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Short Courses

On Sunday 07 May 2017, a variety of half- and full-day courses are offered prior to the opening of the meeting. Course registration is open to members and guests. Note that you do not need to register to the congress to attend a short course¹. Early registration is highly recommended to ensure course viability.

Following half-day courses will be available:

Instructors: Nathalie Vallotton (Dow Europe GmbH) and Marion Junghans (Swiss Center for Applied Ecotoxicology EAWAG-EPFL)
Course level: Intermediate
Course length: Half-day (8:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Location: Meeting Studio 314 (Level +3)


With current analytical methods, it is not uncommon to detect more than 50 substances in a single surface water sample. This short course intends to explore the series of tools available to risk assessors when evaluating the potential risks from combined exposures. The course will start with a refresher of the basic terminology and concepts of mixture toxicology and expand to discuss approaches used in the screening assessment of mixtures, such as the toxic unit approach and the summation of risk quotients based on benchmark concentrations (i.e environmental quality standards). The course will expand on tools used for the prioritization of mixtures including: risk assessment decision tree (IPCS/WHO and CEFIC-MIAT) and the Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR). Refinement options for cases where screening approaches are not suitable to alleviate concern will also be introduced. Case studies will highlight how to best focus refinement steps and discuss risk management options. The course will end with a hands-on exercise by the participants to experience and discuss challenges encountered in the handling of co-exposure datasets, options for refinement, results interpretation and decision-making.

Course Objectives: To provide a refresher on the concepts and terminology in mixture toxicology and an overview of tiered approach schemes in the risk assessment of co-exposures (IPCS/WHO scheme and CEFIC-MIAT decision tree) supporting the prioritisation of mixtures for further consideration. The course will allow the participant to experience the handling of a co-exposure dataset, discuss critical steps, options for refinement and interpretation

Course Outline:
08:00 – 08:15 Introduction and overview
08:15 – 08:45 Introduction the terminology, models in mixture toxicology (concentration addition, independent action)
08:45 – 09.30 Introduction in existing tiered concepts and approaches in the risk assessment of co-exposure
Case study 1: Aquatic co-exposure of Plant Protection Products in the USA
09:30 – 09:45 Introduction into a method designed for mixture risk assessment under EU water framework directive (WFD)
09:45 – 10:00 Coffee Break
10:00 – 10:30 Case study 2: Surface water risk assessment based on WFD environmental quality standards (EQS)
10:30 – 11:30 Hands on experience with a case study: how to assess co-exposures detected in a monitoring study, experience the handling of non detects, missing hazard information, strategies for refinement.
11:30 – 12:00 Discussion

Following full-day courses (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) will be available:

Instructors: John W. Green (DuPont), Timothy A. Springer (EAG: Wildlife International) and Dr. Henrik Holbech (University of Southern Denmark)
Course level: Intermediate
Location: Meeting Studio 201 A/B (Level +2)

Abstract: This course covers statistical considerations of experimental design and statistical analysis used to evaluate toxicity of chemicals in the environment. Both hypothesis testing to determine a NOEC and regression modeling to determine an ECx are developed in detail. Discussion will include advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and their use in risk assessment. The lead instructor works closely with OECD & USEPA, is an active member of the OECD Validation Management Group for Ecotoxicity and was instrumental in developing several new OECD Test Guidelines and new methodology and these will be discussed. The instructors have worked on several other multi-displanary teams developing regulatory statistical guidance. Continuous, quantal, and severity score (histopath) data and both normal and Poisson models will be explored. The instructors have decades of practical experience designing and analysing ecotoxicity experiments, performing risk assessments, and dealing with related regulatory issues and drew on that experience in developing this class. Underlying principles will be discussed, but the focus will be on practical issues. All topics will include illustration by real laboratory ecotoxicity data examples illustrating the relevant points and techniques. Logical flow-charts and some discussion of software for NOEC determination and for regression model fitting will be presented.

Course objectives: The course is intended to identify and explore techniques both statistically sound and acceptable to the regulatory communities for analyzing laboratory ecotoxicity experiments to meet current and near-term future guidelines. The course will identify problematic data that may call for specialized approaches. It is intended to provide practical advice and make specific recommendations, as well as alternatives and when they might be appropriate. It will also introduce statistical methods in recently adopted OECD Test Guidelines.

