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Global Interest Groups: Ecological Risk Assessment
Group Pages
Lyle Burgoon
Past Chair
Mark S. Johnson


The primary purpose of SETAC Interest Groups (IGs) is to provide a venue for scientists with an interest in a particular scientific topic to share knowledge and expertise and advance the topic. Participation in all IGs is open to all interested parties. If you are not already a member of this IG and would like to be, make sure you are signed in to your SETAC account then click "Join Group” near the top of this page.


The Ecological Risk Assessment Interest Group provides an open forum and serves as a scientific resource to SETAC, environmental scientists and decision makers, and the society as a whole on issues pertaining to Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). Our mission is to advance the science, use, and practice of ERA as an approach and tool to inform environmental decision making. We accomplish this mission by:

  • Serving as a neutral platform and focal point within SETAC and the larger environmental community for collaborative identification, resolution and communication of ERA issues
  • Stimulating critical evaluation and discussion to establish the best available science
  • Providing scientific guidance and support to ensure effective environmental decision making
  • Encouraging incorporation of the best available science, approaches and information into ERA practices
  • Encouraging transfer of ERA technologies among the diverse stakeholders
  • Encouraging harmonization of ERA practices worldwide
  • Providing a forum for knowledge transfer such as organizing sessions at annual meetings, organizing workshops to address scientific issues associated with the ERA, and fostering collaboration among other advisory groups or professional societies
  • Facilitating communication of ERA issues and best science through journal articles, books, web sites and other mechanisms
  • Encouraging multi-AG working groups and liaison activities


The scope of the Ecological Risk Assessment IG comprises all aspects of ecological risk assessment as a cross-discipline endeavor, and includes in its activities the fields of chemistry, toxicology, ecology, and others. With the increasing complexity of environmental management challenges and global perspective, ERA and the scope of the Interest Group (IG) have expanded to include allied sciences such as environmental economics, ecosystem services, and decision science. All environmental compartments are included within the scope of ERA and the IG.

The scope of the group at times can intersect with those of other SETAC interst groups and dialogue groups, as ERA intersects with a multitude of environmental evaluation schemes and is used to inform decisions regarding management of a range of environmental media. The Ecological Risk Assessment IG actively seeks opportunities to work with other Interest Groups to broaden the discussion and engage expects among the areas of interest. This affords opportunities for mutual support and collaboration across the advisory and dialogue groups of SETAC.


  • Serve as a scientific forum for all stakeholders interested in the mission of the IG.
  • Sponsor events (e.g., meetings, sessions, webinars) and publications within SETAC that advance the mission of the IG.


IG operations are organized by a steering committee. Please contact the chairs of the IG if you would like to be involved.


SETAC Ecological Risk Assessment Interest Group Charter


Characterization of risks to ecological resources has been a fundamental and integral application of environmental science. It involves the integration of various disciplines including toxicology, chemistry, ecology within an applied framework which is relevant and applicable to make wise land use decisions. The integration of these disciplines, as well as the data needs within each, has been the foundation of research and discussion at SETAC since 1992 when the Ecological Risk Assessment Interest Group was formed. The North American IG was formally recognized by the SETAC World Council in October 2005. The IG will celebrate a 20th anniversary in 2012. During the 20 years of existence, the Ecological Risk Assessment IG has been one of the most active Interest Groups within SETAC. Its members have organized numerous Pellston Workshops, written seven books and 5 series of manuscripts associated with those workshops, conducted approximately 15 Short Courses, members have written numerous additional technical manuscripts, and co-sponsored more than 40 platform sessions, interactive poster sessions, and debates. In addition, the group has actively collaborated both within SETAC in terms of finding synergies with other Interest Groups and outside of SETAC in terms of developing bridges with other organizations, such as the Ecological Society of America. Major accomplishments are related to the establishment of the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM). Although the IG alone cannot take full credit for IEAM, the influential role of the group in the development of IEAM is well understood by those involved (i.e., specifically Greg Biddinger, IG Chair from1992-2002).


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