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Webinar launch of EMB's 6th Future Science Brief 'Big Data in Marine Science'

EMB’s 6th Future Science Brief on ‘Big Data in Marine Science’ was launched today during a dedicated webinar, with over 400 participants. The publication is the outcome of the work of the EMB Working Group on Big Data, which kicked-off in May 2019.

The document raises awareness of big data, i.e. large volumes of high variety data collected at high velocity, and its potential to transform the way we study and understand the ocean, as well as novel approaches for the management of human use of marine resources. Sheila Heymans, Executive Director of EMB, presented an overview of the document and the key recommendations needed to fully bring marine science into the world of big data. These recommendations include data to be openly shared, interoperable and integrated into complex transdisciplinary analyses that can be based on artificial intelligence; and continued development of ‘smart’ sensors to enhance data collection, specialized training programmes for marine scientists to adopt artificial intelligence in their work, and increased collaborations between marine scientists, computer scientists, data scientists and data managers.

The webinar included four TED-style talks from some of the co-authors of the document. Jerry Tjiputra (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre) illustrated how big data can improve climate modelling and forecasting that feeds into global climate negotiations and that helps to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Federica Foglini (Institute of Marine Science - Italian National Research Council) presented how big data can be used to create high resolution, multidisciplinary habitat maps for planning a new marine protected area in the Bari Canyon in Italy.  Matthias Obst (University of Gothenburg) demonstrated how machines are drastically changing the way we observe biological processes in the ocean and Ketil Malde (University of Bergen and Institute of Marine Research) presented on advances in machine learning and the data driven future of marine science. The speakers were joined by Lionel Guidi (CNRS/Villfranche Oceanographic Laboratory), Edward Curry (Insight Centre for Data Analytics), Dorothee Bakker (University of East Anglia) and Tara Marshall (University of Aberdeen) as panelists during the discussions.

Download the Future Science Brief ‘Big Data in Marine Science’ here and infographic summaries of the document here.

Video recordings of the presentations are available on the EMB YouTube channel.  

Initially, the launch of the ‘Big Data in Marine Science’ Future Science Brief was planned to take place at the EMB 7th Forum. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 7th Forum has been postponed to Friday 23 October 2020. The focus of the 7th EMB Forum will still be on Big Data in Marine Science, given its essential role during the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainability. We invite you to engage in the conversation and contribute ideas to feed into the Forum via the EMB LinkedIn page and Twitter (using #EMBForum).

The registration for the 7th Forum will open in the coming months on the EMB website.