, introduction on new assessment methods, the development of integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATA), and the application of criteria and guidance from the European Union.

Target Audience

This short course is for students and others interested in an overview of the endocrine issue.  It is also relevant for regulators, the regulated community, and academics engaged in data generation, test development, regulatory data use and interpretation within weight of evidence frameworks.

Instructors

Ellen Mihaich (ER2) 

TC05: The Power of Environmental Nucleic Acids (eNA) Surveys in Environmental Monitoring and Environmental Impact Assessments

Room: TBD
Course level: Novice to intermediate

The analysis of genetic material shed from organisms into their environment in the form of environmental DNA (eDNA) and RNA (eRNA), also collectively referred to as environmental nucleic acids (eNA), are highly promising for environmental surveys and impact assessments to provide rapid, non-destructive, accurate and cost-effective biodiversity information. This short course will help students new to eNA as well as those with experience or wanting to incorporate eNA into decision making to examine multiple considerations of the use of eNA in the field and lab. Specifically, through the newly developed curriculum of the iTrackDNA Training Modules, this course will interactively address the following aspects, while referring to current best practices, guidelines, and standards: 1. Introduction to eDNA and eRNA 2. Principles of eNA survey design 3. Sample collection and preservation 4. Sample preparation and analysis 5. Methods of eNA extraction 6. Methods for eNA detection (qPCR, dPCR, and metabarcoding) 7. Data interpretation 8. Quantification methods 9. Factors influencing eNA detection including methods for reducing contamination and controls to assess assay performance, false positive and negative risks 10. Survey results reporting and interpretation 11. The future of regulation: eDNA standards and guidelines and incorporation of eDNA results into decision-making, regulatory compliance, and policy activities.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

1. To review the usefulness of eNA technology for environmental surveys and environmental impact assessments.

2. To learn about the principles of eNA extraction and detection (qPCR, dPCR, metabarcoding).

3. To understand how to interpret eNA data and discuss the limitations of the eNA technology.

4. To understand the transformative opportunity that eNA offers for environmental monitoring and environmental impact assessments of tomorrow.

Target Audience

Novice to intermediate.

Instructors

Valerie Langlois (Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)), Caren Helbing (University of Victoria, BC)

Requirements

Participants should bring a laptop for the course.

TC06: Statistical Methods in Ecotoxicology Using R

Room: TBD
Course level: Novice to intermediate

The short course aims at providing junior as well as senior researchers in ecotoxicology with a modern view of statistical analysis and how it may be applied in practice using suitable statistical software.

The open source statistical environment R (https://www.r-project.org/) is an extremely powerful and versatile statistical environment. Over the last two decades there has been an amazing development in terms of added capabilities through extension packages, making it the preferred data analytic toolbox of statisticians and researchers in many applied sciences. Moreover, it encourages collaborative and reproducible research. It has become much easier to R since RStudio (https://posit.co/) was introduced. RStudio is an integrated environment for R with a powerful syntax-highlighting editor and many other features, including integration of the R Markdown language has dramatically changed how R may interface with other languages and systems, allowing results from statistical analyses to be conveniently outputted in formats such as pdf, html, or MS word. Many recent advances in statistical approaches and techniques are only implemented in R or implemented to a more larger extent in R compared to competing statistical software. This is in particular true when it comes to some statistical approaches commonly used in ecotoxicology (e.g., dose-response analysis).

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

In this short course, the primary focus will be on giving the participants practical hands-on experience and insights on using R for analyzing ecotoxicological data. Relevant recent statistical methodological advances and concepts will be touched upon. Specifically, analysis of variance and linear regression will be briefly revisited before introducing extensions to censored data and nonlinear regression and more general dose-response analysis, logistic and Poisson regression models as well as linear, logistic and nonlinear mixed-effects models. More advanced concepts such as robust standard errors, single-step multiplicity adjustments, benchmark dose estimation, and species sensitivity distributions will also be discussed, if time permits.

Target Audience

The course is intended for PhD students as well as senior researchers and scientists in ecotoxicology and environmental sciences. An elementary understanding of statistical concepts is a prerequisite.

Instructors

Christian Ritz (University of Southern Denmark), Signe M. Jensen (University of Copenhagen)

Requirements 

Participants should bring laptop

Sunday Half-Day Courses

8:30–12:30 CEST or 13:30–17:30 CEST

TC07: Environmental Forensics: Recent Developments and Applications to Evaluating Source and Responsibility of Environmental Contaminants

Time: 8:30 - 12:30 CEST
Room: TBD
Course level: Intermediate

Environmental forensics is focused on determining the origin of contaminants in the environment. Unlike the more widely used EPA methods which are primarily used for monitoring contaminant concentrations over time, the forensic approach requires much greater flexibility and may utilize compounds that are not necessarily on any target list. In a manner analogous to crime scene investigations the approach is based on a comparison of fingerprints of the contaminant with suspected points of release. A simple sounding approach but one that requires an extensive and comprehensive analytical approach and a through understanding of processes involved in both the history of the contaminant in question as well as the potential effects of weathering or alteration of the contaminant after release into the environment. Contaminant classes discussed in this course will range from crude oils and associated refined products to chlorinated and brominated compounds as well as sulfur and nitrogen containing compounds. In addition to releases of such contaminants into oceans, lakes, rivers or groundwater, vapor intrusion issues will be discussed. Finally a discussion of recent developments in available analytical techniques will also be provided. Selected case histories will be discussed to illustrate the forensic approach in these investigations.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes
  1. Introduce the concept of environmental forensics and comparison with the EPA approach.
  2. Discuss the analytical techniques available for obtaining contaminant fingerprints, such as GC, GCMS, GCIRMS, LCMS, LCIRMS, ICPIRMS, as well as recent developments associated with these techniques.
  3. Processes involved in the production of certain contaminants that can be useful in terms of forensic investigations.
  4. Impacts of weathering such evaporation, water washing and biodegradation, on contaminant fingerprints after release into the environment.
  5. Establishing the relationship between the contaminant in the environment and potential sources.
  6. What analytical techniques are most useful for single component releases such as PCE for example.
  7. What is the future for environmental forensics?
Target Audience

This course is designed to provide an introduction and basic understand to the environmental approach. An understanding of basic organic and analytical chemistry would be useful but not essential. The course is suitable for environmental scientists, geologists, engineers, project managers, and lawyers.

