ISEH 2016, ISEG 2016 & Geoinformatics 2016    
Joint International Conference on Environment, Health, GIS and Agriculture

Galway, Ireland, August 14 - 20, 2016


Organized Sessions

Call for ISEH 2016 Session/Workshop Convenors is closed!

Approved session convenors, please follow the instructions in the document: Call for ISEH 2016 Session/Workshop Convenors.


Approved organised sessions   

Anthropogenic and geogenic elements in drinking water and human health

Session Convenor: Birgitte Hansen, Cristina Villanueva

Concentrations of antropogenic and geogenic elements in drinking water may have long term health effects across an entire population. This session invites papers on the relationship between chemical compounds in drinking water and human health based on risk assessments, exposure assessments, and epidemiological studies.

Biogeochemical processes of heavy metals and human health

Session Convenors: Tangfu Xiao; Dominik Weiss

Heavy metal pollution in the environment remains critical risk to human health. There is a clear need for a full understanding of biogeochemical processes of heavy metal in the environment, including the source identification, biogeochemical transportation, and final impact on human health. Progresses in source discrimination (geogenic and/or anthropogenic origin), biogeochemical transportation, exposure pathways, and consequent human health risk are welcome to communicate in this session.

Characterization of Airborne Particles and Settled Dust in Indoor Environments

 Session Convenor: Pat Rasmussen

There is an increasing demand for quantitative information on the quality of indoor environments, including residential  environments, workplaces, and public buildings. Papers in this session will cover a range of topics that are relevant to human health risk assessments, exposure assessments, and epidemiological studies.  Topics include source apportionment, indoor/outdoor relationships, and sampling and analytical approaches for measuring metals and synthetic organic compounds in indoor environments.

Coastal & Marine Ecosystem Services and Human Health

Session convenors: Terry Morley and Kevin Lynch

Papers are invited to further our understanding of the connections between coastal & marine ecosystem services and human well-being. Papers covering broader treatments of the topic as well as those dedicated to advancing methodologies in this area are welcome.

Emerging Contaminants (ECs), Special session honouring Prof. Jiamo Fu

China-Ireland Consortium of The Society for Environmental Geochemistry & Health (SEGH)

Session Convenors:  Taicheng An, Zhiqiang Yu

This session contains the following topics: (1) Analysis methods; (2) Occurrence and sources; (3) Transportation, transformation, and fate; (4) Ecological effects; (5) Health effects; (6) Pollution control; (7) Risk assessment and management

Environmental antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes as emerging contaminants

Session Convenor: Xin Yu

Bacterial antibiotic resistance (BAR) is becoming one of the most severe challenges to human health in the 21st century. The ubiquitous occurrence and spreading of BAR in various environmental media has intensified this problem. This session included the following topics: (1) The origin, distribution, spread and fate of BAR or antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) in water and wastewater, in solid waste, and in polluted air; (2) The removal of BAR or ARGs by water and wastewater treatment processes, by other environmental remediation technologies; and the impact of BAR on the performance of the environmental biotechnologies; (3) The mutual impact between environmental and clinical antibiotic resistance, and the risk assessment of environmental antibiotic resistance.

Environmental Chemical Process of Emerging Organic Contaminants

Session Convenor: Zulin Zhang

Emerging Organic Contaminants (EOCs) cover not only newly developed compounds but also compounds newly discovered in the environment - often due to analytical developments and compounds that have only recently been categorised as contaminants, which include a wide range of chemicals such as novel or current-use pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), veterinary products, industrial compounds/by-products and so on. There has been a growing interest in the occurrence of these contaminants in the terrestrial and aquatic environment, their environmental fate and potential toxicology. This session will highlight the recent research activities on ECOs in both engineered (e.g. WWTP and effluents, amended agricultural soil etc.) and natural system (e.g. soils, catchment, river, coastal and marine environment) and provide a platform to promote a discussion on the environmental chemical process, effect and potential risk of EOCs to the animal and human health. Presentations on engineered nanomaterials and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are also welcomed.

Environmental regulation and governance

Session Convenor: Su-ming Khoo 

This session will explore aspects of environment, health and/or agricultural regulation and governance, and the role of GIS in mapping, data presentation and visualization in facilitating knowledge, information, public education, participation and societal mobilization. Papers exploring the interfaces between science, policy and citizen participation; addressing the management of different ecological, economic and social demands, or examining policy and public engagement and research utilisation will be especially welcome. 

