Establishment of the European Aerobiology Society and other aspects of its activities
The development of aerobiology communities involves the levels of national and international organizations or networks. At the beginning of the 21st century, special preconditions created in Europe: an exceptionally dense network of aerobiological monitoring stations was formed, and the number of researchers related to these observations and research is constantly growing.
We invite you to get acquainted with the key points of the European Aerobiology Society, ranging from the establishment of the EAS to constantly supplemented new facts. If you can supplement the information provided here with regard to the stages important for the development of the EAS and European aerobiology, please email the webmaster.
On November 16-20, 2020 has been the 7th European Symposium on Aerobiology focused on “Bioaerosols and Environmental Impacts” (http://www.esacordoba2020.com/). The symposium has been organized virtual because it has coincided with the impact of the COVID-19 spreading all the world, and many countries in Europe were under Health Alert. It was organized by the University of Cordoba, Spain, with the help of PIC CONGRESS & Co. for all the logistics. The symposium has been supported by different associations concerned with air quality. The symposium was attended by more than 180 participants from 31 different countries around the world. European Aerobiology Society provided 8 grants to young aerobiologists, enabling them to attend the symposium. These grants covered the symposium fees and allowed the awardees to interact with the experts in the field.
The authors of the most interesting studies presented, as oral communication (Carsten Ambelas Skjøth from the University of Worcester) and poster (Laura Šukienė from Šiauliai University), received awards.
The 7th European Symposium on Aerobiology was supported by the team of sponsors: Swisens (https://swisens.ch), Lanzoni (https://www.lanzoni.it) and Easy-SPT (https://www.easyspt.it/).
On November 19th, 2020, the EAS General Assembly was held in (virtually) in Cordoba (Spain), and the new EAS committee and EAS Board for the period 2020-2024 were elected. Fifteen candidates for the EAS committee, chosen by electronic election, were approved: Jordina Belmonte (Spain), Maira Bonini (Italy), Nicolas Bruffaerts (Belgium), Athanasios Damialis (Greece), Björn Gedda (Sweden), Regula Gehrig (Switzerland), Agnieszka Grinn-Gofroń (Poland), Susanne Jochner-Oette (Germany), José María Maya-Manzano (Spain), Gilles Oliver (France), Jose Oteros (Spain), Rosa Pérez Badia (Spain), Helena Ribeiro (Portugal), Carsten Ambelas Skjøth (England) and Laura Šukienė (Lithuania).
Finally, the new Board of the EAS was elected, consisting of: Jordina Belmonte (Spain) as president, Maira Bonini (Italy) as vice-president, Regula Gehrig (Switzerland) as treasurer, Thanos Damialis (Greece) as secretary general, and Gilles Oliver (France) as webmaster.
On July 15-20, 2019, the 14th Basic Course on Aerobiology was held in Lyon (France).
EAS signed the contract for participation in Autopollen project (https://www.eumetnet.eu/activities/miscellaneous/current-activities-mi/autopollen/)
WG legislation made an active participation in development of EN 16868:2019 “Ambient air. Sampling and analysis of airborne pollen grains and fungal spores for networks related to allergy. Volumetric Hirst method”. This document specifies the procedure to sample continuously and to analyse the concentration of airborne pollen grains and fungal spores in ambient air using the volumetric Hirst type sampler.
Start of the EUMETNET AutoPollen program (2018-222) with the participation of the EAS. https://www.eumetnet.eu/activities/miscellaneous/current-activities-mi/autopollen/
The 13th European Course in Basic Aerobiology was held in Fiskebäckskil, on the West Coast of Sweden in 2017. The course was attended by 16 participants from different countries around Europe and some from as far away as Brazil and Japan. The course was the result of joint collaboration between the European Aerobiology Society, the University of Gothenburg, and the Gothenburg Air and Climate Centre. It included a range of lectures related to sampling, analysing, and modelling aeroallergens as well as their impact on health and practical sessions for identification of common pollen and fungal spore types.
