Conference Workshops

We are excited to share the YOUMARES 13 workshops:

  • Workshops are scheduled to take place on Friday the 14.10.2022 from 9 am to 4 pm.
  • Workshops are planned to be online and onsite in Berlin.
  • Workshops are planned to 1.5 to 2 h long and interactive.

You can now register to attend: click here.

Workshop 1:

Connecting to the Ocean: Learning to Consider Various Perspectives in Marine Conservation Research

Hosts: Juliette Aminian Biquet, Alfredo Garcia de Vinuesa, Anjali, Gopakumar, Paula Kellett, Rebecca Zitoun

We all work together towards a common goal of conserving the Ocean, but do we all see it in the same way? To protect the Ocean, we need to collaborate with scientists from different disciplines, and users with different perceptions. This can be a source of enrichment but also conflict. This workshop will highlight how we bring our own realities and biases into research, and discuss the importance of considering other people’s perspectives. An integrated approach is relevant not only for our research and in how we build and conduct it, but also influences our actions and how we communicate with different audiences. It is important for researchers and Ocean enthusiasts to be aware of these considerations and how these can be managed to avoid conflict and ensure effective co-designed ocean solutions from the get-go. This collaborative development is particularly important for the second Ocean Decade outcome, by considering various perspectives to develop our research, solutions, and ocean literacy, towards a healthy and resilient Ocean.

Workshop 2:

Basis of Stress Biomarker Research in Marine Organisms

Hosts: Dr Yohan D. Louis, Dr Enrico Montalbetti, Dr Davide Seveso

Molecular biomarkers are emerging as powerful diagnostic tools for identifying and characterising stress in marine organisms. Their capacity to detect sublethal stress prior to the onset of signs at the organismal level that might already indicate significant damage makes them more precise and proactive compared to traditional monitoring techniques. This workshop is designed for students and researchers in the field of marine molecular biology, interested in the topic of stress biomarkers but also for innovators interested in developing field application tools for rapid assessment of stress in marine organisms (e.g., rapid test kits).

The lessons will cover the three main components of stress biomarker research (proteins, enzymes, genes) and their respective laboratory research methodologies. Sessions will also go through the design of fieldwork and laboratory (tank) stress experiments and interpretation of results. After theorical sessions, to make the workshop interactive; (1) attendants will be required to work in groups and simulate their own stress research experiment during an oral presentation. Attendants will need to apply knowledge gained from workshop and present their research topic, research question, experiment design, chosen laboratory techniques, and discuss their expected results. (2) One brainstorming session will be dedicated to innovators, possible field applications of this kind of research and novel tool ideas discussed.

Workshop 3:

Restoring Corals in the Caribbean: Insights on Techniques and Challenges

Hosts: Solène Jonveaux, Maria-Paula Sidaoui Haddad and Maria Miron Alvarez. Our Director, Colleen Flanigan.

We are offering an interactive workshop on Coral restoration, with a focus on artificial reef installation and monitoring and active restoration techniques based on examples of existing projects in the Caribbean. The aim of this workshop is to introduce other young marine practitioners to the basic skills used in most of coral restoration projects and the reality of field work and its challenges. The skills covered include, micro-fragmentation, resistant genotypes selection, transplantation, monitoring of the planted fragments for growth, mortality, diseases, and predators. We also plan on diving into the reality of the practical challenges of implementing and managing coral restoration projects with limited budget (e.g maintenance, challenges of working and monitoring precise variables in the field, community outreach, and creating a program for citizen scientists).

Workshop 4:

How to mitigate Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) bycatch in the Baltic Sea through innovative approaches?

Hosts: Thaya, Sarah, and Hannah

Incidental bycatch in fishing gear affects a broad variety of marine fauna such as cetaceans, seals, seabirds, sharks and sea turtles. Altogether, this problem poses a serious obstacle to the ecologic and economic sustainability of marine fisheries. The conservation status of small cetaceans has worsened worldwide in the last decades. The harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) as the only cetacean regularly occurring in the Baltic Sea is no exception to this. While several anthropogenic activities affect harbor porpoises in the Baltic Sea, bycatch in static fishing gear, especially in gillnets, represents the most notable one. The associated conflict between the need for fisheries, as an important protein source worldwide, and the resilience and health of our seas calls for action. Substantial development and research into bycatch mitigation strategies are required. The Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries is currently working on three different innovative approaches that pursue one joint goal: to mitigate the bycatch of harbor porpoises in the German Baltic Sea. The aim of the workshop proposed here is to address this topic and to explore innovative technical devices: 1) acoustic deterrents like PAL (Porpoise Alert); 2) modification of gillnets like the “pearl net” (gillnet equipped with small plastic spheres to increase its acoustic visibility); 3) alternative fishing gears (fish pots and pontoon traps). To make this workshop an interactive experience, we will work with sound effects, as cetaceans are highly acoustic animals, and bring a PAL, pearl nets and traps for participants to interact with. We will further conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the three proposed bycatch mitigation strategies. Moreover, we will organize a role game in which the workshop participants will form three groups, each of them representing a major stakeholder in this fisheries and biodiversity conflict. This workshop will allow participants to understand how multidisciplinary this field of conservation is, and how different stakeholders can work together to achieve a healthy and resilient ocean.