Category Archives: News

SZN (IT): Positions on offer Open University International Ph.D. Program 2018 – 2019

SZN (IT): Positions on offer Open University International Ph.D. Program 2018 – 2019

Positions on offer Open University – Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn International Ph.D. Program 2018 – 2019

3-years fellowships are available to carry out PhD level research in Biological Sciences at the Stazione Zoologica ‘Anton Dohrn’ Naples, Italy. Applications are invited from qualified postgraduate candidates to work on the following topics:

1. Multilevel assessment of seagrass response to main climatic and anthropogenic stressors: epigenetic changes and early warning indicators of mortality

Director of Studies: Gabriele Procaccini, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology
2. Dietary composition of scyphomedusae in the Gulf of Naples
Director of Studies: Isabella D’Ambra, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology
3. Evolution of the TRH neuropeptide pathway and its growth regulation function in echinoderms
Director of Studies: Maria I. Arnone, Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Animals
4. Plankton-benthos coupling at different time scales
Director of Studies: Marina Montresor, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology
5. Interactions between microalgae and bacteria during growth in photobioreactor: Modulation and biotechnological implications
Director of Studies: Christophe Brunet, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology
6. Microalgal enzymes with biotechnological applications
Director of Studies: Chiara Lauritano, Department of Integrative Marine Ecology
7. Pigment cell gene regulatory networks in the Ciona robusta nervous system
Director of Studies: Filomena Ristoratore, Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Animals
8. Modelling cell response and molecular mechanisms of extracellular self-DNA inhibition
Director of Studies: Maria Luisa Chiusano, Department of Research Infrastructures for marine biological resources
9. Sea urchin as a model for development of new ecosafety nanoremediation
Director of Studies: Elisabetta Tosti, Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Animals

The closing date for applications is July 20th 2018 – h. 12.00.

Celebrating a Decade of the World Register of Marine Species

Celebrating a Decade of the World Register of Marine Species

2017 marked a decade since the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) was established.

In that time, 21,554 marine species new to science have been described and added to the register. The oceans cover over 70% of the surface of our planet, and yet they still include the least explored regions (
After 250 years of describing, naming and cataloguing the species we share our planet with, we are still some way off achieving a complete census. However, we now know that at least 242,500 marine species have been described because their names are managed in the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) by almost 300 scientists located all over the world.Since the WoRMS was founded in 2007, the number of species on the list has doubled from 120,000 to 242,500. Interestingly, the number of names in the database is actually almost double this figure (477,500), because many names are no longer valid. This can be for a variety of reasons including synonymy (more than one name for the same species), homonymy (more than one species given the same name) and changes to the classification of a species (reflected by a changed combination of species and genus name). The number of new synonyms and homonyms created is likely now far less than in the past due to faster publication and easier access to data. Still, every year around 20,000 unaccepted names are added to WoRMS, each linked to the valid name in the database (Vandepitte et al., 2018).
Every year almost 2,000 marine species new to science are added to the register. This includes species from relatively well-known groups such as fish, almost 1,300 of which were described in the last decade. Yet, it is among the least studied and most diverse animal groups (molluscs & crustaceans) and in the least explored habitats (tropical shallow seas & deep oceans) that most undiscovered creatures likely remain. Just over 6,000 new marine crustaceans and almost 8,000 marine molluscs have been discovered in the past decade.
With the task of gathering the names for all marine species approaching completion, the focus has shifted to improving the consistency and quality of data, while still keeping pace with the addition of the > 2000 new marine species described annually. As part of our 10-year celebration, we redefined the priorities and longer-term aims for the WoRMS database and have shown users how names are input and why they are represented as they are (Horton et al., 2017).
Keeping an up-to-date list of the world’s marine species is not just for interest but also increasingly important for the protection of our oceans. Extinctions from habitat loss and climate change are progressing at alarming rates. Around 20% of marine species are at risk of extinction and we urgently need to document what species are present, and what is happening to them in order to better understand the causes and devolop possible prevention measures. Biodiversity also underpins many features of the environment that humans depend on. Each new species discovered could provide opportunities for advances in medicine or agriculture.
In 2018, to celebrate a decade of WoRMS’ existence, it was decided to compile a list of our top marine species, both for 2017 and for the previous decade in order to highlight the fascinating discoveries of the numerous new marine species being made every year. A list of the ‘Top Ten Species’ described from ALL habitats and taxa has been announced annually since 2008 ( Although this list often contains one or two marine species, we decided to pay homage to the ‘largest habitat on earth’ by producing our own list of the top marine species. We hope some of our favourites will make it to global list.

