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14th Deep Sea Biology Symposium Programme now available online

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The programme for the upcoming 14th Deep Sea Biology Symposium (31 August – 4 September, Aveiro, Portugal) is now available. As an official side event of the symposium, EMB will launch its position paper 22 ‘Delving Deeper: Critical challenges for 21st century deep-sea research’ on 1 September. The position paper is an output of EMB WG Deep-Sea and will deliver eight high-level goals for deep-sea research in the context of expanding commercial activities, increasing human and natural pressures, and the need for effective and practicable governance frameworks to underpin the management of deep-sea activities and resources. The launch event will include presentations by MEP Ricardo Santos and WG Chair, Alex Rogers. Registration for the launch is free for DSBS conference participants. In addition to the launch event, EMB’s Karen Donaldson is giving a presentation during the symposium on ‘Investment in deep-sea research: The European landscape’ as part of a session on the stewardship of our deep oceans. WG Chair, Alex Rogers is a symposium plenary speaker with a talk titled, ‘European research needs to underpin the sustainable management of Blue Growth in the deep sea’. You can register for the Deep Sea Biology Symposium here.

Staff Changes at the EMB Secretariat (1 July, Ostend)

Wednesday, 01 July 2015

This week Karen Donaldson started in the position of Scientific Administrator with the EMB Secretariat. Previously, Karen has been working in the capacity of science officer with EMB, mainly supporting the Deep Seas working group. Her new role replaces that of EMB Administration and Coordination Officer, held by Dina Eparkhina. Throughout her 7 years in this position in Ostend, Dina has served EMB with dedication and distinction. We wish her much success in her new role as Communication and Coordination Officer with EuroGOOS and we welcome Karen to her new position.
Picture features: EMB Chair Jan Mees presenting Dina Eparkhina with a leaving gift.

Peter Haugan and Stephen Hall elected to IOC-UNESCO Executive Council (26 June, Paris)

Friday, 26 June 2015

Congratulations to Peter Haugan (former EMB vice-Chair, University of Bergen, Norway) and Stephen Hall (EMB delegate, National Oceanography Centre, UK) on their election to the IOC-UNESCO Executive Council as Chair and vice-Chair, respectively. The elections took place during the 28th session of the IOC Assembly on 24 June. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO promotes international cooperation and coordinates programmes in marine research, services, observation systems, hazard mitigation, and capacity development, such as tsunami warning systems and the Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS). The Executive Council meets every year to review on-going work plans and make preparations for the Assemblies.
Picture features the newly elected IOC Officers meeting with Irina Bokova (Director-General of UNESCO) and Vladimir Ryabinin (Executive Secretary of IOC). Stephen Hall and Peter Haugan are pictured 2nd and 3rd from the left, respectively. Credit: UNESCO

Lora Fleming awarded the Anton Bruun Medal in recognition of her work on oceans and human health (17 June, Paris)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Professor Lora Fleming has been awarded the prestigious Anton Bruun medal at the IOC-UNESCO Ocean Science Day in Paris. Prof. Fleming, Director of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, UK received the medal in recognition of her work in the field of oceans and human health. In her IOC Anton Bruun Memorial lecture, Prof. Fleming highlighted the growing evidence that inextricably links the sustainability of ocean ecosystems with human health, the opportunities to promote human health and wellbeing through interactions with marine environments and the importance of fostering pro-environmental behaviours to restore and preserve marine environments. Established in 1970, the Anton Bruun medal is dedicated to the memory of the noted Danish oceanographer and first chairman of the Commission, Dr Anton Frederick Bruun. The medal is awarded to those who make important developments in the fields of solid earth studies, physical and chemical oceanography and meteorology, and marine biology during the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s Assembly, every 2 years. Prof. Fleming has worked with the European Marine Board on oceans and human health as a co-author of the EMB Position Paper ‘Linking Oceans and Human Health: A Strategic Research Priority for Europe’, based on the activities of the EMB Oceans and Human Health Working Group.

BG8 AtlantOS Project kick-off Meeting (10-12 June, Brussels)

Monday, 15 June 2015

The AtlantOS project held its kick-off meeting 10 – 12 June in Brussels. The project is a response to the Horizon 2020 call BG-8-2014: Developing in-situ Atlantic Ocean Observations for a better management and sustainable exploitation of the maritime resources. The overarching objective of AtlantOS is to achieve a transition from a loosely coordinated set of existing ocean observing activities to a sustainable, efficient, and fit-for-purpose Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System. The 4 year project contributes to the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Research Cooperation, signed in May 2013 by the EU, Canada and the United States. Within this project, EMB and KDM are leading a work package focused on engagement, dissemination and communication. AtlantOS is coordinated by oceanographer Martin Visbeck from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel with a consortium comprising 62 partners including research institutes, universities, research networks and private companies from 13 European and five non-European countries.
Picture features AtlantOS project partners