Course outline: 

  • Introduction and overview
  • Basics: Multiple controls. Study Design. Meaning of replicate, unit of analysis
  • Recommendations from Pellston Workshop to improve study design and reporting
  • Quantal data (e.g., incidence, mortality, sexratio)
  • Coffee break
  • Continuous responses, hypothesis tests
  • Continuous responses, Regression Models
  • Lunch break
  • Continuous responses, Regression Models: Transformations
  • Test Guidelines for continuous responses
  • Coffee break
  • Analysis of Fish Early Life Stage Experiments
  • Analysis of Fish Sexual Development Test and Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay
  • Multi-Generation and Histopathology responses (LAGDA, JQTT, MEOGRT), including severity scores, time-to-event, reproduction adjusted for parent mortality
  • Summary: Putting it all together

Instructors: Christian Ritz (University of Copenhagen), Jens C. Streibig (University of Copenhagen), Signed M. Jensen (University of Copenhagen), and Elise Billoir (Université de Lorraine)
Course level: Advanced
Location: Meeting studio 213 (Level +2)

Abstract: The open source statistical environment R ( has become the lingua franca of data analysis both among statisticians and researchers in many applied sciences. Many advanced or recent statistical and graphical/visualisation techniques are only available in R, which is an extremely powerful all-in-one alternative software to specialised commercial data analysis software currently used by many ecotoxicologists. Moreover, it encourages collaborative and reproducible research.

The focus will be on giving the participants practical experience with the software as it requires some training get going using the programme. The course material will be a blend of lectures and case-studies with toxicological data, from recent publications.

ANOVA methods will be revisited, linear, non-linear regression (including dose-response analysis), logistic and Poisson regression models will be introduced through case studies. More advanced topics such as sandwich variance estimators, linear and nonlinear mixed models and multiplicity adjustment of p-values will also be discussed. Expert teachers will provide guidance and assistance throughout the course.

The course is intended for PhD students, researchers, and scientists in toxicology and environmental sciences. An elementary understanding of statistical concepts is a prerequisite. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data.

Course Objectives:

  1. Review state-of-the-art statistical methods used in ecotoxicology
  2. Provide hands-on experience for routine and advanced data analysis
  3. Demonstrate the strengths of open source statistical software
  4. Empower participants to use the software for their own data analysis

Course outline:

08:30 – 08:40 Welcome – introduction to the course
08:45 – 09:45 Introduction to R and statistics
09:45 – 10:00 Coffee break
10:00 – 11:00 Linear models: regression
11:00 – 12:00 Linear models: ANOVA and ANCOVA
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 – 14:00 Dose-response and related analyses
14:00 – 14:45 Linear mixed models
14:45 – 15:00 Coffee break
15:00 – 16:00 Nonlinear mixed-effects models
16:00 – 17:30 More examples

Instructor: Jana Asselmann (Ghent University)
Course level: Introductory
Location: Meeting Studio 214 (Level +2)

Abstract: Given the succes of the workshop on Epigenomic data analysis at the SETAC/iEOS joint focused topic meeting, I propose a short course on sequencing data for the Setac Brussels Meeting. The course will introduce participants to different sequencing technologies on genomics, epigenomics and transcriptomics and how to apply these in their own research. It will start by introducing participants to different technologies, their benefits and pitfalls. Next, the course will focus on how participants can design their own sequencing experiments in terms of experimental design considerations and budget considerations. The second part will consist of a more practical training in which participants will be introduced to commonly used software and tools, followed by a hands on quality analysis. The course will conclude with a hands-on training session in R in which participants will learn how to statistically analyze different types of omics data. The course particularly focusses on omics application within environmental science and risk assessment.

Course objectives: 

  1. Participants will have an overview of the major sequencing technologies
  2. Participants will know how to design their own sequencing experiment
  3. Participants will be able to do quality analysis of sequencing data
  4. Participants will be familiar with the most commonly used software and tools
  5. Participants will be familiar with the crucial steps in data processing of omics data in R

Course outline: 

The course consists of two formats: a theory section given in the form of a lecture and a practical session in which participants use their own laptop to do practical exercises.


  • Overview of the major technologies for genomics, epigenomics & transcriptomics
  • Coffee Break
  • Experimental design of omics research
  • Research with non-model organisms or organisms without a reference genome
  • Lunch


  • Introduction to data analysis software and tools
  • Quality analysis of sequencing data
  • Coffee break
  • Hands-on training on data processing of different types of omics data in R

Instructors: Mark Miles (Bayer), Veronique Poulsen (Anses), Edward Pilling (Dow AgroSciences), and Marco Candolfi (Eurofins)
Course level: Intermediate
Location: Meeting Studio 216 (Level +2)

Abstract: Regulatory texts on Plant Protection Products (pesticides) require an assessment of the impact of these products on the pollinating species and these texts have been recently updated in Europe and North America in order to take into account the most recent scientific input. In the meantime, expert groups are active in updating the set of testing methods to be used in revised regulatory context. This short course aims at guiding risk assessors as well as scientists through the updated set of methods and more particularly:

  • Providing elements of bee biology as a basis for understanding testing methods set-up, advantages and limitations;
  • Providing state of the art of actual testing methods and their developments, linked to OECD, ICP-PR and EPPO activities;
  • Discussing the derivation of endpoints that allow a reliable description of products ecotoxicological profile to bees for use in robust risk assessments;
  • Role of the testing methods in context of the bigger challenges underlying the protection of pollinators.