Hazard assessment of metal pollution in urban soils

Session convenor: Jinyan Yang

One paragraph general description of the session/workshop: Due to high population density and intensive anthropogenic activities, urban areas are recognized as both the major sources and sinks of anthropogenic contaminants. Among the pollutants in the urban areas, metals are of particular concern due to their long residence time in soils and their potential toxicity to humans. As the big increase in the population of urban areas over the last decades has caused high traffic volumes and consequently high automobile emissions, traffic emission has emerged as one of the most severe environmental problems in many cities and main source of pollution of urban soils. The goal of this session is to facilitate a series of conversations about the traffic-related metal accumulation in urban soils and the hazard assessment of metal pollution of urban soils.

Heavy metal pollution in aquatic systems: emphasis on loads from sediment

Convenors: Shiming Ding, Hongbin Yin

Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements in the environment with a high atomic weight. Although some heavy metals are essential trace elements, most of them are systemic toxicants known to induce adverse effects on humans, including various types of cancer. Unlike organic pollutants, heavy metals cannot be biodegraded and their effects persist indefinitely once introduced into the environment. Sediment represents a major sink for heavy metals in aquatic systems, which can then release to the water column and enter the food chain. This session focuses on heavy metal pollution in aquatic systems, with emphases on (1) how to measure and monitor heavy metals in sediments especially under in situ condition, (2) how heavy metals mobilize and release to the water column, (3)how to assess the mobility of heavy metals in sediments and their pollution risk to organisms, and (4)how to remove heavy metal pollution from sediment loads. 

Improved decision-making in contaminated land site investigation and risk assessment (in conjunction with the Ireland Brownfield Network)

Session convenors: Rory Doherty, Siobhan Cox

We are looking for high quality and innovative research for the remediation of contaminated sites, responding to well identified multi and inter-disciplinary needs and with a clearly defined focus on site investigation, risk assessment, life cycle assessment and the effectiveness of site remediation. This will involve close collaboration between many disciplines, including microbiology, chemistry, toxicology, engineering, materials science and environmental modelling.

Indoor exposure and health effects

Session Convenor: Eddy Zeng

The general population spends the majority of time in indoor environments, whether they are homes, offices, or other covered settings. With the widespread use of various chemicals in consumer products, indoor exposure to persistent toxic substances has become an important source of human health risk. The goal of this session is to provide a platform to showcase the recent progress in related research work and discuss the knowledge gap that needs to be filled in future investigations.

Metal Isotopes in the Environment

Conveners: Jiubin Chen

Recent studies of isotope systematics, with a special emphasis on metals and metalloids (e.g. Hg, Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb, Se and Cd, etc.) in the Environment, have experienced an unprecedent increase over the past ten years. The aim of this session is to explore recent developing methods, isotopic tracers and new research applications using metal isotopes that provide stronger constraints on the origins of metals and the processes controlling the budgets of metals in various environments (e.g., soil, sediment, water, air) at local, regional and global scales, and their translocations in microbes, plants, animals and even human being.

Modelling agricultural diffuse pollution processes in freshwater cycle

Session Convenor: Lei Wang

Diffuse water pollution remains an international problem. Agricultural land is the major source of diffuse water pollution. For example, agricultural yields may be promoted by the shorter time-scale addition of Nitrogen (N) in fertilisers, but at the same time can lead to N leaching into freshwaters (groundwater and surface water). Too much nitrate in water bodies can cause serious long-term environmental issues and threaten both economic and human health. In the freshwater cycle, soluble pollutant leached from soil is subsequently transported by surface runoff to reach streams or by infiltration into the unsaturated zone (USZ) and slowly transported through USZs downwards to groundwater in aquifers. Recent research suggests that it could take decades for leached pollutant to discharge into freshwaters due to pollutant storage and long time lag in the USZs and saturated zones. Numerical models play important roles in improving the understanding of the pollutant bio-geochemical and physical processes in each component of whole freshwater cycle. Numerical modelling can also help decision makers to evaluate the long-term impact and timescale of land management scenarios and programmes of measures introduced to help deliver water quality compliance.

