For What It’s Worth: Using the Ecosystem Services Concept in Ecological Risk Assessments, with Valery Forbes and Peter Calow

The environmental community is abuzz with the concept of “ecosystem services.” But what does it really mean? And does this new way of thinking change how scientists approach environmental management? In this episode, Valery Forbes and Peter Calow provide an informal overview of how regulatory agencies can better incorporate the ecosystem services concept into ecological risk assessments (ERAs). Although agencies in Europe and the US have begun to integrate ecosystem services into ERAs, Forbes and Calow point out major challenges that must be overcome in order to substantially improve current ERA processes. Their article “Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals” is part of the special series “Ecosystem Services: From Policy to Practice.” Access the series in the April 2013 issue of IEAM.


Podcast available on iTunes and YouTube

About the Guests

Peter Calow and Valery Forbes

Valery Forbes is a Professor and Director of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. From 1989-2010, she lived and worked in Denmark, most recently she was Founding Chair of the Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change and Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology at Roskilde University. Valery has a PhD in Coastal Oceanography from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Specific research topics include population ecology and modeling, fate and effects of toxic chemicals in sediments, and ecological risk assessment. Valery has published over 100 internationally peer-reviewed articles and two books on these topics, is on the editorial board of several international journals, and provides scientific advice to the private and public sectors.

Peter Calow is a Research Professor at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) USA and has previously had professorial positions at the Universities of Sheffield (UK) and Roskilde (DK). Peter has also served as Director of Denmark’s Environmental Assessment Institute. Degrees: DSc, PhD and BSc, from the University of Leeds UK—many years ago. His professional activities have focused on environmental risk assessment and are at the science-policy interface. Peter has sat on numerous advisory committees involving the UK Government and EU Commission and has written more than 250 articles (including more than 20 books). Was one of the founding Presidents of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe, and he received the SETAC Europe Education Award in 2005. Peter was honored, by the Queen, with the UK Order of the British Empire in 2000 for services to the environment.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast
van Wensem J, Maltby L. 2013. Ecosystem services: From policy to practice. IEAM 9#2:211–213.

Apitz S. 2013. Ecosystem services and environmental decision making: Seeking order in complexity. IEAM 9#2:214–230.

Dunbar MB, Panagos P, Montanarella L. 2013. European perspective of ecosystem services and related policies. IEAM 9#2:231–236.

van Wensem J. 2013.Use of the ecosystem services concept in landscape management in the Netherlands. IEAM 9#2:237–242.

Tobias S. 2013. Preserving ecosystem services in urban regions: Challenges for planning and best practice examples from Switzerland. IEAM 9#2:243–251.

Everard M. 2013. Safeguarding the provision of ecosystem services in catchment systems. IEAM 9#2:252–259.

von Stackelberg KE. 2013. Decision analytic strategies for integrating ecosystem services and risk assessment. IEAM 9#2:260–268.

Forbes VE, Calow P. 2013. Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals. IEAM 9#2:269–275.

Faber JH, Creamer RE, Mulder C, Römbke J, Rutgers M, Paulo Sousa J, Stone D, Griffiths BS. 2013. The practicalities and pitfalls of establishing a policy-relevant and cost-effective soil biological monitoring scheme. IEAM 9#2:276–284.

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