Methods will address the honeybee (Apis mellifera) and will illustrate developments for some other species (Bombus spp. and selected examples of other bees). Interaction with regulatory risk assessors will be ensured during the day to exchange on the way these methods are used in regulatory risk assessments.

Course objectives: The course is intended to provide an intermediate understanding on bee biology and testing methods (laboratory and field) to the regulatory communities for analyzing laboratory and higher tier ecotoxicity experiments to meet current or near-term future guidelines. Although methods with be covered in detail sufficient back ground will be provided so that those with little knowledge of the topic can access the course. The course will identify problematic data that may call for specialized approaches. It is intended to provide practical advice and make specific recommendations, as well as alternatives when they might be appropriate.

Course outline: 

8:00 am: Welcome
Part 1: Honey bees
8:15am-8:45am: Honey bee biology and factors affecting ecotoxicological testing
8:45am-9:30am: Honey bee laboratory test methods
9:30am-9:45am: Regulatory and notifier overview of laboratory testing
9:45am: Coffee Break
10:15am-11:15am: Honey bee semi-field test methods (tunnel and cage tests)
11:15am-11:30am: Regulatory and notifier overview of semi-field testing
11:30am-12:00pm: Refining exposure experimentally
12:00: Lunch Break
1:00pm-2:00pm: Honey bee field studies
2:00pm-2:15pm: Regulatory and notifier overview of exposure and field testing
2:15pm-2:45pm: General discussion on honey bee testing
2:45pm Coffee Break
Part 2: Non-Apis bees
3:15pm-3:45pm: Introduction to non-Apis bee biology
3:45pm-4:15pm: Laboratory methods for Bombus sp.
4:15pm-5:30pm: Update on non-Apis bee testing activities and developments – General discussion on non-Apis testing methods
5:30pm: End/closing remarks

Instructors: Peter Fantke (Technical University of Denmark), Olivier Jolliet (University of Michigan), Alexi Ernsthoff (Quantis), and Lei Huang (University of Michigan)
Course level: Intermediate
Location: Meeting Studio 204 (Level +2)

Abstract: To meet the increasing need for assessing exposure to chemicals in consumer products for life cycle assessment (LCA), chemical alternatives assessment (CAA), and high throughput risk-based screening (HTS), this course provides a practical overview of the mass-balance based tools to assess multi-pathway human exposure to chemicals in consumer products, and how to integrate this with health effects modeling based on comparative and quantitative metrics. We begin by explaining the assessment framework and basic concepts of mass balance modeling – including multiple transfers between near- and far-field environmental compartments. We next present the fundamentals of the multi-pathway resulting exposures for consumers and the general population, reviewing the High Throughput data and models available for detergents, building material, food contact materials and personal care products. We will illustrate how consumer exposure can be integrated into LCA, CAA, and HTS studies. We then guide the participants through examples developing exposure and impact factors for various consumers, exposure scenarios using a matrix-based modelling framework that is aligned in its approach with the UNEP/SETAC scientific consensus model USEtox® for characterising human toxicity and ecotoxicity impacts. We will conclude with a demonstration of how this framework fills in important gaps in current assessments and how it can be used in various science-policy fields, including the prioritisation and ranking of chemicals, chemical substitution and life cycle toxicity characterisation.

Course objectives:

The aim of this course is to introduce participants to the exposure science methods used in life-cycle assessment, chemical alternatives assessment, and comparative risk assessment. Participants will learn to use and evaluate basic tools for mass-balance, and consumer exposure pathways, and the product intake fraction relating chemical mass intake to chemical mass in consumer products. Participants will review underlying model assumptions and evaluate data needs along with data and knowledge gaps in these assessments. The course is intended for environmental science practitioners interested in the scientific fundamentals of exposure and impact assessment of chemicals for a broad range of consumer products. Only basic background knowledge of environmental modeling, risk assessment or life cycle assessment is considered necessary. Participants will come away with knowledge of basic concepts of exposure science for the impact assessment of chemicals in products and be able to perform their own assessment using the provided modeling framework and interpret results.

