The Second Young Environmental Scientist (YES) meeting 2011 at RWTH Aachen University - environmental challenges in a changing world

Environmental Sciences Europe, Dec 2011

This article reports on the second Young Environmental Scientists Meeting that was hosted from 28 February to 2 March 2011 by the Institute for Environmental Research at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. This extraordinary meeting was again initiated and organized by the Student Advisory Council under the umbrella of Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Europe. A movie about the meeting and the abstracts of poster and platform presentations are freely available as supplemental material of this article.

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The Second Young Environmental Scientist (YES) meeting 2011 at RWTH Aachen University - environmental challenges in a changing world

Environmental Sciences Europe The Second Young Environmental Scientist (YES) meeting 2011 at RWTH Aachen University - environmental challenges in a changing world Markus Brinkmann 0 1 2 Dominic Kaiser 1 2 Sabrina Peddinghaus 0 1 2 Matthias Leonhard Berens 0 1 2 Jennifer Bräunig 0 1 2 Nika Galic 1 2 Mirco Bundschuh 1 2 Jochen P Zubrod 1 2 André Dabrunz 1 2 Tao Liu 1 2 Michael Melato 1 2 Claudia Mieiro 1 2 Stephanie Sdepanian 1 2 Ola Westman 1 2 Stefan Kimmel 1 2 Thomas-Benjamin Seiler 0 1 2 0 Department of Ecosystem Analysis, Institute for Environmental Research, RTWH Aachen University , Worringerweg 1, 52074 Aachen , Germany 1 The second Young Environmental Scientists Meeting (YES Meeting) was hosted from 28 February to 2 March 2011 by the Institute for Environmental Research at RWTH Aachen University, Germany http://www.bio5. rwth-aachen.de. This extraordinary meeting was again initiated and organized by the Student Advisory Council (SAC) in liaison with the local organization committee and the scientific committee under the umbrella of Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe. The chair persons of these commit- tees, namely Markus Brinkmann, Sabrina Peddinghaus (both RWTH Aachen University , Germany) , and Dominic Kaiser (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany) ensured a scientifically ambitious and fruitful meeting in a pleasant ambience under the motto “Environmental challenges in a changing world”. Just like 2009 in Landau, Germany, this student-only meeting was again exclusively organized by students and with the well-known special benefits for students: no conference fees were charged and every participant received a travel grant. Due to the remarkable financial support by the “Fonds der Chemischen Industrie” (FCI) of the German Chemical Association (VCI) , the Rector 2 Delov et al., Fraunhofer Institute of Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, Germany Velki et al., Josip Juraj Strossmayer University Osijek, Suborganismic effects of formalin and temephos to earthworm Eisenia andrei Croatia Nemec et al., LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Germany), Germany Kanerva et al., University of Turku , Finland This article reports on the second Young Environmental Scientists Meeting that was hosted from 28 February to 2 March 2011 by the Institute for Environmental Research at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. This extraordinary meeting was again initiated and organized by the Student Advisory Council under the umbrella of Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Europe. A movie about the meeting and the abstracts of poster and platform presentations are freely available as supplemental material of this article. - of RWTH Aachen University, The Interdisciplinary Forums of RWTH Aachen University, ProRWTH, SETAC Europe, the SETAC Europe German Language Branch, Wimek/SENSE, Environmental Sciences Europe, and a number of companies (BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dr. Knoell Consult, Harlan Laboratories Ltd., Hydrotox, Syngenta), it was possible to announce full reimbursements of travel expenses for all participants invited to present their work during the YES meeting. The scientific committee peer reviewed more than 130 abstracts in the field of nanoparticles, omics and biomarkers, aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicology, modeling, environmental chemistry, management, and remediation techniques and finally invited 90 presenters from all over the world. Due to the selection process, not the financial situation but the quality of the submitted abstracts was the main aspect for invitation. Thus, the overall quality of presentations was very good, meeting the SETAC motto: “quality through science”. Environmental issues at the cutting edge of science were presented in 44 platform and 46 poster presentations. An extended time for discussion of 15 min after each platform presentation gave room for in-depth discussions on one of the seven sessions covering the broad spectrum of science represented by SETAC. Besides the idea of the financial support, the student-only atmosphere is Figure 1 Peter Chapman during his workshop “Written and spoken science - Guidance to excellent publications and presentations”. (Photograph: Sebastian Hudjetz). one of the key aspects of the meeting, which leads to unstressed and fruitful discussions. During his amazing workshop “Written and spoken science - Guidance to excellent publications and presentations”, Dr. Peter Chapman (Golder Associates, Vancouver, Canada) highlighted vital aspects of writing papers and preparing posters or platform presentations (Figure 1). In interactive group working slots, the students discussed and practiced presentation techniques and their critical view on scientific publications. The extraordinarily positive feedback from students demonstrates not only the demand for such lessons but also the enormous engagement Peter showed during his workshop (Figure 1). Career talks - a regular SAC activity - given by Prof. Dr. Juliane Hollender (EAWAG, Switzerland) and Dr. Table 1 Platform presentations given in one of the seven sessions during the second YES Meeting (Aachen, Germany) Session 1 “Nanoparticles: fate, effects and risks” (Chairs: Dominic Kaiser, André Dabrunz) Pang et al., Roskilde University, Denmark Assessing risks of manufactured nanomaterials - are current EU regulations sufficient? Dabrunz et al., University of Koblenz-Landau, Toxicity of two stable TiO2 nanoparticle suspensions to Daphnia magna in acute and Germany chronic test systems Seitz et al., University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Titanium dioxide nanoparticles reduce pirimicarb toxicity to Daphnia magna at ambient UV irradiation Völker et al., University Frankfurt, Germany Chronic effects of nanosilver to Daphnia magna Gil-Allué et al., Eawag, Switzerland Uptake and toxicity of engineered silver nanoparticles to a cell wall free mutant of Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii Thit et al., Roskilde University, Denmark Effects of nano-sized CuO and ionic Cu: toxicity to Daphnia magna and tight epithelial cells Session 2 “Omics and biomarkers: Linking suborganismic responses to ecologically relevant effects.” (Chairs: Markus Brinkmann, ThomasBenjamin Seiler) Panchout et al., University of Le Havre, France Comparison of extraction protocols of gills proteins in the shore crab Carcinus maenas (l.) For 2DE application The use of a transgenic fish line to refine the fish embryo test (FET) for vasotoxic effects Genetic adaptation potential of Chironomus populations to temperature stress High contaminant level do not affect the redox status of ringed seals - a comparison between two populations Session 3 “Aquatic ecotoxicology: fate and effects of pollutants in the aquatic environment.” (Chairs: Mirco Bundschuh, Jochen P. Zubrod) Kunkel et al., University of Bayreuth, Germany Attenuation and dynamics of pharmaceuticals in a German stream Simon et al., RWTH Aachen University, Germany Chemo- and bioanalyses of the partitioning of radiolabelled organic chemicals in sediment-water-organism-systems Effects of the fungicide Tebuconazole on an aquatic decomposer-detritivore system Messing et al., University of Manitoba, Canada Buresova et al., Alterra Wageningen, Netherlands Zafar et al., Wageningen University, Netherlands Effects of copper on freshwater mussels: distribution, bioaccumulation, and effects on calcium homeostasis The impact of eight herbicides at environmentally relevant concentrations in Prairie Pothole wetlands on aquatic invertebrates Effects of pesticides on aquatic and terrestrial plants Ecological impacts of time-variable exposure regimes to the fungicide azoxystrobine on freshwater communities in outdoor microcosms Agatz et al., University of York, United Kingdom Seeland et al., LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, Germany Abongwa et al., University of Buea, Cameroon Mikowska et al., Jagiellonian University, Poland Šrut et al., University of Zagreb, Croatia Motejlová et al., Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, Czech Republic Selonen et al., University of Helsinki, Finland Peric et al., University of Barcelona, Spain Hernout et al., University of York, UK Hamda et al., Jagiellonian University, Poland Meli et al., Roskilde University, Denmark Sousa et al., University of Porto, Portugal Meierjohann et al., Åbo University, Finland Ali et al., University of Antwerp, Belgium Fierens et al., VITO, Belgium Messing et al., University of Manitoba, Canada Uncertainties in aquatic ecotoxicological risk assessment Evaluation of the efficacy of crude aqueous extract of Senna occidentalis in the amelioration of tetracycline-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity in rabbits Genetic diversity in the small rodent Myodes glareolus from isolated populations and populations from heavy metal polluted areas Genotoxicity assessment of soils near heavy traffic roads using native populations of earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa The effect of 1,4-dichlorobenzene on soil organisms Effects of lead on pine forest ecosystem in a shooting range area Predicting exposure of bats to soil-associated heavy metals Decomposition analysis of LTREs may help to design short-term ecotoxicological tests: Population Modeling Approach Springtail avoidance behavior in heterogeneously contaminated environments: an individual-based model Solar-induced transformation of Lorazepam (Lorenin® 1 mg, Wyeth) in distilled water using a pilot plant with CPCs: direct photolysis vs. TiO2-assisted photocatalysis Seasonal Variations of Pharmaceuticals in a River/Lake System in Eastern Finland Biodegradation of biocides in sewage sludge An exposure assessment of novel brominated flame