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Global Interest Groups: Global Soils
Claudia Lima de
Michael Simini
Marlea H. Wagelmans


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The Soil Interest Group’s main mission is to promote sound scientific methods for material fate and ecotoxicology applied to soil systems and to be the network of experts in this field within SETAC.


The scope of the IG covers all aspects of soil testing on the laboratory, semi-field and field level, soil-related risk assessment methodologies and soil ecotoxicology, for the benefit of the overall risk assessment of chemicals (single and mixtures) and of contaminated soil in general. In addition, non-chemical soil stressors such as compaction or climatic change will be covered. These activities will be based on a sound ecological basis.

The group will accomplish these goals by being a forum for communication, cooperation, scientific discussion and collaboration among scientists in academia, business and government. The Interest Group aims to be the focus of expertise for material behavior and interactions with soil organisms within SETAC. The scope of the group includes all contaminants that are present in terrestrial soils and organisms that may be directly or indirectly affected by them. The group addresses both understanding of fate and effects as well as measurement and testing methods.

Topics of interest to the group include:

  • Soil Ecotoxicology
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecological relevance for site specific risk assessment
  • Nanomaterials: analysis, environmental fate, effects, LCA and risk assessment, and
  • Interactions between natural and chemical stressors.


Historically, soil ecotoxicology has not been sufficiently represented within SETAC. Therefore, groups of soil ecotoxicologists have met regularly in North America (NA; since 1998) and Europe (EU; since 2004), usually during the regional conferences in order to provide a forum for an exchange of information about ongoing activities in the field of soil ecotoxicology. In the meeting of the EU Soil Interest Group (SIG) during the SETAC Europe conference in May 2009, it was proposed to form one global SETAC SIG. This merger was approved in late 2009.


  • The activities of the IG are led by a chair and co-chair and coordinated by a steering committee.
  • Members of the Steering Committee are appointed by vote of the GSIG group members.
  • The IG Steering Committee holds periodic conference calls.
  • The IG typically holds one or two formal meeting per year at the SETAC major geographic unit Annual Meeting
  • Please contact the chair for further information.

Steering Committee

Currently, the following scientists are members of the Interest Group Steering Committee:

Erik Smolders, Europe

Mark  Maboeta, Africa

Cintia Niva, Latin America


Marlea Wagelmans, Europe, Co-chair

Theresa Phillips, North America

Dave Spurgeon, Europe

Anupam Kumar, Asia-Pacific

Michael Simini, North America, Co-chair

Hunter Anderson, North America

Richard Scroggins, North America

Nathalie Feisthauer, North America

Goals -2017

  • Sponsor sessions at the SETAC North America major geographic unit annual meeting.
  • Coordinate work on a soil eco-toxicology review paper f submission to a SETAC journal.

Potential Activities and Deliverables

Deliverables resulting from activities coordinated and supervised by SIG could include:

  • ring-tested (round robin) protocols for new test species;
  • draft test guidelines for soil organisms not covered so far in testing schemes;
  • proposals for use of assessment approaches such as Terrestrial Model Ecosystems (TMEs) as a higher tier tool for the purpose of refined risk assessments (see PERAS).

Long-term deliverables:

  • recommendations for Higher Tier studies with soil organisms, including the assessment of recovery;
  • recommendations for new tests or test strategies, especially in non-temperate regions;
  • linking lab to field with field based monitoring or assessments;

A deliverable focusing on retrospective risk assessment focusing on contaminated land (e.g. abandoned mining areas) is also possible in the future.

Annual Reports

Global Soils 2016 Annual Report 

Global Soils 2015 Annual Report 

Global Soils 2014 Annual Report

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