Call for Abstracts

Deadline for the submission of abstracts was June 30th 2018.

The session chairs will now assess the quality of submitted abstracts and will select oral and poster presentations for YOUMARES 9 based on objective criteria.


Session 1: Could citizen scientists and voluntourists be the future for marine research and conservation?

Session chair: Hannah S. Earp, Arianna Liconti

Estimates show that over 10 million per year are involved in citizen science and more recently ‘voluntourism’ projects, which extend from ocean floor to the Milky Way and cover almost everything in-between. Public participation in scientific research has the potential to broaden the scope of research, enhance the ability to collect data, and foster increased public awareness of research importance. This session aims to explore marine research conducted by volunteers around the world, highlight successes and challenges across different participatory research projects, and discuss the role of public participation in driving future marine research, conservation and management.

Session 2: Towards a sustainable management of marine resources: integrating social and natural sciences

Session chair: Fanny Barz, Heike Schwermer

Regarding political frameworks i.e. MSFD (Marine Strategy Framework Directive), the holistic approach on managing marine resources becomes more and more important. Facing the problem of overfishing and mismanagement to different degrees, there is a strong need for research and implementation of the consideration of social criteria.

We invite you to present:
– Studies related to management of marine resources worldwide, highlighting the implementation of social aspects
– Studies focussing on marine research using an interdisciplinary approach
– Examples of research approaches using socio-based methodology in marine biology
– Examples of how marine research questions can benefit from social science

Session 3: Research at the interface of science and society

Session chair: Maximilian F. Schupp, Christina Hörterer

There is an ever increasing public call for scientists from all disciplines to show societal relevance in their research and the transfer of knowledge from science into society. The aim of this session is to give an opportunity to showcase examples of good research from the science-society interface. This call invites presenters from all disciplines working at the interface of science and society who wish to present either their approach or results to showcase positive examples of knowledge transfer. Topics can include but are not limited to science-outreach activities, stakeholder focused research or stakeholder dialogues.

Session 4: Law and Policy Dimensions of Ocean Governance

Session chair: Pradeep A Singh, Mara Ort

Extending across boundaries, the governance of the seas is an intricate and highly contested matter. National, regional and global solutions in the form of regulatory frameworks are essential in ensuring sustainable utilisation of marine resources. However, decision making, planning and governance are often influenced by e.g. geostrategical interests or the wish to ensure access to resources.

To explore and analyse marine regulations, governance, politics and institutions, we invite submissions on a broad range of issues, from fields of marine governance and planning, blue growth and the sustainable development agenda, science/policy/decision-making interaction as well as other related areas. We welcome (critical) contributions from law, social sciences and humanities.

Session 5: Species on the brink: navigating conservation in the Anthropocene

Session chair: Morgan L McCarthy, Thomas Luypaert, Meenakshi Poti, James G Hagan

In what scientists are calling “The 6th mass extinction,” the future of our marine organisms is increasingly uncertain. Although there are more known extinctions in terrestrial ecosystems, researchers warn that the number of marine extinctions could rise rapidly as the oceans are industrialized for food, fossil fuels, minerals, energy and transportation. Since its inception in the late 1970s, conservation biology has been integral in addressing threats to biodiversity and the implementation of policies to conserve unique species and ecosystems. We call for abstracts highlighting conservation research for marine species and the oceans they inhabit.

Session 6: The challenge of marine restoration programs: habitats-based scientific research as a key to their success

Session chair: Laura Basconi, Charles Cadier, Gustavo Guerrero Limon

Active restoration is the new trend to mitigate effects of climate change. Over the last decades, marine habitats of primary importance have been estimated to suffer globally high decrease of their covers since subjected to multiple stressors. However, few restoration programs have been successfully developed in the marine environment, with disparities among habitats. Hence, there is a general need of scientific research to understand habitats specific complexity, services they provide and restoration outcomes. In few words: “Is marine habitats state-of-art knowledge robust enough to successfully restore them?” We welcome any research that could contribute to solve this issue.