Natural environments for health and wellbeing: mechanisms and trade-offs

Convenor: Benedict Wheeler

There is a rapidly growing evidence base regarding the beneficial health and wellbeing impacts of exposure to natural environments (‘green space’/’blue space’, urban parks, coastal areas and so on). Benefits may accrue through processes including increased physical activity, cognitive restoration and stress recovery, social contact, reduced vitamin D deficiency through sun exposure and others. However, these benefits may be balanced by health risks, such as excess exposure to solar UV, or vector-borne diseases. This session will invite discussion of research that investigates a) the mechanisms for nature-health relationships and/or b) the benefit/risk trade-offs.

NUI Galway Alumni

Session Convenor: Ming Yu

This session is convened to facilitate academic communication and networking for NUI Galway alumni based on the multi- and inter-disciplinary nature of the academic background covering a wide range of academic fields in natural sciences, social sciences, business as well as engineering and IT technologies. All NUI Galway alumni are welcome to contribute to this session, and are encouraged to broaden their academic network through this historical opportunity.

Protecting the public from threats to health and well being

Session convenor: Maurice Mulcahy

Environmental health comprises those aspects of human health, including quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological, social, and psychosocial factors in the environment. It also refers to the theory and practice of assessing, correcting, controlling, and preventing those factors in the environment that can potentially affect adversely the health of present and future generations. Papers are particularly welcomed for this session on any of the following: The development and maintenance of sustainable communities/organisations; Human biomonitoring approaches including exposomics; Case studies on responses to public health or environmental health incidents /emergencies.

Regional geochemical datasets — applications to agricultural and environmental management

Convenors: Kate Knights, Vincent Gallagher, Ray Scanlon, Mairead Glennon

Advances in large multi-element spatial datasets detailing surficial geochemical trends provide an opportunity to assess how geochemical patterns and processes can affect a range of environmental and agricultural management challenges. This session will explore how geochemical datasets are utilised for applications for improved agricultural and environmental management, for example in examining the environmental distribution and availability of mirco- and macro-nutrients, radioelements, and potentially harmful elements.

Regional Geochemical Mapping – methods and challenges (Sponsored by EuroGeoSurveys)

Convenors: Clemens Reimann, Anna Ladenberger, and Philippe Negrel

Regional Geochemical Mapping is an established method for studying the spatial distribution of chemical elements in different sample materials, e.g., stream sediment, floodplain or overbank sediment, water, soil, rock and vegetation. The geochemical data can be used in a variety of fields such as mineral exploration, environmental, medical and forensic sciences, agriculture, forestry and land use planning. The results of regional geochemical mapping allow to understand processes operating at the large scale (from national to regional scale), such as weathering, climate, tectonic evolution, etc. and to distinguish them from more local processes such as contamination. The data from geochemical mapping have high impact on socio-economic aspects and the well-being of humans and animals, because they provide information about the chemical quality of agricultural soil, drinking water, building materials – whatever is analysed. At present, it is crucial not only to provide background levels of elements in a large variety of different materials. Element toxicity as well as deficiency needs to be expected both at the continental and local scale. Modern geochemical mapping relies on building databases and providing digital data services to the community as a whole. Geochemistry is a highly quantitative methodology utilising advanced mathematical, statistical and spatial methods for the processing and presentation of the obtained data. This session will focus on the availability and use of such datasets at a large variety of scales.

Safety of drinking water: Challenge and opportunity

Convenor: Bing Tang

Drinking water is of primary importance to the society and human health. Unfortunately, many causes, both man-made and natural, lead to contamination of drinking water, which is a great potential threat to both ecosystem and human health. This topic, “Safety of drinking water: Challenge and opportunity”, aims at setting up a forum for the convenience of communicating the current developments around the global world. The articles about the following fields, including but not limited to, are greatly welcome: 1) Characterization of micro-pollutants in drinking water; 2) New materials in treating drinking water; 3) New processes of purifying drinking water; 4) Safer chemicals in treating drinking water; 5) Case study of regional safety of drinking water.

SMART biochar technology (A shifting paradigm towards advanced materials and energy/environment research)

Session Convenors: Yong Sik Ok, Jörg Rinklebe

Biochar, produced through pyrolysis of biomass, has found a wide range of applications from soil fertility improvement to removal of contaminants. Initial interest in biochar is to use it as a means to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; however, recent developments are seeing biochar being applied in engineering, health care and life sciences, some of those applications have large potentials for rapid commercialization. We expect a paradigm shift towards the development of the next generation of biochar with applications in a range of new fields.

