Biosciences Complex        

Plenary Speakers

David Poirier, Past, Present and (Potential) Future of Environmental Protection (From a Toxicologists Viewpoint)
Andrea Kirkwood, It takes a village: Building community-university partnerships as a viable model for environmental research

Abstract Submission: Deadline for abstract submission: 11 May. Extended to 18 May

Please refer to the Call for Abstracts for information on format.


Student Travel Assistance: Deadline for student travel assistance award application: 11 May. Extended to 18 May

Please refer to the Student Travel Assistance Award Form for the required information (must be traveling a distance great than 200 km to attend the meeting).

Best Presentation Awards: Available to Student Members in good standing. Confirm during registration process that you want to be considered.

NEW! Maria Colavecchia-Pfuetzner Memorial Travel Award: Provided to the best overall Student presentation (+ $200 USD top up from SETAC NA) to attend the SETAC NA Meeting. As per SETAC NA rules, award may not be used at a later date.

Registration Fees: (Note: 1-year Membership: Regular $15, Student $6.)

AGM Registration

Until May 12

Before May 26

After May 26



$110 $135





Student and Recent Graduate – Member




Student and Recent Graduate – Non-member*

$85 $105


*Please note that only Student Members in good standing will be considered for Laurentian SETAC awards



Affordable accommodations have been blocked at the Queen’s University, Summer Accommodations on-campus! Before making your reservation, please review these Frequently Asked Questions.




Introduction to Environmental Genomics for (Eco)Toxicology

Join us for this unique short course opportunity at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS)! Dr. Robert Colautti will provide an introduction to environmental genomics including field sampling, laboratory techniques, and high-throughput sequencing applications in toxicology and ecotoxicology.


 Rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and other ‘omics’ methods are transforming the biological sciences, but the pace of development of new technologies can make them difficult to follow. This 1-day intensive field course explores applications of HTS in (eco)toxicology. This ‘crash course’ introduces participants to new and emerging technologies and provides hands-on experience with standard field sampling; we focus on two relevant areas:

  1. Transcriptome sequencing (RNA) for comparing gene expression among organismal samples.
  2. Metabarcoding and metagenomic sequencing (DNA) for comparing species communities among environmental samples

This course is aimed at toxicologists and ecological toxicologists with little (if any) experience sequencing genomes or transcriptomes. After completing this course, participants should have a good understanding of (i) which projects are appropriate for HTS technologies, and (ii) how to collect samples for such a project.


This is an overnight short course with field, laboratory, and lecture components.

The course will start on Wednesday with a welcome dinner, followed by an opening seminar to prepare for Thursday’s field and lab work. Participants will arrive Wednesday evening and stay overnight at QUBS, which is located 45 minutes north of Kingston in Elgin, Ontario.

The course fee includes accommodations in cottages on the QUBS site Wednesday night, as well as dinner on Wednesday, and breakfast and lunch on Thursday.

Appropriate attire for field sampling and laboratory analysis will be required. A list of suggested items to bring will be provided to participants.

Participants are reminded to download the R and R-Studio software directly from their respective websites linked below, in order to ensure the most up-to-date version is obtained.

R Logo

R-Studio logo


What: Introduction to environmental genomics, including field and laboratory techniques and applications in (eco)toxicology

Where: Queen’s University Biological Station, 280 Queen’s University Road, Elgin Ontario (

When: Arrive at QUBS by 5 pm Wednesday June 6th, stay overnight at QUBS Wednesday. Depart approximately 4:30 pm Thursday June 7th, heading to Kingston for those attending the AGM (Accommodations Thursday night in Kingston are not included).

Instructor: Dr. Robert Colautti, CRC in Rapid Evolution, Queen’s University (

For questions about this course, please contact Katie Hill.

Registration: Registration for the Short Course is now openRegister for the Short Course on-line.

Fees for Short Course: Short Course fees are not included in the registration fee for the AGM. The course fee includes accommodations for the night and meals. (Note: 1-year Membership: Regular $15, Student $6.)

Course Fees

Until May 12

Before May 26

After May 26



$190 $215





Student and Recent Graduate – Member




Student and Recent Graduate – Non-member

$165 $185



Are you interested in becoming a sponsor? You can now submit an online sponsorship form through our website!

Plenary Speakers

David Poirier

David Poirier

Laboratory Services Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Despite rumours to the contrary, Aquatic Environmental Protection legislation is relatively young. While the Federal Fisheries Act was initiated in 1867, it was originally designed to protect fish stocks from over-harvesting, and did not contain legislative wording on “pollutants” until the early 1960’s. Ontario’s own Environmental Protection Act and Water Resources Act are children of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and were originally designed for nutrient control. With industries such as the iron and steel manufacturing (Stelco 1919), mining (INCO 1902), and pulp and paper (Strathcona Paper 1873) being in operation for over 100 years, we are playing “catch-up” when it comes to reducing harmful discharges into the aquatic environment, and cleaning up legacy pollutants… And the targets keep changing as humans demand more and more of everything from food (pesticides) to personal safety (flame retardant clothes, fire-fighting foams), health (pharmaceuticals), personal care products (sterilints, microbeads, nanomaterials), and leisure items (plastics, Teflon,…).

While the legislation is new, some of the common tools for measuring the toxic effects of chemicals on aquatic organisms have been around for over a century. Acute toxicity tests using Daphnia appear in the first edition of the APHA (1910) Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, and J.B Sprague’s (1973) “The ABCs of Pollution Bioassays Using Fish” set the tone for standardization of fish methods. Over time, species used for environmental protection testing have evolved. Fish have come from guppies, to bass/sunfish, to Chinook salmon and finally have settled on Rainbow trout and Fathead minnows. The list of invertebrates has expanded to include different taxa, trophic niches and strengths as test organisms, and algae and bacteria are routinely used.

Techniques and methods have evolved, often blending chemistry and biology to create such “new” areas of study as metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics. Chemical analytical techniques can easily measure compounds in the ppt and ppq concentrations in environmental samples, and sort complex mixtures into their constituent parts… But to what end? With much of the world now focusing on effects based monitoring, what’s next in the area of environmental protection? Let’s open the door and see…

Andrea Kirkwood

Andrea Kirkwood

Associate Professor in the Faculty of Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

More than a generation ago, environmental research in Canada came into its own. Some would say the 1970s through to the 1980s was the golden era of environmental research in Canada, especially pollution-focused research. Many important government regulations were informed by this mostly government-funded research (e.g. eutrophication, acid rain), resulting in the cleaner water and air we have today. Fast forward to the present, the research space in Canada is larger, but there are comparatively fewer per-capita research dollars available to fund the wide array of environmental stressor-based research that could be done. So what is an environmental scientist to do when the dominant research-funding paradigm cannot fulfill research demand? My presentation will provide a first-hand account of my experience navigating the research-funding landscape in Canada, focusing on the community partnerships that I have cultivated along the way. As part of this narrative, I will present research highlights from my collaborations with municipalities, conservation authorities, and stewardship groups. For all studies presented, the common theme is a focus on water quality issues in freshwater ecosystems from the local to regional scale. The experience gained from these community partnerships has led to new projects, as well as new collaborations with other environmental scientists. Overall, I hope my presentation conveys an optimistic perspective on the diverse paths to research funding, in addition to the value of building community-based research initiatives.