retardants to toddlers and adults using dust samples from Belgian homes and offices and UK day care centers and schools Phthalates in cow milk: possible contamination pathways at farm level Session 5 “From the screen to field: Modeling effects and exposure.” (Chairs: Nika Galic, André Gergs) Labite et al., University College Dublin, Ireland A review and evaluation of plant protection product ranking tools used in agriculture Session 6 “Environmental chemistry: Detecting emerging contaminants in a changing environment.” (Chairs: Tao Liu, Thorsten Junge) Table 1 Platform presentations given in one of the seven sessions during the second YES Meeting (Aachen, Germany) (Continued) Session 4 “Terrestrial ecotoxicology: Biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystem functions.” (Chairs: Stefan Kimmel, Bernd Guckenmus) Session 7 “Implementing scientific knowledge in decision making: Management and remediation techniques.” (Chairs: Michael Melato, Kerstin Bluhm) Bluhm et al., RWTH Aachen University, Germany Ecotoxicological Investigations of potential biofuels Mansfield et al., University of Manchester, UK The restoration of Manchester Docks to Salford Quays: 30 years of habitat management Sizmur et al., University of Reading, UK Thüns et al., University of Bayreuth, Germany Innoculation of earthworms during contaminated land relamation and restoration: impacts on metal mobility and availability Comparison of the characteristic travel distance of PAHs calculated by the OECD model “The tool” and measured values using peat bogs as passive samplers Heger et al., RWTH Aachen University, Germany What’s up inside the reactor - Biotests for risk assessment of biofuel fermentation Steve Maund (Syngenta, Switzerland) provided important and very personal insights into career planning and what it is like to work at a federal research institute or in industry, respectively. Both senior scientists assured that a well-developed scientific network is crucial for career progress, and therefore highlighted the importance of such meetings, where students from all over the world come together. The Job Corner allowed representatives from some of the meeting sponsors, namely BASF, Dr. Knoell Consult, and Harlan Laboratories Ltd. to introduce their companies to the participants, who had the chance to get in contact with potential future employers. The participating companies attracted a lot of students asking for jobs as well as internships “Environmental challenges in a changing world” were identified through the presentations of the participants and then were discussed. So the main theme of the meeting was carried out. A feedback questionnaire about the meeting reflected the expectations of the organizers well: Most of the participants considered this meeting very valuable and a good chance for first timers to get familiar with scientific meetings. According to the participants, what was preferable in particular was the scientific spirit during the congress which was not clouded by strategic considerations but driven by the curiosity for the research of their fellow students. Apparently, the 2nd YES meeting turned out to be again a great success and thus will be kept as a fixed event within the SAC. For further information, press reviews, as well as updates on the next YES Meeting, please check our meeting website http://yes2011.sac-online.eu In order to promote the activities of the SAC and to present the results of YES to a broader audience, a video clip of the meeting has been prepared by Matthias Leonhard Berens. The video (Link), as well as abstracts of poster and platform presentations (Link) are freely accessible as supplemental material (see additional files 1 and 2) of this article. The presenters and titles of platform presentations given during the meeting are given in Table 1. Additional file 1: The 2nd Young Environmental Scientists meeting March 2011, Aachen, Germany - Abstracts. Additional file 2: The 2nd Young Environmental Scientists meeting March 2011, Aachen, Germany - video link. Acknowledgements The Student Advisory Council wants to thank all sponsors, supporters, the local organizers, all participants, Juliane and Steve, and especially Peter for their considerable support and for the great time we all had during the meeting. We also want to acknowledge Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech. com) for providing royalty-free music for the meeting movie which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/3.0/). This meeting report is an extended version of the SETAC Globe article published in the 2011 April issue by the Student Advisory Council of SETAC Europe. Authors’ contributions All authors were involved in the organization and/or conduction of the meeting and have read and approved the final manuscript.


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Markus Brinkmann, Dominic Kaiser, Sabrina Peddinghaus, Matthias Leonhard Berens, Jennifer Bräunig, Nika Galic, Mirco Bundschuh, Jochen P Zubrod, André Dabrunz, Tao Liu, Michael Melato, Claudia Mieiro, Stephanie Sdepanian, Ola Westman, Stefan Kimmel, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler. The Second Young Environmental Scientist (YES) meeting 2011 at RWTH Aachen University - environmental challenges in a changing world, Environmental Sciences Europe, 2011, 29, DOI: 10.1186/2190-4715-23-29