Who we are
What CREAM is about
EU regulations require extensive testing and risk assessment before a chemical is approved for use. Current risk assessments focus on risk at the level of individual organisms, but according to EU directives the protection goal for most species aims at achieving sustainable populations. Population-level effects depend not only on exposure and toxicity, but also on important ecological factors that are nearly impossible to fully address empirically.
Mechanistic effect models (MEMs), for example population models, enable the integration of these factors, thus increasing the ecological relevance of risk assessments as well as providing vital understanding of how chemicals interact with ecosystems. Such understanding is crucial for improving risk mitigation strategies and ecosystem management. Still, examples clearly demonstrating the power of MEMs for risk assessment are urgently needed, and industry, academia and regulatory authorities across Europe need scientists that are trained in both MEMs and regulatory risk assessment.
What CREAM will deliver
CREAM will develop and experimentally validate a suite of MEMs for organisms relevant for chemical risk assessments. The framework for transparent and comprehensive ecological modeling documentation (TRACE) is applied by the individual CREAM projects. In addition, the CREAM consortium will formulate guidance for Good Modelling Practice that will foster consistency and transparency of MEMs. CREAM provides world class training for the next generation of ecological modellers, emphasizing transparency and rigorous model evaluation as core elements of the modelling process.