ESP President Franz Trautinger

St. Poelten, Austria, February 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Photobiology is a crucial discipline to deal with some of the most challenging problems of the 21st Century. It encompasses biological, chemical, physical, and medical sciences to investigate effects of sunlight and artificial sources of non-ionising radiation (ultraviolet, visible and infra-red) on living organisms. As such, photobiology has a vast societal impact in environmental safety, climate change, agricultural developments, and human disease. The mission of the European Society for Photobiology (ESP) is to provide a platform for scientific exchange, for a modern and relevant approach to research, for collaboration of academia and industry, and for education and training of multi-disciplinary scientists from these diverse backgrounds. 

On behalf of the newly elected Executive Committee of the ESP, in office since our past congress, held together with the International Union of Photobiology in Barcelona from August 25-30, 2019, it is my pleasure to wish you a warm welcome and to ask you for your further collaboration and contribution to the continuing development of photobiology in its above described unique interdisciplinarity in Europe and beyond.

This past congress, entitled “Light and Life”, gathering 749 scientists from 47 countries, gave brilliant witness to the thriving of our scientific community, the multifaceted progress made, and its particular impact in times of climate change and the associated consequences for environmental and human wellbeing.

I am pleased to announce our next biennial congress to be held in Salzburg, Austria, from August 30 to September 3, 2021. Kristjan Plaetzer from the University of Salzburg will be our host and together we look forward to welcoming you for a 5 days congress with plenary and keynote lectures, a wealth of parallel symposia, an industrial exhibition, bestowal of ESP’s awards to young scientists and medals for excellence in photobiological research, and last but not least convivial social engagements. Please put this date in your calendar. You are warmly invited to join us there! More details regarding the Congress will appear in due course on the ESP website. Meanwhile, industrial enquiries to sponsor activities may be directed to directly to me at .

It is my further pleasure to announce the 6th Photobiology School to be held in Bressanone/Brixen, Italy, from June 15 to 20, 2020 Founded in 2010, the ESP Photobiology School provides an excellent grounding in the basic principles of photobiology, photochemistry and photophysics, and also in their translation to a wide range of applications. The School welcomes PhD students and Masters’ students and others who wish to broaden their understanding of photobiology. An optional examination is held at the end of the school and certificates are provided for attendance and passing the test. Early application is advised for this well-subsidised course delivered by leading figures in Photobiology, as the number of places is limited (

Another important activity of ESP is the promotion of scientific publications through the Society’s leading peer-reviewed journal, Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences (, and the “Comprehensive Series in Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences”, a continuously growing collection of scholarly books (

Following up on what has been achieved in the past our mission for the coming years is to further expand the knowledge of photobiology through promotion of an increasingly diverse membership, geographically and scientifically. Membership to the ESP is provided at extremely low cost. We offer 2 years membership including the online issues of Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences for only €100 in total with a reduced rate for students. Membership also entitles you to the reduced registration fee at the Congress, to apply for fellowships, and to attend the Photobiology School. Fellowships are provided for young scientists requiring support to attend our biennial congress and for a range of further activities. To join ESP, please follow the attached link (

Please continue to check this website, looking out for updates on all the above activities, training and career opportunities. We wish to serve you!

Do contact me if you wish to provide information or views on developments in Photobiology that you feel would benefit or interest the ESP.

Thank you very much for your interest and support

Franz Trautinger
ESP President