Training course environmental risk assessment

The Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) training course will explain the basics of how to conduct environmental risk assessment and will focus on environmental risk assessment under the various legislation within EFSA’s remit.

It will further include:

  • Exercises in problem formulation in order to better identify those aspects of the environment that need to be protected from harm. This will be done according to the environmental protection goals as set by EU legislation.
  • Exercises and lectures on how to conduct the selection of non-target organisms for the risk assessment
  • Exercises and lectures on how to gather relevant evidence. The application and use of statistics to the measurable endpoint results with appropriate interpretation of the biological relevance of statistically significant results
  • Exercises and lectures on how to conduct environmental exposure assessment
  • Exercises and lectures on life stage analysis: How to investigate the effect of exposure patterns on sensitive life stages and on populations, while using appropriate modelling tools.
  • Lectures on calibration and scientific validation of models and tools used (i.e. the  robustness of scientific information)

The course will address different aspects of the environment and the environmental compartments. The ERA guidance documents developed by EFSA, and those still under development, will form the basis for the training. The addressed regulated products will include plant protection products, feed additives, GMO’s, invasive species as well as regulated biological agents.

We aim to apply concepts to all stressors, but due to data availability plant protection products are used more in the examples than other regulated products.


Theo Brock

Theo Brock (Alterra, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands). Main tutor and preparation of training material

Theo Brock is senior research scientist Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology.  He has over 20 years research to underpin ERA procedures for plant protection products and other contaminants with a main focus on effect assessment and linking exposure to effect estimates.

Theo Brock is member and vice-chair of EFSA PPR panel (2009 - now) as well as member of several EFSA PPR Working Groups (Specific Protection Goals, Aquatic Ecotoxicology, Sediment ERA) and EFSA SC Working Groups (Overarching issues in ERA, including protection goals, endangered species and ecological recovery). He organised courses and workshops on tiered ERA procedures for different stakeholder groups and students. 

Lorraine Maltby

Lorraine Maltby (The University of Sheffield, UK). Main tutor and preparation of training material

Lorraine Maltby is professor of Environmental Biology.  She has thirty years research and teaching experience in ecology, ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessment. She is member of the EFSA Working Groups on Ecotoxicological Effects and Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Lorraine Maltby organised, developed and delivered short courses for both university students and professional scientists/regulators.

Louise Wipfler

Louise Wipfler (Alterra, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands). Main tutor on exposure assessment and preparation of training material

Louise Wipfler is researcher of the fate and behaviour of chemicals in soil, water and groundwater. She developed regulatory pesticide exposure guidance at national level. She is member of three national working groups to develop exposure scenarios as part of the authorisation process of pesticides. She is co-developer of the pesticide fate models (geo-)PEARL and TOXSWA. Louise Wipfler has a large experience in development and delivery of exposure risk assessment courses targeted to a worldwide international audience of regulators and industry scientists.

Gertie Arts

Gertie Arts (Alterra, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands). Alternative tutor and preparation of training material

Gertie Arts is senior Scientist Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology in the Environmental Risk Assessment team of Alterra. She has 30 years of working experience. Research in ecological risk assessment with focus on aquatic macrophyte and plant risk assessment and ecotoxicology. She is involved as project leader of experimental studies, reviewer of pesticide dossiers and higher-tier studies for the registration of pesticides for different stakeholder groups; as well as involved in international scientific working groups. Gertie Arts is chair of the global SETAC Plant Advisory Group and chair of Steering Committee of the SETAC non-target terrestrial plant stakeholder workshop.