Workshop on non-lethal methods for measuring contaminant burdens in wildlife

Workshop on non-lethal methods for measuring contaminant burdens in wildlife

[ 12-13 September 2012 - Jesus College, Cambridge, UK ]


Conventional approaches to determining contaminant burdens in animals use lethal sampling and analysis methods.  Given the ethical considerations associated with conventional sampling methods and the fact that many species are protected, there is growing international interest in the use of non-lethal methods.  
In addition to whole-body monitoring, these methods may include the non-lethal collection of various
tissue samples such as skin, muscle, blood, feathers, hair, scales and infertile eggs.  Through analysis of these samples and knowledge of contaminant distributions in organisms, whole-body contaminant burdens could be estimated.  Non-lethal methods could revolutionise field monitoring programmes and significantly expand the opportunities for undertaking field and laboratory research on contaminant exposure of a broad range of organisms.

Scope of the Workshop

The IUR Task Group (TG) on Non-lethal methods in Radioecology was established to facilitate international cooperation in the area of non-lethal approaches for measuring contaminant burdens in wildlife and to advance the development and adoption of non-lethal methods in radioecology. Although the initial focus of the TG was radioecology, the intention is to expand the scope of the TG to include other contaminants, facilitating the development of multi-stressor research.

This workshop brings together experts in (i) contaminant uptake and tissue distribution; (ii) non-lethal
sampling methods; and (iii) contaminant analysis in small samples of biological material.  The aims of the workshop are to:

  • Establish the current state of knowledge on non-lethal methods for major vertebrate groups (amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles)
  • Identify and engage researchers, both within and outside of the radioecology field, who have a shared interest in developing the application of non-lethal methods 
  • Identify and engage researchers specialising in the analysis of small biological samples
  • Exchange knowledge and ideas on non-lethal techniques and identify research synergies and opportunities, including joint research proposals and publications

The meeting is funded by the International Union of Radioecology and the University of Salford.  
There is no registration fee and accommodation (11  & 12  Sept) and meals (12  & 13  Sept)
will be provided.  However, participants will need to make their own travel arrangements.  Places
are limited.
For further details of this meeting or to register your interest in participating please contact the Task Group Chair, Dr Mike Wood (University of Salford).


phone: +44 (0) 161 295 2143.

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Professionals / Scientists