Beyond GhEnToxLab

“Karel De Schamphelaere will become the next president of SETACEurope (link) in May 2018. SETACEurope is the premier professional society in the domain of ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessment.

The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) and the UK Environmental Omics Synthesis Centre (iEOS) are organizing a joint focused topic meeting on environmental and (eco)toxicological omics and epigenetics. The conference will take place in Ghent, 12-15 September, 2016 and GhEnToxLab members Prof. Dr. Eng. Karel De Schamphelaere and Dr. Eng. Jana Asselman are members of the organizing committee. The application of ‘omics' in environmental and (eco)toxicological science is a fast moving area of research, with new understanding of the epigenome bringing an important new perspective to understanding of species response to environmental perturbations. The symposium will consist of platform and poster presentations from selected abstracts as well as opening lectures from world-renowned invited speakers. Abstracts for platform and poster presentations can be submitted (link) until 15 June 2016.

On Sunday the 22nd of November, many research institutes in Flanders open their doors to the general audience for Science Day, an event coordinated by the Flemish Government. The Flanders Marine Institute is also opening its doors from 10am to 5pm. GhenToxLab Researchers are also present! They will take visitors on an interactive tour in the Molecular Lab of the Marine Station Ostend and will explain how DNA plays an important role in developing new techniques to assess biodiversity.

At the moment, 2 GhenToxLab members are joining the 100th ESA conference in Baltimore, USA (August 9-11). With over 250 contributed talks and poster sessions, this is the biggest ecological conference worldwide. Today, filling the gap between ecology and toxicology is one of the main research themes in our lab. As such, Jonathan De Raedt and Jan Baert present their poster “The effect of dispersal along a stress gradient in micro-algae communities”.

javascript:void(0)Since 2009, the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) has coordinated and facilitated the scientific diving activities of Belgian scientists. Every year, a BELSPO working group organizes a ten-day course to train and prepare Belgian marine scientists. GhEnToxLab member, Maarten De Rijcke, has been selected as one out of only eight divers to be trained as a Belgian Scientific Diver this year. Congrats Maarten, enjoy and keep it safe!

Research collaborator and former postdoc visiting researcher Takashi Nagai is selected as a new member of the Scientific Advisory Committee regarding environmental risk assessments. The committee consists of 21 scientists and conducts scientific considerations on official environmental risk assessments of industrial chemicals. It falls under the Japanse Chemical Substances Control Act which resembles the REACH regulation of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Yesterday, prof. Karel De Schamphelaere presented the launch of the SETAC Europe Certification of Environmental Risk Assessors at the opening ceremony of the SETAC Conference in Barcelona. This program aims to harmonize and further strengthen science in environmental risk assessment by continuous education, training and by certification of risk assessors who show to have a broad multidisciplinary competence portfolio.

Eurometaux, the European non-ferrous metals association, and Arche Consulting produced a video on the Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for metals. The EQS are essential to protect and sustain a good ecological and chemical quality of European surface waters. This deals within the objective of the water framework directive. Our lab collaborated in this production and a few lab members can be seen in the video.

Click here to see the movie.

Last February, Prof. Janssen together with eleven Ph.D. lab members and 2 M.Sc. thesis students participated in the 15th edition of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) Young Marine Scientists’ day.  In this event, which was attended by 347 ‘young’ scientists’, our colleagues Lisbeth Van Cauwenberghe and Maarten De Rijcke were selected (out of 130 applicants) to give a pitch presentation. Lisbeth confronted the audience with her new results on man’s daily contribution to the marine microplastic problem and Maarten presented his research on the combined effects of temperature and nutrient load on the development of harmful algal blooms.

March 14 through 19, 2015: our colleague Olivier Berteloot attended the SETAC YES conference at the Petnica Science Center in Serbia. Olivier presented his recent research on ‘the influence diet quality on the chronic toxicity of copper to the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis’. He demonstrated that L. stagnalis individiuals fed with lettuce were significantly more sensitive to copper in comparison with fish flake fed L. stagnalis individuals, thus confirming the importance of standardized culture and test protocols for (regulatory) toxicity testing.