From tangled banks to toxic bunnies; a reflection on the issues involved in developing an ecosystem approach for environmental radiation protection
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The objective of this paper is to present the results of discussions at a workshop held as part of the International Congress of Radiation Research (Environmental Health stream) in Manchester UK, 2019. The main objective of the workshop was to provide a platform for radioecologists to engage with radiobiologists to address major questions around developing an Ecosystem approach in radioecology and radiation protection of the environment. The aim was to establish a critical framework to guide research that would permit integration of a pan-ecosystem approach into radiation protection guidelines and regulation for the environment. The conclusions were that the interaction between radioecologists and radiobiologists is useful in particular in addressing field versus laboratory issues where there are issues and challenges in designing good field experiments and a need to cross validate field data against laboratory data and vice versa. Other main conclusions were that there is a need to appreciate wider issues in ecology to design good approaches for an ecosystems approach in radioecology and that with the capture of 'Big Data', novel tools such as machine learning can now be applied to help with the complex issues involved in developing an ecosystem approach.
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