Halting Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination in Aquatic Environments (HEARD2018)

September 16, 2018 - September 19, 2018, 2.00 pm - 12.00 pm

Congressi Stefano Franscini, Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland

A big thank you to everyone who made HEARD2018 a success: Our sponsors, the CSF team, Demaria Events and the Monte Verità staff. But most of all to everyone who participated: Thanks to you it was 3 days of high quality talks, great posters, and most important of all, lively and inspiring discussions.
You can find some fotos from the event here.
Hope to see you again at EDAR 5 in 2019.

Dear Friends and colleagues,

the organizing committee invites you to attend the Congressi Stefano Franscini Conference “Halting Antimicrobial Resistance Dissemination in Aquatic Environments” at Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland.

The dissemination of bacterial antibiotic resistance is an urgent problem. Wastewater receives resistant bacteria in very high numbers, and wastewater treatment plants provide environments with high bacterial density and potentially selective agents. Thus, they may act as secondary sites of resistance evolution and treated wastewater can disseminate resistance into the aquatic environment, where it interacts with and affects the natural reservoir of resistance genes. Surface waters may receive resistant bacteria as well as antibiotics also from other sources, such as animal farming or pharmaceutical wastewater. Through direct wastewater reuse and dissemination into surface waters and ultimately drinking water human and animal populations may be exposed to this resistance reservoir.

The meeting will explore the current research on the behavior of resistance in wastewater, surface waters and other aquatic environments. We will discuss the behavior and survival of resistant bacteria, and their genetically mobile resistance genes in aquatic environments and explore new approaches to assess and mitigate the risks of resistance dissemination through the water cycle. Our vision is to have an intense and focused meeting with current and future leaders in the field, dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and the search for solutions.

Program and invited speakers

The three day conference begins in the afternoon of Sunday 16. September, 2018 with a keynote presentation and will end on Wednesday, 19. September at noon.

Each of the five scientific session will be plenary sessions consisting of talks by invited speakers and presentations selected from submitted abstracts.

Planned scientific sessions:

  • Antibiotics and other selective agents in the water cycle and their impact on antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobial resistance in wastewater and treatment plants
  • Methods and indicators for resistance tracking
  • Wastewater disinfection and other control strategies
  • Dissemination and fate of resistance in aquatic environments (surface and groundwater)
  • Global perspectives and global drivers in aquatic resistance dissemination. Models and prediction

In addition there will be a poster session and all posters will be introduced in flash presentations during oral sessions. On Monday afternoon breakout groups will discuss solutions and research needs in central topics such as:

  • Developing recommendations for risk assessment and environmental guidelines
  • Assessing the tools for environmental resistance tracking

Tuesday afternoon participants can join an excursion to the beautiful island and botanical garden of Brissago, and enjoy Dinner at this unique location.

Confirmed invited speakers

(as of 25.06.2018)

Diana Aga, University of Buffalo, USA

Pedro Alvarez, Rice University, USA

Gianluca Corno, Institute of Ecosystem Study, Italy

Michael Dodd, University of Washington, USA

David Graham, Newcastle University, UK

Timothy M. LaPara, University of Minnesota, USA

Christa McArdell, Eawag Switzerland

Indumathi M. Nambi, IIT Madras, India

Andrew Singer, CEH, UK

Barth Smets, DTU, Denmark

Tong Zhang, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

CSF Award

PhD students or early post-docs (max 3 years since completing your PhD) with a maximum age of 33 years are eligible for the CSF award for the best oral or poster presentation by a young scientist. If you fall in this category, please specify it in your submission email.


Registration, meals and hotel booking will open on Monday, 23. July. To register and book your meals and hotel please read and follow the stepwise procedure available here. Cancellation conditions are included in the procedures document. A completed registration implies knowledge and acceptance of the conditions.


  • Registration fee: 350.- CHF (full fee); 250.- CHF (student fee) – registration fee does not include any costs for board and lodging
  • Average cost for accommodation at Monte Verità: approx. 100.- CHF/night (with breakfast). Rates depending on room type
  • Costs of the full meals package (incl. excursion and conference dinner): 359.- CHF 

ETH Zurich collects the registration fees as collection agent for the host (Eawag) and does not provide own services.

Key dates

  • Registration deadline: 2. September, 2018

Conference venue

The Congressi Stefano Franscini avails of the facilities of the Conference Centre Monte Verità since 1989, providing a venue for world-famous seminars and conferences.

Situated in a quiet historical park on a beautiful hill top above the lake town of Ascona in southern Switzerland, in the heart of Europe, Monte Verità is the ideal retreat: a place for reflection and discussion, introspection and creativity, relaxation and activity, surrounded by nature and steeped in history, catering for every need. Monte Verità promotes physical and mental well-being and is the ideal setting for organizing meetings, developing ideas and holding talks: the place has attracted many writers, intellectuals, artists, and political and economic exponents over the years.

Travel directions available here