This year was an extraordinary year for everyone all over the world. But for YOUMARES specifically, amid all uncertainties and risk, it was the first time we transitioned into a Hybrid event. However, these adversities did not stop the YOUMARES team from organising a successful hybrid conference from 13 – 16th October 2020. We managed to bring together a diverse audience of 190 participants from about 70 institutes spanning over more than 20 countries worldwide. Five continents were well represented during the conference, a great milestone for YOUMARES. This highlights the importance of technology for connecting young scientists and experts around the world. The pandemic opened our eyes to new technologies and venues. Right by the port of Hamburg, in a historic former cargo ship turned museum, The Cap San Diego, a small physical event took place from the evening of the 13th to 15th October. Parallel to this, our online platform Hopin was also bursting with exciting talks and workshops throughout the day where the audience also got to follow the physical event live from the comfort of their own homes and offices.

YOUMARES 2020 consisted of 9 sessions (8 themed sessions and one interdisciplinary session). In addition, we had 5 workshops hosted by experts and young career scientists offering advice on different skills. Our participants spanned from Bachelor students to early career postdoctoral researchers. I addition, several professors and experts in industry, marine policy and social sciences were part of the conference. In its entirety YOUMARES 2020 lived up to this year’s theme “JOINING FORCES”. This year we wanted to focus on traditional fields of marine science but also an integration of other fields such as machine learning and social science and technology fields. True to this year’s theme, YOUMARES 2020 brought the realisation that young career scientists are rising up to the challenge to be inter and multidisciplinary in their research and ideas. A special highlight of this year was the session from the Maritime cluster – North Germany on career perspectives in the Maritime industry. In this session, 5 established experts in marine science and maritime careers shared their professional journey, including challenges and successes. Our audience was able to ask for career advice directly to our speakers in one on one breakout sessions.

It was an incredible experience to bring this event to a successful fruition. We are grateful to all our sponsors and supporters for making YOUMARES 2020 a success.

Conference program

Overview of YOUMARES 2020 Sessions

Session 1: The microscopic engines of the oceans: role and strategies of marine microbes in a changing world
Hosts: Alejandra Elisa-Magaña, Belén Franco-Cisterna (University of Southern Denmark)

YOUMARES Detailed Program – Physical

Session 2: Assessing the real concentrations of microplastic and their actual effects on marine biota
Hosts: Lukas Novaes Tump (University of Oldenburg, Germany), Mel Constant (LASIR, Unversité Lille 1, France)

YOUMARES Detailed Program – Physical

Session 3a: Coral restoration & marine conservation
Hosts: Sarah Abdelhamid, Victoria Huk (University of Rostock, Germany)

YOUMARES Detailed Program – Physical

Session 4: Fjord systems: Ecology, bentho-pelagic coupling, and anthropogenic impacts
Hosts : Thomas Heran, Santiago Pineda (Alfred Wegner Institute, Germany)

Session 5a: How do marine key species respond to a rapidly changing environment?
Hosts: Jan Phillip Geißel (IMBRESea, Belgium)

Session 6: Extracting non-renewable resources from the oceans: challenges and opportunities from the perspective of social acceptance
Host: Roald Leeuwerik (Leibniz ZMT, Germany)

Session 7: Machine learning in the marine sciences: opportunities and challenges
Hosts:  David Greenberg, Moritz Mathis (Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Germany)

Session 8: Let’s talk business – career perspectives for scientists in the maritime industry
Hosts: Laura Eisenblatt (Maritime Cluster – Schleswig-Holstein)

YOUMARES Detailed Program – Physical

Open session: Interdisciplinary topics