SEGH members were delighted to attend and participate in the 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry organised by staff from the University of Aveiro held during 15th - 22nd of July, 2012.
The local organising committee and international scientific committee was chaired by Professor Eduardo Anselmo Ferreira da Silva (Geosciences Department, Aveiro University, Portugal), supported by colleagues from across the University and by the IAGC - International Association of Geochemistry, the SEGH - Society of Environmental Geochemistry and Health and the IMGA - International Medical Geology Association, which were represented in the event by Clemens Reimann (President of the IAGC), Xiang-dong Li (President of SEGH), Andrew Hursthouse (European Chair of SEGH) and José Centeno (Chairman of the IMGA). The conference was sponsored by:
- · GeoBioTec Research Unit
- · Cesam Research Centre
- · Delta Cafés
- · PLM
- · Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
- · TAP Portugal
The conference involved four pre-conference short-courses, a scientific program (plenary lectures, oral and poster presentations) of 5 days and a post-conference field trip.
The eight plenary sessions provided a wide range of topics across environmental geochemistry interests including:
- “Environmental health impact of legacy uranium mining in Portugal” by Fernando Carvalho,
- “Challenges in Environmental geochemistry & health: health and its costs and future research priorities?” a joint platform presentation by Alex Stewart and Andrew Hursthouse,
- “Geochemical reactivity and risk assessment: from scientific data to policy applications” by Paul Römkens
- “Petroleum contamination assessment and bio-remediation processes” by Joan Albaiges,
- “Remediation of municipal waste waters by artificial wetlands” by Joan Bayona,
- “The role of geostatistics in environmental epidemiology” by Pierre Goovaerts.
From the 259 abstracts submitted to the conference, 128 were selected for oral presentations and 131 for poster. Over 250 participants representing 37 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam), have attended the conference.
The sessions were organized according to the following themes:
1-Geochemical records of environmental changes: climate changes and human activities
Convener: Jonh Farmer, Malin Kylander and François de Vleeschouwer
2-Sustainability in Mining and Related Environmental Issues
3-Geochemistry and Health & Medical Geology
4-Environmental Toxicology & Epidemiology
5-Environmental contamination and remediation
6-Water resources and aquatic environments
7-Biogeochemistry of trace elements, organic pollutants and radio-nuclides
8-Environmental Analytical Geochemistry
9-Modelling Environmental Systems: GIS platforms and Data Analysis
10-Perception and communication of environmental health risks and social inequality
11- Observatoire Hommes-Milieux (OHM) Special session
Forty participants attended to the “Nanomaterials, Environment and Health”, "Arsenic and Mercury in the Environment", "Human bioaccessibility of potentially harmful elements in the solid phase: risk assessment aspects of using bioaccessibility data" and "International Short Course on Medical Geology Health and Earth ‐ Building a Safer Environment" short-courses, and twenty participated in the field-trip to the uranium mines.
About 100 participants attended to the Conference Dinner at the Aliança Cellars where delegates were treated to a tour of a remarkable display of art and rock and mineral specimens collected by the company.
During the meeting six prizes were awarded to post-graduation students, 3 for the best oral presentations and 3 for the best posters. Short articles on the winning presentations will follow on the SEGH website.
Finally, discussions amongst the board members of the supporting Societies agreed a mechanism to jointly promote the ISEG conference series and news of the venue of the next meeting will be made available shortly.
Professor Andrew Hursthouse
European Chair for SEGH