Spatial prediction of pollutant distribution

Session Convenor: Xiaolin Sun

Accurate spatial prediction of pollutants plays a key role in efficient cleaning of the earth. Without knowing the accurate spatial distribution of pollutants, excessive efforts in cleaning might not only damage the environment but also waste money, while deficient efforts cannot fulfill the purpose. This session will discuss how we can predict spatial distribution of pollutants more accurately.

Sorption and Bioavailability of Organic Chemicals

Session convenor name(s): Xinghui Xia

Organic chemical pollution has aroused attentions around the world, including agrochemicals, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and unintentionally produced chemicals. The distributions of organic chemicals in aquatic/soil systems are mainly controlled by the sorption processes, and their eco-environmental risks depend on their bioavailability and bioaccessibility which are also mainly affected by the sorption/desorption processes. In addition, environmental conditions, such as sediment/soil organic matter content and types, dissolved organic matter concentration and composition, suspended particulate concentration and composition, and other water chemistry parameters, will exert significant impacts on the sorption and bioavailability of organic chemicals. Chemical and biological methods have been adopted to expound these processes, especially advanced instrumental analysis approach and innovative passive sampling and dosing methods have been developed in recent years. The goal of this session is to bring together experts from different fields to present and discuss problems posed by organic chemicals with particular emphasis on the sorption and bioavailability of organic chemicals in aquatic/soil environments. The intent is to encourage discussion of methods and approaches for the bioavailability assessment of organic chemicals, addressing the biodegradation, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of organic chemicals associated with sediments/soils. The session will examine how environmental conditions affect the sorption and bioavailability of organic chemicals in the environment.

Tropospheric Aqueous Phase Chemistry

Session convenors: Jianmin Chen, Liwu Zhang

Tropospheric water, fog and cloud play an important role in air quality, multiphase chemistry and climate. Uptake of gas-phase species into liquids, hygroscopicity of particles, secondary aerosol formation, CCN, et al., are relative to tropospheric aqueous phase chemistry. In this session, chemical components, atmospheric pollutants oxidation, microorganism, diverse and their behaviours are emphasized in ambient particles and fog or cloud water.

Urban geochemistry and pollution in African megacities

Session Convenor:  Theophilus Davies

A widespread legacy of an often uncontrolled growth has deeply changed the geochemical character of urban environments in Africa. In this Session, a display of geochemistry research on African megacities (e.g., Cairo, Lagos and Kinshasa) would show the extent to which these cities are affected by multiple sources of pollution; for example, through the burning of fossil fuels, industrial and manufacturing activities, human and industrial waste disposal practices, vehicular traffic emissions and the circulation of geogenic dust. The range of pollution types from these sources is diverse, and includes toxic metal contamination, organic pollution, smog, acid mine drainage (AMD), acid rain, and greenhouse gas accumulation. Results on studies of chemical pollution of the air, water and soil environments of the largest urban agglomerations in Africa will be presented, and an assessment made of the level of exposure to pollutants by associated communities. The role of urban geochemistry is to mitigate the effects of pollution by assembling all the information (such as stratigraphy, the nature of soils and atmospheric particulates, dynamics of surface and groundwater flow, contaminant transport mechanisms) that is required to monitor pollution, and to determine measures, including legal instruments that should be adopted to ensure containment and eventually clean-up of the polluted areas of contaminated land, air and hydrological systems. Illustrations would be given of efforts that should be made by geochemists, public health authorities and city planners to preserve the environmental health of African urban communities.


Urbanization impacts on watershed ecosystem

Session Convenor: Shen Yu

This session focuses on environmental and ecological changes in response to urbanization at a watershed scale. Long-term and short-term case studies are welcomed. Watershed-scale integrative assessments of ecological and environmental risks, including new ideas and new approaches, are encouraged.
























































































































































 ISEH 2016, ISEG 2016 & Geoinformatics 2016: Joint International Conference on Environment, Health, GIS and Agriculture, Galway, Ireland, August 14 - 20, 2016. ISEH (International Symposium on Environment and Health) is an internationally leading conference series in Environment and Health held once every two years. ISEG (International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry) is an internationally leading symposium on environmental geochemistry held once every three years. Geoinformatics is the annual conference of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences (CPGIS).