New members of the Executive Board

New members of the Executive Board

The term of several members of the Executive Board has ended. Ferdinando Boero and Alf Norkko (Full Member), Mike Thorndyke (past President), Pierre Lasserre (co-opted for UNESCO), Ricardo Santos (co-opted for Deep Sea affairs and EU) will have to leave the board. We are very grateful for their investment in, and coordination of, MARS.

We welcome Alexander Tzetlin (MSU, Moscow, Russia) and Iwona Pawliczka (Hel-IO UG, Poland) as new board members (Full Member).

Herman Hummel, on behalf of MARS

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MARS Directors Meeting 2017

MARS Directors Meeting 2017

The MARS directors meeting has been held last month hosted by IH Cantabria, Universidad de Cantabria(IHC), Centro Oceanográfico de Santander (COS-IEO), and Museo Marítimo del Cantábrico (MMC), Santander Spain, (30 January – 2 February 2017).
The main aim of this meeting was to evaluate the scope of MARS and discuss an agenda for the future.
The discussions were very fruitful and resulted in recommendations for adapting the scope and title of MARS, allocation of the budget, and development of an overarching (research) project.
This all will be taken up by the Executive Board for further decisions and action, including a position paper on the future of marine research and marine research stations, and an outline/proposal for an overarching theme.

We thank Jose Juanes De La Peña, Luis Valdes, Alicia Lavín, Gerardo García-Castrillo and their crew for the excellent organization (and social events) of the MARS directors meeting 2017.

Herman Hummel, President of MARS, and the MARS secretariat

You can find the executive summary and the minutes (MARS members only) of the meeting here.

“MarPipe” – Position on offer Open University – SZN

“MarPipe” – Position on offer Open University – SZN

Marie Curie ITN “MarPipe” – Position on offer Open University – Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn International Ph.D. Program 2016 – 2017

Call for a PhD position in the framework of the MarPipe Project “Improving the flow in the pipeline of the next generation of marine biodiscovery scientists”, to carry out interdisciplinary training at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples (Italy).

Applications are invited from qualified postgraduate candidates to work on the following topic:
Drug discovery from marine microalgae

Director of Studies: Adrianna Ianora, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

The closing date for applications is May 10th 2017.

Apply here

Postdoc Fellowships Cultural Value of Coastlines

Postdoc Fellowships Cultural Value of Coastlines

University College Dublin invites applications for two Postdoctoral Fellowships on the Irish Research Council New Horizons Project, The Cultural Value of Coastlines:

Assessing the Cultural Influences and Impacts of Ecosystem Change on the Irish Sea Coasts

(one fellowship in humanities, one in ecology, both for 15 months).

The Cultural Value of Coastlines brings together environmental humanities and environmental science researchers in a transdisciplinary team to investigate the role of culture (aesthetics, heritage, sense of place and identity) in determining human uses and values of the sea and coastlines, and the effects upon culture of changes to marine and coastal environments. The project focuses on three interrelated questions:

  • How do coastal and marine environments contribute cultural benefits to coastal communities?
  • How is the cultural value of coastal and marine environments dependent upon ecosystem functions and conditions, and how does this relationship vary?
  • How can the cultural benefits of coastal and maritime environments be assessed effectively so as to contribute directly to marine spatial planning, cultural heritage management, and sustainability governance?

The research team will work closely with coastal communities around the Irish Sea to address these questions.

Full details of the post are available at: – using the job reference codes: 009026 (humanities) and 009027 (environmental science).

The deadline for applications is March 7th 2017.

Informal enquiries may be made to Prof. John Brannigan ( or Prof. Tasman Crowe ( The expected start date for the positions is June 1st 2017.

(Source: MARINE-B)

Blue Science for Blue Growth, 2017.02.08, Brussels

Blue Science for Blue Growth, 2017.02.08, Brussels

“Blue Science for Blue Growth, connecting ideas and people”
European Parliament – room PHS 3 C 050 , Brussels
8 February 2017, from 15:00 to 18:00

The event will be hosted by Ricardo SERRÃO SANTOS MEP, and is organized together with Euromarine and SEARICA Intergroup to discuss issues related to science and the oceans.

You may find the Provisional Programme here.

You need to regsiter here.
Registration is possible until the 31st of January.

52nd EMBS Portorož (Slovenia), 25-29 September 2017

52nd EMBS Portorož (Slovenia), 25-29 September 2017

The 52nd EMBS will take place at PortoRož, Slovenia (25-29 September 2017) organized by the National Institute of Biology, Marine Biology Station Piran.


  • Marine symbiosis
  • Advanced microscopy and imaging in biology
  • Benthic-pelagic coupling
  • Marine metagenomics
  • General session

Important dates

  • 1 March 2017 – Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • 30 April 2017 – Notification of abstract acceptance
  • 31 may 2017 – End of early bird registration rate
  • 31 August 2017 – Deadline for registration
  • 25-29 September 2017 – 52nd EMBS
More information can be found here.


Online registration is open now!