Session 7: Submerged in Plastic: impacts of plastic pollution on marine biota

Session chair: Natalie Prinz, Špela Korez

Nowadays, plastic waste is found everywhere in the marine realm. Regardless of their size, plastics are therefore affecting a range of marine organisms. Through degradation mechanisms and/or biofouling, plastics become bioavailable, may be ingested, enter the marine food webs, or become vectors for organisms to travel large distances. Fortunately, these issues are increasingly gaining attention in the scientific world, allowing us to understand impacts on affected organisms. Are you trying to eliminate the knowledge gaps or uncertainties of plastic pollution interacting with marine biota? We invite you to share your innovative ideas, improved methodologies, and novel results with fellow young researchers.

Session 8: Plastics in the environment – Analysing sources, pathways, occurrence, and means of tackling this form of pollution

Session chair: Rosanna Schöneich-Argent, Marten Fischer, Maurits Halbach

Macro- and microplastics have become ubiquitous in the marine, freshwater and terrestrial environment. Despite a recent increase in scientific research efforts on the reasons behind, the extent and the impacts of this form of environmental pollution, a lack of standardised methods and many knowledge gaps remain. This session invites young scientists to present their work that aims to quantify macro- and microplastics, analyse their sources, pathways and occurrence, and assess long-term trends of abundance and composition. Also of interest are studies that deal with littering behaviour, that analyse ongoing means to reduce plastic waste, and that evaluate awareness campaigns.

Session 9: Biodiversity of Benthic Holobionts: Chemical Ecology and Natural Products Chemistry in the Spotlight

Session chair: Elham Kamyab. Lars-Erik Petersen

Oceans cover most of our planet’s surface and certain marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and deep-sea floors, have been reported to have a higher biodiversity than tropical rain forests. Marine systems play important roles in maintaining benthic communities and affect humanity by being rich and versatile sources for new drug discoveries. Many benthic communities are characterized by environmentally harsh conditions in matters of pressure, temperature, nutrient availability, and salinity. Hence, reproduction and survival often depend on the formation of bioactive secondary metabolites. We encourage contributions emphasizing community functioning, chemical interactions between marine (micro)organisms and sustainable exploitation of natural products as sources for new drugs.


Session 10: Trends in plankton ecology

Session chair: Katarzyna Walczyńska, Maciej Mańko

Plankton are the most widespread, speciose and functionally important ecological group in the marine environment that spans organisms of virtually all sizes and phylogenetic affinities. Moreover, they play vital roles in pelagic food webs functioning and structuring, biogeochemical cycles, or even in spreading pollution (e.g., microplastics). Although basic research e.g., local diversity studies, have begun few centuries ago, there is still a lot to be learnt, especially with various new methods being constantly developed. Here we invite contributions on all plankton-related subjects, whether purely ecological, or taking any different (e.g., modelling) view at these fascinating critters of the Worlds Ocean.

Session 11: Sponges (Porifera): Fantastic filter feeders

Session chair: Mainah Folkers, Titus Rombouts

Over 8000 marine and freshwater sponge species are distributed over polar, temperate and tropical ecosystems as well as intertidal, photic and abyssal zones. Recent research shows that sponges are important contributors to ecosystem functioning in these environments. Nevertheless, sponges are often underrepresented in research, conservation and monitoring programs. We would like young marine sponge researchers worldwide to share their results with us. Sharing of knowledge on different sponge disciplines will lead to new insights and potential new collaborations on future sponge research.

Session 12: Advances in Cephalopod Research

Session chair: Chris J Barrett

Dear young cephalopod scientists, I would like to invite you to present your science at the “Advances in Cephalopod Research” session at YOUMARES9. The session will explore, but is not limited to, recent progress in the studies of cephalopod physiology, ecology, population structures, evolution, behaviours and taxonomy, and promises a friendly audience to disseminate your findings to. Whether you are hoping to use your evidence to contribute to the Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC), inform policy, or simply seek feedback on your postgraduate studies, this session will be the ideal platform to do so and network with like-minded scientists.