European Maritime Day 2015 in Athens/Piraeus

Saturday, 30 May 2015

EMB presents workshops on graduate training and maritime cultural heritage at the European Maritime Day Conference (28-29 May, Athens)

Thursday, 28 May 2015

This year’s European Maritime Day conference, taking place in Athens, is focused on ports and coasts as engines for Blue Growth. The EMB has a strong presence at the event, presenting two workshops and an exhibition. EMB’s Working Group on Marine Graduate Training together with the EuroMarine Network and the JPI-Oceans Secretariat is presenting a workshop on 'How innovative training can support Blue Growth'. This workshop features stakeholders from higher education, research and business presenting and discussing perspectives on current marine training practices, innovative initiatives and industry partnerships to address the mismatch between current academic training programmes and the needs of future employers. The workshop also has a panel discussion titled ‘Europe’s Blue Economy: what skill sets are required and what is the role of marine science?’. The second workshop, ‘Maritime Cultural Heritage and Blue Growth: What’s the Connection?’ is organised by EMB’s Working Group on Continental Shelf Prehistoric Research. This workshop highlights the largely unknown cultural heritage of human settlements that exist in the shallow shelf seas around Europe which have high tourism potential. Jointly presented by research, industry and heritage management organisations, this workshop demonstrates how the offshore economy can benefit from cross-sectoral interaction to safeguard archaeological finds, to aid in their discovery and management, and to avoid unnecessary delays for commercial activities. Examples of such collaboration feature the Port of Rotterdam expansion project and aggregate dredging in the North Sea. Picture features the EMB exhibition at European Maritime Day.

BG13 Sea Change Project kick-off Meeting (12-14 May, Plymouth)

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Sea Change project held its kick-off meeting in Plymouth this week. Funded under the BG13 call on Ocean Literacy, the Sea change project runs for 3 years (2015 - 2018). The overarching goal of this project is to bring about a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them – as ‘Ocean Literate’ citizens - to take direct and sustainable action towards healthy seas and ocean, healthy communities and ultimately - a healthy planet. The term ‘ocean literacy’ originated in the US and is defined as an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. Sea Change comprises a consortium of 17 partners (including the EMB) and is coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the UK. The kick-off meeting was held back to back with a second project funded under the BG 13 call,  named ResponSEAble. Both projects will work together over the coming years to achieve the common aim of promoting ocean literacy throughout Europe. Picture features Sea Change and ResponSEAble partners.

First JPI Oceans Conference (7 May, Brussels)

Thursday, 07 May 2015

EMB is attending the first JPI Oceans conference, where the JPI Oceans Vision and Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2015-2020 is being launched. Also being presented at the conference are new initiatives that JPI Oceans will be coordinating through their Pilot Actions, which include ecological aspects of deep-sea mining and the multi-use of infrastructures for monitoring in the North Sea. EMB Executive Secretary, Niall McDonough is taking part in a panel session titled, 'Horizon Scanning: Setting joint priorities for future marine & maritime research', together with Peter Heffernan, (Chief Executive, Marine Institute Ireland), Christina Abilgaard (Management Board JPI Oceans - Department Director, Research Council of Norway) and Sigi Gruber (Head of the Unit for Marine Resources, European Commission DG Research and Innovation). For more information on the conference please see the JPI Oceans website.

EMB Spring Plenary Meeting (29-30 April, Ghent)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

The EMB Spring Plenary convened for two days in Ghent, Belgium. The meeting brought together 28 EMB delegates as well as observers and guests from the European Commission, JPI Oceans, UNESCO-IOC, POGO, and the Flemish Government. The Board elected two new vice-Chairs, Jan-Stefan Fritz of KDM and Mark James of MASTS, and a new membership application from the Lithuanian Klaipeda University was approved. Furthermore, the Board approved a new activity on Citizen Science to start in late 2015. The delegates were also updated on the running activities, e.g. the Deep-Sea working group preparing for the launch of the EMB strategic position paper on 1 September, and the 5th EMB Forum, Ocean-Climate Nexus, taking place on 21 October at the European Parliament in the lead up to COP 21. The meeting included a Special Session on Changing legal and policy framework for the study and utilization of marine biodiversity, with talks from Prof. Marcel Jaspars (EU FP7 PharmaSea/Univ. of Aberdeen), Dr. John Brincat (EC DG MARE) and Dr. Arianna Broggiato (Univ. of Leuven). The evening ended with an inspiring and thought-provoking lecture on foresight and horizon-scanning by Prof. Michael Depledge (ECEHH, Univ. of Exeter Medical School). You can read more about the highlights of the EMB Spring Plenary here.