Ecosystem health and chemical mixture risk assessment and management

11:00-12:00 | Ecosystem health and chemical mixture risk assessment and management

Ecosystems are continuously impacted by various combinations of chemicals. The assessment of the effects of such complex mixtures and the development of adequate policies are still a major challenge. An improved understanding of the joint action of the various types of stressors, in terms of synergistic and antagonistic interactions on biota is necessary. For this purpose, combine mixture chemical determinations on environmental matrices (soil, water, sediment) with ecological evaluations make it possible to evaluate the effects of fluctuating stress intensities and responses at different biological levels (behavioural, genetic, individual and community level). Some recent scientific developments, critical reviews of the data and resulting implications for environmental risk assessment and management will be presented.

Programme 11:00-12:00

  • Silvia Casini
    Monitoring the effects of mixtures of chemicals in ecologically relevant species

  • Camilla Della Torre
    Investigating the interactive effects of nanomaterials and pollutants in water ecosystem: a case study with carbon-based nanomaterials and benzo(α)pyrene

  • Andrea Di Guardo
    Using small to large scale monitoring data to identify priority mixtures in surface water bodies

  • Ilaria Corsi
    Effect-based methods for ecological risk assessment of chemical mixtures


Anna Barra Caracciolo | Chair

Anna Barra Caracciolo took her PhD in Ecology in 1995. She is Research Director at IRSA-CNR. Her current research field is the study of organic contaminant fate with particular regard to the role of the natural microbial community in removing these chemicals (bioremediation) alone or in support to plants (phyto-assisted bioremediation). She teaches Bioremediation in the Ecological Master Course at Rome Sapienza University. She is member of the European Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). She is in the Scientific Committee and Chair of the Bioremediation Session at the SETAC Europe Annual Meeting 2020.

Antonio Finizio | Co-chair

Antonio Finizio took is PhD in “Chemistry, Biochemistry and Ecology of Pesticides” in 1993. Currently, is associate professor at the Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences (Univ. of Milano Bicocca), where he teaches ecology and stress ecology. Research activity of Prof. Finizio is oriented towards environmental risk assessment (ERA) of contaminants. He is member of the ERAWP at the European Medicine Agency (ERA for veterinary pharmaceuticals) and member of the FEEDAP Panel for the European Food and Safety Agency (ERA for feed additives). He is part of the directory board of the Italian Society of Ecology.

Silvia Casini

Silvia Casini took her PhD in Environmental Biology in 1997. She is currently researcher in Ecology and Ecotoxicology at Department of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Siena,  scientific co-responsible of the Biomarkers Laboratory and Chair of the Committee of Education of the Degree in Natural and Environmental Sciences, where she teaches “Biological effects of contaminants”. Her main expertise concerns the development and application of biomarkers for the study of the effects of environmental contaminants in bioindicator species with focus on endangered and ecologically relevant species. She is member of SItE and SETAC EUROPE and vice-president of SETAC ITALIAN BRANCH.

Ilaria Corsi

Ilaria Corsi took her PhD in Environmental Biology in 2001. She is Adjunct Professor of Ecotoxicology and full-time researcher at the Dept of Physical, Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Siena. Research fields includes ecotoxicology of emerging contaminants including engineered nanomaterials and nanoplastics and pollution monitoring and remediation by using effect-based tools for ecological risk assessment. She is a Fulbright scholar (Stanford 2002-3) and member of several scientific panels including the most recent Nanosafety Cluster of the European Commission and SCAR action Group on Plastic at the Poles.

Camilla Della Torre

Camilla Della Torre is currently Assistant Professor in Ecology at the Department of Biosciences, University of Milan, where she teaches Community and Ecosystems. From 2008 to 2014 she had a Post-doc position at the Department of Physical Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Siena. She took her PhD in Environmental Sciences in 2008. From 2001 to 2005 she worked at Central Institute for Marine Research in Rome. Her research focuses on the ecotoxicity of emerging pollutants and on the investigation of the mechanisms of adaptation to environmental stressors in aquatic models.

Andrea Di Guardo

Andrea Di Guardo is an environmental engineer with a PhD in “Science”. His activity relates mainly to   environmental risk assessment (ERA) of contaminants in different environmental matrices (water, soil air) coupling decision support systems (DSS) with models and indices. He is also active in the precision irrigation field, in particular on the interaction between DSS, models and data from the field. He has also twenty years of professional experience in environmental software design. He is member of the editorial board of STOTEN journal.