Forum “Challenges for the future of marine stations” now open

Forum “Challenges for the future of marine stations” now open

– for MARS members only –

During the last decade MARS has organised several scoping and networking activities to advance the research at marine stations and to make it future-proof.

In June 2008 at a joint MARS-MarBEF-MGE meeting in Brussels the future of MARS was discussed. The question was raised whether MARS, as residual body of the marine Networks of Excellence, should take up a role as umbrella for other networks, programmes and projects.

Since then the marine research and research-policy landscape has changed considerably, and it is now the time to evaluate and reconsider the scope and future strategy of MARS.

The main discussion will take place during the next MARS Directors Meeting in Santander (30 January – 2 February 2017).
In the meantime we want to prepare this discussion, and open it also for the MARS members that will not be able to attend that meeting

As a MARS member you are cordially invited to add to the Forum discussion:

The scoping discussion is organized along four topics:

1. A strong profile for marine stations: now and in the future
2. External pressures on research programmes of marine stations
3. A new Action Plan for marine stations
4. Increasing the visibility of marine stations

Please let us know how MARS is doing at the moment and what MARS should do in the future.

At this moment, the forum discussion is open to MARS members only. You need to log in to have access to the forum. You can register at the website, or to send an email to

We are convinced that together we may come to better and advanced ideas on developing an updated strategy for MARS and its marine station to consolidate or advance its niche and position in the scientific and political landscape in Europe and beyond.

With kind regards,

Herman Hummel – President of MARS.

The 11th Baltic Sea Science Congress

The 11th Baltic Sea Science Congress

The 11th Baltic Sea Science Congress – “Living along gradients: past, present, future”

– Rostock, Germany, June, 12 – 16, 2017
– Hosted by the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research and the University of Rostock

Dear friends of the Baltic Sea Science,

Don´t miss to submit your contribution to the BSSC 2017, the great 2017 event: abstract submission is possible until January 16, 2017. Be part of the biggest conference for scientific discussions related to the Baltic Sea!

We are looking for presentations addressing the following session topics:

  1. Dynamics of gradient systems
  2. Processes that affect coastal sea systems
  3. Past and future changes
  4. Coastal seas and society

Four cross-cutting sessions will stimulate the scientific exchange of more specific topics:

  1. Hypoxia
  2. Major Baltic Inflows
  3. Monitoring / Observation / Assessment
  4. Influences of the catchment area

For more information, please, visit our homepage:

or contact:

Dr. Barbara Hentzsch on behalf of the Local Organization Team of the Baltic Sea Science Congress 2017
c/o Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde Seestr. 15 D-18119 Rostock

One of the world’s longest-running marine biological time-series at risk.

One of the world’s longest-running marine biological time-series at risk.

As many of you know, the MBA maintains some of the world’s longest-running marine biological time-series. The MBA monitoring sites also contribute to the Western Channel Observatory, which is run in coordination with Plymouth Marine Laboratory who also maintain high-quality scientific time series (including a buoy – see The Plymouth time-series have also been a core part of European reference sites such as through BIOMARE and EMBOS.

A UK government agency needs to recommend somewhere to dump dredge spoil and has recommended a site overlapping with L4 i.e. exactly where many of our time-series are located.

They claim from p127 onwards that there will be no impact but we are providing very clear evidence that there science is fundamentally flawed.

The MBA and PML are currently replying to the consultation document and objecting in the strongest terms.

MBA long-term science monitoring. Since the opening of its Laboratory in Plymouth in the late 19th century the MBA has undertaken long-term research that monitors natural changes in the physical marine environment and to record the abundance, distributions and population biology of diverse organisms, from phytoplankton to sharks. The purpose of its long-term science monitoring is to provide an environmental baseline for predicting complex physical and ecological responses to natural local, regional and global environmental change. Without multi-decadal data sets of physical and biological measurements it is impossible to undertand how ecosystems like the western English Channel will respond to natural change. To this end, the ‘E’ and ‘L’ Stations for sustained scientific sampling were set up by the MBA in 1902 when the MBA undertook the English share of the international investigations on behalf of the UK following the formation of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) (Southward et al. 2005). Scientific monitoring at the Stations L4, L5 and E1 including their surrounding sampling areas off Plymouth have been funded by the UK government  and departments since 1902, support which continues to the present day as the Western Channel Observatory (WCO).

The WCO, funded by the UK Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) National Capability, is a partnership between the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the MBA. Station L4 (50 15’N, 4 13.2’W; 50 m depth) which is situated 13 km off Plymouth, is a monitoring area of particularly intensive (weekly) scientific observational activity. The WCO is a recognised reference site nationally and internationally for monitoring natural fluctuations in the marine environment and biodiversity that is needed to assess changes in the natural climate system. The WCO long-term marine data provides results to UK departments and agencies, including NERC, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCB) such as Natural England. Data are used to inform policy deliverables under legislation such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive Part 2 Regulations. WCO data is also utilised within Europe as part of EMBOS (European Marine Biological Observatories).

Dr Matthew Frost Mem.MBA
Deputy Director (Policy and Knowledge Exchange) The Marine Biological Association