Session 13: Higher temperatures and higher speed – Marine Bioinvasions in a changing world

Session chair: Philipp Laeseke, Jessica Schiller, Jonas Letschert

Global warming leads to both loss of habitat and newly accessible space for species. Likewise, ship traffic, aquaculturing efforts and the amount of floating non-degradable debris are increasing. Thereby, new pathways across the oceans are becoming available, leading to migrations and possible displacement of native species. Analyzing biotic interactions and effects within the new distributional range pose a challenging task. However, Species Distribution Modeling provides a powerful tool to assess potential habitat under past, present and future climate conditions. We invite you to present and discuss your work on Marine Bioinvasions and / or Species Distribution Modeling under Climate Change.

Session 14: Connecting the bentho-pelagic dots

Session chair: Santiago EA Pineda Metz

When thinking of biotic and abiotic parameters as points, we start noticing lines (i.e. processes) connecting them. These processes connect the benthic and pelagic realms, this is known as bentho-pelagic coupling, and includes exchange of matter between both realms as e.g. flux of sinking organic matter, and vice versa as e.g. release of larvae into the water column. Recognizing these processes and understanding their functioning will be essential to assess the impact of climate change.

Session 15: Investigating the land-sea transition zone

Session chair: Stephan L Seibert, Julius M Degenhardt

The land-sea transition zone is the location where terrestrial and marine environments merge and interact. It recently received much attention due to the importance for coastal ecosystems, nutrient fluxes to the oceans and impacts on coastal aquifers in the context of climate change. While the complex interaction of both environments offers many great research opportunities, a broad scientific approach is often required. We therefore highly encourage students and researchers from all different kinds of fields (e.g., biogeochemistry, microbiology, hydrogeology, marine sensor systems, soil sciences, coastal biology etc.) to present their research related to the land-sea transition zone in this session.

Session 16: Tropical Marine Research Mosaic: combining small studies to reveal the bigger picture

Session chair: Javier Onate, Liam Lachs

Tropical marine ecosystems are some of the most biodiverse and complex ecosystems on the planet, however these ecosystems are under threat from unmanaged fisheries, untreated wastewater outflows, tourism exploitation, and increasingly extreme weather events due to climate change. Our understanding of the effects of such processes are especially limited in tropical regions due to general data deficiencies. Long-term monitoring studies are rare and ecosystem mapping is non-extensive in comparison to temperate regions. By combining small-scale studies on flora, fauna or abiotic factors, coming from multiple disciplines including genetics, chemistry, classical ecology, behavioral ecology and ecosystem management we can consider a research mosaic which may provide insights into the overall state of tropical ecosystems.

Session 17: Bridging disciplines in the seasonal ice zone (SIZ)

Session chair: Tobias R Vonnahme, Ulrike Dietrich

The SIZ is the most affected environment under climate change. Temperatures are significantly rising, the ice edge retreats beyond the continental shelves, terrestrial inputs of organic matter change drastically, and changes in stratification alter nutrient concentrations. These physical factors will have strong impacts on the ecosystem. Shifting community structures on multiple trophic levels from whales to viruses have been observed. Species move northwards, which may cause hazards or novel ecosystem services. For understanding the effects on the ecosystem level, bridging interdisciplinary research, ranging from meteorology, and biogeochemistry to the physiology of key organisms is crucial.

Session 18: Crossing traditional scientific borders to unravel the complex interactions between organisms and their non-living environment

Session chair: Corinna Mori, Mara Heinrichs

Organic and inorganic constituents play a crucial role in mediating the interactions between organisms and the associated flow of matter and energy in aquatic environments. The enormous molecular complexity of the non-living environment results in diverse interactions with organisms that has not been considered in traditional ecological or geochemical studies yet. Integrative approaches that combine these classical research areas will greatly improve our understanding of the complex networks between the non-living and living environment in the ocean. We invite young scientists from all fields to present innovative methodologies and multidisciplinary research approaches to bridge the gap between traditional scientific disciplines.

Session 19: Open Session

Session chair: Viola Liebich

Marine sciences are a vast and divers field of research and barely any conference is able to represent all topics with a separate session. The Open Session will summarize contributions of young marine scientists from all research fields which do not feel to fit into one of the other sessions.