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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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:
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 http://www.westernchannelobservatory.org.uk/). 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
During the last years a stronger link between the EMBS and the MARS network has been established. Firstly the support was restricted to some announcements of the next conference in the MARS Newsletter. At this moment a few dedicated EMBS pages can be found at the MARS website. For the near future, the EMBS Committee has agreed to accept the offer of the MARS foundation to host the EMBS website, thereby mutually increasing the traceability and visibility of MARS and the EMBS conference series. Moreover, MARS supports the EMBS by promoting participation and increasing interest, through MARS poster awards (of about 100 to 250 €) at each EMBS meeting. New activities to be developed jointly are the installation of an archive on earlier symposia webpages, the maintenance of a database on (potentially/earlier) EMBS participants (facilitating on-line changes of addresses of (potential) participants, and electronic registration), and a strengthened outreach and fund raising. Herman Hummel, President of MARS
Abstract of the Intervention by Herman Hummel, on behalf of the European network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations (MARS). At the Round Table on “150 Years of Ecology. An Evolving Science Challenging Society & Citizenship”. European Parliament, Brussels; 11 October 2016.
As previous speakers in this Round Table already stated we need to move to a new balance between nature and mankind. The question we need to address now is how do we reach this new balance. An important element is, to our opinion, to interest the society and the citizens for the ecology of all the domains, i.e. terrestrial, freshwater and marine. To this end, in these domains we need proper locations for meeting, learning and studying nature, in order to see and understand how we can live in harmony with nature. Field stations play a vital role in this. We should not approach, observe and study nature at an increasingly large distance with a globalised view and in an automated way, often intended to only use and benefit from nature, like is done nowadays. Therefore, on behalf of the MARS foundation, we support the plea, made earlier in the Round Table, for a revolution. This should be a revolution at the societal and political level, in order to give much more attention, i.e. more support and funding, to the observation of nature, and its ecology and biodiversity, on the spot in the field. There where we can touch it, feel it, learn about it, and study it, for experimentation, for innovation, and to benefit from nature in a balanced and sustainable way. Field stations, as the meeting locations par excellence for society and for trans-disciplinary research, are elementary to understand nature and its ecology. Therefore our plea is to make sure that field stations are sufficiently supported, and not closed, reduced, or disappearing at an unprecedented rate that resembles the decrease of biodiversity.