When the annual Congress of the Italian Society of Ecology (Società Italiana di Ecologia - SItE), planned for 14-18 September in Lecce had to be postponed until next year because of Covid-19, the organising committee, in conjunction with LifeWatch Italy and the Ecology Laboratory at the University of Salento, decided to offer its members a day of online Roundtables entitled "SItE – Towards Lecce 2021" to celebrate Ecology Day on 14 September.
Around 300 registrations were made to follow the 20 presentations offered across a comprehensive range of topics:
•Ecosystem health and chemical mixture risk assessment and management
•Ecosystems and their services for human well-being
•Healthy Ecosystems, Healthy People
•Landscape ecology: sustainable landscape management, and
•Arctic and Alpine ecosystems in the face of climate change.
Dr Christos Arvanitidis was called up from LifeWatch ERIC to contribute to the Healthy Ecosystems, Healthy People session, which was organised by the European Ecological Federation and chaired by its President, Cristina Maguas. Dr Arvanitidis' talk was on the topic of ‘Biodiversity and Emerging Infectious Diseases: the role of the RIs in combating threats to public health', starting with the connection between environmental factors during the Plague of Athens (430 BC) and moving forward on to how modern European Research Infrastructures (RIs) contribute to analysing the connections between human and ecosystem health. An RI like LifeWatch ERIC offers a one-stop disruptive technology-based architecture combined with docker technology, that guarantees authentication, transparency and reproducibility, which form the cornerstones of the modern process of scientific knowledge production. In addition, Dr Arvanitidis argued, it enables "the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation". Click here to download the presentation.
The 2021 Italian Society of Ecology congress will take place in Lecce, from 13 to 17 September.