Instructors

Paul Philp (University of Oklahoma) 

Requirements

Participants should bring laptop

TC09: Selecting and Evaluating Chemical Property Data in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Time: 13:30 - 17:30 CEST
Room: TBD
Course level: Introductory

There is a wide range of chemical property data and even more ways to obtain them. In this course, students will get a perspective of the different types of computational models available to predict chemical properties including partition coefficients and transformation kinetics that can be used in chemical assessments. The models we focus on will be based on student interest and perspectives. The course will also cover different types of tools that exist, how to find chemical information, and what makes a good model. Following the course, participants will have a better understanding of how to determine the reliability of property data published as experimental values in the literature, reported within databases and predicted by models.. We will also take on a case study to explore what models are available to address environmental toxicological and chemical questions. There are no prerequisites for this course - your instructors will provide an introduction on the different types of properties that drive chemical fate and behaviour and how they are applied in environmental science.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will have an understanding of the different types of property data used in environmental toxicology and chemistry and how to find reliable data. They will have the knowledge to understand if a model result is reliable, the model’s applicability domain, and how to assess the general reliability of reported data.

Target Audience

Environmental scientists, toxicologists, and chemists interested in learning more about physical-chemical property data, how to assess the reliability of the data and existing tools and models available.

Instructors

Sivani Baskaran (Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI)), Alessandro Sangion (ARC - Arnot Research & Consulting), Leslie Saunders​​​​​​​ (Concawe), Li Li​​​​​​​ (University of Nevada, Reno)

Requirements

Participants should bring laptop

TC10: DeEP: A User-Friendly DEB-TKTD Modelling Software for European Tier 2C Environmental Risk

Time: 13:30 - 17:30 CEST
Room: TBD
Course level: Introductory

This course introduces a newly developed, user-friendly software for predicting the impacts of pesticides on non-target species. Using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models based on dynamic energy budget theory (DEB-TKTD models), the software predicts the effects of a given exposure profile on growth and reproduction. Crucially, it allows easy prediction of the exposure multiplication factor leading to X% reduction in any of these endpoints (the EPx). This is implemented for a moving time-window approach to align with the European Tier 2C aquatic risk assessment for plant protection products. DEB-TKTD models are viewed by EFSA as a promising tool for ecological risk assessment (ERA), but the lack of user-friendly tools has so far been a major obstacle to their use by risk assessors. The course will comprise short lectures, demonstrations, hands on exercises, and Q & A sessions. Lectures will provide the necessary background on the model theory and describe the intended applications of DEB-TKTD models in ERA and how to interpret the outputs. An introductory software demonstration will be given before participants can try using the software to make predictions with example data sets.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Basic understanding of DEB-TKTD modelling; model applications in ERA, with emphasis on the EPx calculations; how to navigate and use the software (DeEP); how to interpret model outputs.

Target Audience

This course mainly aims at risk assessors who use DEB-TKTD models or review DEB-TKTD model applications for environmental risk assessment. It is open to participants from any scientific background with an interest in effect modelling and ecotoxicology. This includes professionals working in government agencies, industry or contract laboratories and NGOs. This course is suitable for effect modelling beginners as well as advanced users who want to learn a new concept or try out a new tool. Experience with TKTD models and the European risk assessment framework would be useful but is not required.

Instructors

Oliver Jakoby (RIFCON GmbH), Neil Sherborne (Syngenta Ltd), Thomas Martin (RIFCON GmbH)

Requirements

Participants should bring laptop

 

Training Course Fees 

Fees + 21% Spanish VAT Full Day Fees Half Day Fees
With loyalty status  SETAC loyalty badge
Discounted1 registration fee with loyalty status2 €112 (+€23,52) €88 (+€18,48)
Registration fee with loyalty status2 €280 (+€58,8) €220 (+€46,2)
Without loyalty status
Discounted1 registration fee (Full, Explorer or Free) €140 (+€29,4) €110 (+€23,1)
Registration fee (Full, Explorer or Free) €350 (+€73,5) €275 (+€57,75)

1 Discounted registration fee is applicable for students (graduation date must be in the future) and participants from low- and middle-income countries according to the WorldBank.

2 As of June 2023, SETAC launched a new membership model, introducing the loyalty programme. To maintain your loyalty status and benefit from registration discounts, renew your full membership in time and do not let it lapse. Loyalty status is only given to a continued full membership of more than one year. Members joining SETAC with a 3-year membership automatically receive loyalty status. 


21% Spanish VAT will be added to the registration fees.

Whereas SETAC Europe events were exempted from VAT before due to being considered educational in the VAT treatment interpretation of previous host countries, this year's annual meeting is subject to Spanish VAT legislation, where no VAT exemption seems to be applicable.

If you have any questions regarding the meeting registration fees (structure), please contact us at europe-meeting@setac.org.