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  • Hello, Professor Thomas Sterner, who was in Paris last week to talk about the Swedish carbon dioxide tax

    [23 Feb 2018] Hello, Thomas Sterner, Professor of Environmental Economics, who was invited to Paris last week to testify to French ministers how the Swedish carbon dioxide tax works, because France is about to introduce a carbon dioxide tax on Swedish level to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions.

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    [15 Feb 2018] Millions of plastic pellets are leaking out into the environment from a manufacturing site in Stenungsund. This has been shown by a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Gothenburg. Despite several international and national sets of regulatory frameworks, the leaking continues.

  • FRAM-seminar: How to measure multiple environmental stressors

    [16 Jan 2018] Empirically testing the effects of all possibly co-occurring stressors and chemical mixtures is rendered impossible. Thus, theoretical advances of our predictive capacities are urgently needed. Professor Ralf B Schäfer is an expert on exposure and effects of different environmental stressort and will present two ways to deal with these phenomena.

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Multiple stressors and chemical mixtures: A joint challenge?

Research profile seminar

The current epoch is characterised by an unprecedented influence of human societies on ecosystems through multiple anthropogenic stressors. These stressors range from habitat degradation over invasive species to pollution including by toxicants. Professor Ralf B. Schäfer will first present recent studies on the co-occurrence of stressors and chemicals in the field and present two research avenues to deal with these phenomena: 1) Prioritisation of mixtures and stressors and 2) Advancement of predictive capabilities using theoretical models.

The current epoch is characterised by an unprecedented influence of human societies on ecosystems through multiple anthropogenic stressors. These stressors range from habitat degradation over invasive species to pollution including by toxicants. The co-occurrence of these stressors is rather the norm. Moreover, given that approximately 30,000-70,000 chemicals are in daily use and many such as pesticides are deliberately emitted, environmental chemical exposure alone is often characterised by the co-occurrence of multiple chemicals.

Many studies for all kinds of ecosystems have examined potential interactions between stressors and between toxic chemicals, though largely for two-stressor or two chemical interactions. Recent meta-analyses of two-stressor interactions across ecosystems (and their constituting organisms) displayed a high variability in the prevalence of additive, less than additive (antagonistic) and more than additive (synergistic) interactions with respect to the standard additive model for stressor interaction.

Similarly, studies showed that the effects of 70% of 2-10 compound mixtures showed a deviation of up to 300%, with up to a 12-fold exceedance of the predicted effects (Cedergreen et al., 2008; Nørgaard and Cedergreen, 2010) when using current models for mixture effects. However, empirically testing the effects of all possibly co-occurring stressors and chemical mixtures is rendered impossible by the huge number of possible combinations. Thus, theoretical advances of our predictive capacities are urgently needed.

Lecturer: Professor Dr. Ralf B. Schäfer (Phd 2008), working group leader in Quantitative Landscape Ecology, is professor at the University Koblenz-Landau since 2010 in the Institute for Environmental Sciences. With other 130 staff members and 12 professors, the Institute for Environmental Sciences is one of the largest german University Institutes devoted to research in the Environmental Sciences. Ralfs main expertise is the exposure and effects of different environmental stressors, with a particular emphasis on organic toxicants, on freshwater invertebrates, microbes and ecosystem functions using field investigations and different statistical and spatial modelling techniques. He has published over 80 articles in international peer-reviewed journals including leading multidisciplinary journals.

Date: 1/31/2018

Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Categories: Science

Organizer: The FRAM Centre

Location: University main building Vasaparken, Universitetsplatsen 1

Contact person: Daniel Slunge

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