On July 18-22, 2016, a beautiful city of Lyon in France welcomed the 6th European Symposium on Aerobiology (http://www.alphavisa.com/esa/2016/). It was organized by RNSA and AFEDA and supported by different associations concerned with air quality. The symposium was attended by more than 200 participants from 35 different countries around the world. The IAA and EAS provided grants to 17 aerobiologists, enabling them to attend the symposium. These grants covered the symposium fees and allowed the awardees to interact with the experts in the field. The authors of the most interesting studies received awards, and 28 participants were honoured for oral and poster presentations. The 6th European Symposium on Aerobiology was supported by the team of sponsors: ALK Abello, Bertin Technologies, Microvision Instruments, RNSA Laboratoire, Sartorius Lab Instruments, Stallergenes Greer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, VWR International.
On July 22, 2016, the 5th EAS General Assembly was held in Lyon (France), and the new EAS committee and EAS Board for the period 2016-2020 were elected. Fifteen candidates for the EAS committee, chosen by electronic election, were approved: Jordina Belmonte (Spain), Maira Bonini (Italy), Letty de Weger (The Netherlands), Regula Gehrig (Switzerland), Lukash Grewling (Poland), Agnieszka Grinn-Gofron (Poland), Idalia Kasprzyk (Poland), Magyar Donat (Hungary), David O’Connor (Ireland), Gilles Oliver (France), Viktorija Rodinkova (Ukraine), Ingrida Šaulienė (Lithuania), Branko Sikoparija (Serbia), Carsten Skjoth (UK), Matt Smith (UK), Michel Thibaudon (France).
Finally, the new Board of the EAS was elected, consisting of: Ingrida Šaulienė (Lithuania) as president, Jordina Belmonte (Spain) as vice-president, Regula Gehrig (Switzerland) as treasurer, Letty de Weger (Netherlands) as secretary general, and Gilles Oliver (France) as webmaster.
On July 20-26, 2015, the 12th European Course on Basic Aerobiology was held in Rzeszów, Poland. The main organizer was the Department of Environmental Biology of the University of Rzeszow. The course was held under the auspices of the International Association for Aerobiology and the European Aerobiology Society. The participants of the course were students, young scientists with different backgrounds in aerobiology and researchers with no previous experience in aerobiology such as plant ecologists and atmospheric physicists. The participants had the opportunity to attend lectures given by the leading European experts in aerobiology, agriculture, and health.
The 11th European Course on Basic Aerobiology took place in Vinnitsa, Ukraine, on July 4-10, 2013. The course was locally organized and prepared by Associate Professor Victoria Rodinkova and the pollen team of the Ukrainian Association of Aerobiologists, supported by the Rector of VNMU, Academician Vasyl Moroz. The topics of the course were the bioaerosol analysis and data utilization for different applications such as allergology, modelling, and forecasting. Lectures and practical workshops were delivered aiming to familiarize course participants with various aspects of aerobiology. Emphasis was laid on laboratory sessions that included identification of 27 different pollen types and 6 fungal spore types.
On September 6, 2012, in Krakow (Poland), along with 3rd General Assembly of the EAS that took place in the 5th European Symposium on Aerobiology, new members of the executive committee of the EAS were approved: R. Albertini (Italy), U. Berger (Austria), R. Brandao (Portugal), S. Celenk (Turkey), L. De Weger (Netherlands), G. Frenguelli (Italy), C. Galan (Spain), R. Gehrig (Switzerland), V. Rodinkova (Ukraine), I. Sauliene (Lithuania), E. Severova (Russia), B. Sikoparija (Serbia), M. Smith (UK), J. Sommer (Denmark), and M. Thibaudon (France).
The members of the newly elected Board of EAS were: Michel Thibaudon (France) – as president, Regula Gehrig (Switzerland) – as vice-president, Ingrida Sauliene (Lithuania) – as general secretary, Uwe Berger (Austria) / Rui Brandao (Portugal) – as treasurer, and Sevcan Celenk (Turkey) – as webmaster.
The General Assembly announced the first honorary members of the European Aerobiology Society: Professor Jean Emberlin, (University of Worcester, United Kingdom), Professor Siegfried Jäger (HNO Klinik, Austria), senior researcher Paolo Mandrioli (Institute of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Italy), and Professor Frits Spieksma (Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands).