Course outline:

Morning session (08:00 – 12:00)
08:00 – 08:15 Introduction: Consumer exposure in different contexts
08:15 – 09:45 Lecture/short exercises: Product intake fraction and exposure matrix framework
09:45 – 10:00 Coffee Break
10:00 – 11:00 Lecture: Data and models for detergents, building materials, food contact materials and personal care products
11:00 – 12:00 Short exercises: Data and models for detergents, building materials, food contact materials and personal care products
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break
Afternoon session (13:00 – 17:00)
13:00 – 14:45 Application exercise I: Consumer exposure in LCA and alternatives assessment: flooring
14:45 – 15:00 Coffee Break
15:00 – 16:15 Application exercise II: Consumer exposure in risk-based screening: personal care products
16:15 – 16:45 Discussion: Interpretation and open questions
16:45 – 17:00 Course evaluation

For the first time we offer a CRA specialised course in adjunction to the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting

Instructors: Marlene Agerstrand (Stockholm University) and Anna Sobek (Stockholm University)
Course length: 2-days (Saturday 06 May and Sunday 07 May; 8:00-17:00) during the Annual Meeting, additionally online phase
Course level: Specialised CRA course approved for CRA topic 2
Location: Meeting Studio 206 (Level +2)

Abstract: Good decisions rely on well-founded knowledge, evaluated using systematic methods that promotes transparency. The purpose of the course is to give risk assessors, researchers and PhD-students the possibility to deepen their understanding of how aquatic ecotoxicity and degradation studies should be evaluated for use in hazard and risk assessment of chemicals. The course participants will get practice in applying currently recommended and used methods and criteria. The course will also include a discussion of actual controversies in the European and North American regulatory frameworks, and what could be done to overcome these problems.

Learning Outcomes: After the course, participants will be able to evaluate ecotoxicity and degradation studies using recommended best practice methods. Furthermore, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the difficulties and controversies that can arise when evaluating studies for environmental risk assessment of chemicals.

Course outline: The course starts with a webinar on how to evaluate ecotoxicity and degradation studies, followed by a two day contact time composed of lectures and intense group discussions. Finally participants will reflect the new learn methods within an essay.

Registration fees for the half-day courses:

  • SETAC member (HIC)*: 175 Euro
  • SETAC student member (HIC)*: 80 Euro
  • SETAC member LIC/LUMIC*: 80 Euro
  • Non-member: 265 Euro
  • Student non-member: 120 Euro

The registration fee for a half-day course includes attendance to the course, course material, and coffee break.

Registration fees for the full-day courses:

  • SETAC member (HIC)*: 245 Euro
  • SETAC student member (HIC)*: 110 Euro
  • SETAC member LIC/LUMIC*: 110 Euro
  • Non-member: 375 Euro
  • Student non-member: 165 Euro

Registration fees for the 2-day specialised CRA course:

  • SETAC member (HIC)*: 490 Euro
  • SETAC student member (HIC)*: 220 Euro
  • SETAC member LIC/LUMIC*: 220 Euro
  • Non-member: 750 Euro
  • Student non-member: 330 Euro

The 2-day and full-day course includes attendance to the course, course materials, coffee break(s) and lunch from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm.

*HIC (High Income Country), LIC (Low Income Country) or LUMIC (Lower and Upper Middle Income Country) as listed by the World Bank. Note that Non-Members LIC/LUMIC are paying the same amount as the Student Non-Members.

¹Please note, that we have to charge an administrative fee of 40€ for participants ONLY attending a short course and not the full meeting. We cordially invite you to the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening.

How to register

  • You can register for one of the short courses and the meeting.
  • You can register for a short course only.
  • You are already registered for the meeting and you would like to add a short course to your registration? No problem, simply go to the SETAC Europe store and register for the course of your choice.

A limited number of grants are available for SETAC student members and LIC/LUMIC members.

Student candidates:

  • Must be a SETAC student member (provide member ID number)
  • Must be living and residing in Europe, Middle East, Russia or Africa
  • Must submit a motivation letter
  • Must submit a short recommendation by supervisor
  • Must select a short course

Low Income / Low Middle Income (LIC/LUMIC) country candidates:

  • Must be a SETAC member (provide member ID number)
  • Must be living and residing in one of the SETAC Europe administered low or middle income countries (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyz Rep, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Rep of Moldavia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Syrian Arab Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Yemen + African countries)*
  • Must submit a brief CV & motivation letter
  • Must select a short course
*LIC (Low Income Country) or LUMIC (Lower and Upper Middle Income Country) as listed by the World Bank.


Please complete the grant application form and return it to SETACby 20 February 2017.

Based on the applicants candidatures (abstract, CV, motivation and recommendation letters), the SETAC Europe Awards Committee will decide on the distribution of the available grants.

For further information please have a look on registration.

We strongly encourage early registration for short courses in order to avoid disappointment, as 1) the number of registrations for some courses are limited and 2) the final decision on whether the short course will be programmed at the meeting will depend on the number of registrations received on 15 March 2017. If you have not registered by that date, we might need to cancel the course you are interested in, due to lack of registrations.

Would you have any questions on short courses, please contact SETAC.