On September 3-7, 2012, the 5th European Symposium on Aerobiology
was held in Krakow (Poland). The main organizers were the Jagiellonian University (www.uj.edu.pl) and the chair of the organizing committee Dorota Myszkowska (http://www.5esa.cm-uj.krakow.pl).
On July 6-13, 2011, the 10th European Course on Basic Aerobiology was held in Holbæk, Denmark. The course that focused on the analysis of bio aerosols from air samples and data application in different fields such as allergy avoidance, phenology, statistical and mechanistic modelling and forecasting was attended by the participants from 11 different countries. Lab sessions included identification of different pollen types and fungal spores, scanning and counting of daily slides, plant identification, and taxonomy.
On September 2-9, 2009, the 9th European Basic Course on Aerobiology was held in Evora as a result of a collaboration between the European Aerobiology Society (EAS), the University of Evora, and the Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.
The main organizer of the course and a responsible person was Rui Brandao.
At the meeting that took place in Florence on May 8, 2009, the EAS committee approved the logo of the EAS. The logo was provided by P. Mandrioli (Italy).
On August 14, 2008, during the 4th European Symposium on Aerobiology, on board of the boat “M/S Viking Isabella”, between Mariehamn and Turku, the General Assembly was held and the European Aerobiology Society was established.
The ad-hoc working group carefully arranged this event: sent out the invitations to participate in the founding event and presented the draft of the Statutes.
The Statutes of the EAS were unanimously approved and based on this act, the EAS was officially established.
The founders of the society were no less than 84 persons and 5 associations.
During the same event, the first EAS committee was elected: H. Behrendt (Germany), U. Berger (Austria), R. Brandao (Portugal), S. Celenk (Turkey), B Clot (Switzerland), J. Emberlin (UK), G. Frenguelli (Italy), C. Galan (Spain), S. Jäger (Austria); L. Kalnina (Latvia), E. Severova (Russia), B. Sikoparia (Serbia), C. A. Skjoth (Denmark), M. Thibaudon (France), and D. Vokou (Greece).
On August 15, 2008, the elected EAS committee had a meeting and elected Siegfried Jäger as the first president of the EAS.
Other elected Board members with their responsibilities were: R. Brandao (Portugal) – a vice-president, M. Thibaudon (France) – a secretary general, U. Berger (Austria) – a treasurer, and S. Celenk (Turkey) – a webmaster. The EAS aims at offering all persons and associations that are active or interested in the field of aerobiology a common platform to support initiatives and projects at the European level.
The EAS is entitled to carry out activities in conformity with its aims, such as organizing courses or developing educational programmes, coordinating or supporting projects, proposing quality standards and quality control, promoting young researchers and emerging networks, managing data bases, etc. The activities of the EAS are organized in working groups. In the initial phase, five working groups were formed, which later were purified to four: Quality control, European legislation, Education, and European symposium. The composition of the working groups is updated by the decision of the EAS committee, and any member of the EAS can participate contributing to the implementation of the aims set by the working groups.
As to the international activities, it is noted in the Statutes of the EAS that “the Society shall be affiliated with the International Association of Aerobiology. It shall also be entitled to affiliate itself with other associations in order to meet its aims”. Consequently, the fees for individual members of the EAS include individual membership in International Association of Aerobiology (IAA) and the electronic access to the journal Aerobiologia.
The EAS, although oriented towards specific matters at the European level, will also strongly support and be supported by all activities of the IAA. Of course, the IAA will continue to be the “think tank” for aerobiology, manage the scientific knowledge of this science, and have the lead in all activities of common interest to all aerobiologists.
During the meeting in Poznan in 2007, the working group was preparing the Statutes of the future society, carefully analysing various proposals, and decided to register the domicile of the European Aerobiology Society in Switzerland.
The need to form and legitimize the European aerobiology community gained momentum at the 8th International Congress on Aerobiology, which took place in Neuchâtel in 2006. The first step in “getting the ball rolling” was the formation of an ad-hoc working group to prepare the establishment documents.
Rui Brandao, Jean Emberlin, Carmen Galan, Regula Gehrig, Auli Rantio-Lehtimaki, Alicja Stach, and Michel Thibaudon were nominated, and they committed to carry out this task.
Bernard Clot was asked to join the meeting of this working group in Poznan and to draft the Statutes of the new society.