How were the species chosen?
All editors of WoRMS were given the opportunity to nominate their favourite marine species from both the last year (2017) and the previous decade (2007-2017). A small committee (including both taxonomists and data managers) was brought together to decide upon the final candidates. The final decisions reflect the immense diversity of animal groups in the marine environment (fish, crustaceans, molluscs, corals, sponges, jellies, worms) and highlight some of the challenges facing the marine environment today (e.g. invasive species, fragile reef ecosystems threatened by climate change, deep-sea environments impacted by resource extraction).
The final candidates also feature particularly astonishing marine creatures, notable for their interest to both science and the public. Each of these marine animals has a story. It may be the among the deepest living or largest fish known, be considered a ‘living fossil’, an invasive species, the most abundant organism in a habitat, or have remained hidden in plain sight, hoodwinking researchers for decades…

Ten astounding marine species of the last decade (2007-2017)

  • Deep-sea lyre sponge – Chondrocladia lyra
  • Palauan primitive cave eel – Protanguilla palau
  • Deep-sea acochlidiacean slug – Bathyhedyle boucheti
  • Tree syllid worm – Ramisyllis multicaudata
  • Starry sea wanderer jelly – Marivagia stellata
  • The Hoff crab – Kiwa tyleri
  • Squidworm – Teuthidodrilus samae
  • Jesse Ausubel’s ‘terrible claw’ lobster – Dinochelus ausubeli
  • The ‘living fossil’ octocoral – Nanipora kamurai
  • Scaly-foot snail – Chrysomallon squamiferum

Ten remarkable new marine species from 2017

  • The Mariana snailfish – Pseudoliparis swirei
  • The Harry Potter ‘hero’ crab – Harryplax severus
  • Bob Marley’s intertidal spider – Desis bobmarleyi
  • The invasive ‘spiderman’ worm-snail – Thylacodes vandyensis
  • The Californian box jelly – Carybdea confusa
  • Palau president’s colonial anemone – Antipathozoanthus remengesaui
  • The necklace foraminiferan – Aschemonella monilis
  • The hoodwinker sunfish – Mola tecta
  • The fiery-red dragon amphipod – Epimeria pyrodrakon
  • The Solomon Islands pyramidellid snail – Eurathea solomonensis


Tammy Horton:
Leen Vandepitte:


WCMB (Quebec, CA, 13-16 May 2018): Keynote speakers

WCMB (Quebec, CA, 13-16 May 2018): Keynote speakers

4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity May 13-16, 2018 Palais des Congrès Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce the schedule for our 3 keynotes presentations:
• Monday, May 14th: Dr. Linwood Pendleton, Global Ocean Lead Scientist at the World Wide Fund for Nature.
• Tuesday, May 15th: Professor Emma Johnston, Dean of Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
• Wednesday, May 16th : Dr. Amanda Bates, University Research Associate Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Exhibitors List

The 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity is glad to announce the participation of several exhibitors present at the Montreal congress.
To access the list, click here.

“North Atlantic VMEs, EBSAs and MPAs in a changing ocean”

Join the 1-day symposium titled “North Atlantic VMEs, EBSAs and MPAs in a changing ocean”, which will be held in Montreal on May 12th 2018, just before the opening of the 4th WCMB, as part of the EU-funded ATLAS project.
Program details are available on the website.
More details related to the program will be available shortly. Stay tuned!
Registration is free but spaces are limited! Registration deadline is April 30th 2018.
For more information and to register, please contact Dr Vikki Gunn (

Thank you to our sponsors.

The 4th World Conference is active on social media! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Be a part of the conversation and be the first to get the last news.
For more information contact the 4th WCMB Secretariat at:
or +1-514-287-9898 ext. 334.

Source: MARINE-B, the MArine Research Information NEtwork on Biodiversity



From 17 till 21 September 2018, the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and LifeWatch Belgium will be organizing the 53rd edition of the European Marine Biology Symposium (EMBS53) in Ostend, Belgium.

More information:
Don’t hesitate to share this event with your network. Thank you.

Leen Vandepitte
On behalf of the EMBS53 Organizing Committee

EMBS53 is organized by Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and LifeWatch Belgium

2018 Call for SCOR Working Group Proposals

2018 Call for SCOR Working Group Proposals

2018 Call for SCOR Working Group Proposals

SCOR is now accepting proposals for new SCOR working groups. Proposals are due by 12:00 p.m. UCT on 16 April 2018. Proposals will be posted after that time on the website and open to review by national SCOR committees and others until 1 August 2018. Decisions about which proposals will be funded will be made at the annual SCOR meeting on 4-6 Sept. 2018 and new groups will start in 2019.

Ed Urban
SCOR Executive Director

Source: MARINE-B, the MArine Research Information NEtwork on Biodiversity


Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn: Call for members of evaluation panels

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn: Call for members of evaluation panels

Call for members of the evaluation panels of the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn

The Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn is opening a call for the establishment of independent expert

  1. The Stazione Zoologica hereby invites application for the establishment of a database of
    independent expert evaluation panels;
  2. The Evaluation Panels, once selected, will be invited to review and evaluate the Projects of
    the PhD Program; flagship project of the SZN, International extra EU project funded by SZN
    and other evaluations requiring a specific scientific expertise;
  3. Independent experts shall be chosen on the basis of skills, experience and knowledge,
    appropriate to carry out the tasks assigned to them;
  4. The experts can be either professors or assistant professors of the university or researchers
    / technologists of the public research institutions;
  5. The University/Research Institution to which the expert belongs must member of EMBRC or
    Euromarine or MARS Network;
  6. The expert activity is unpaid, unless differently specified;
  7. The evaluation and review work may be carried out fully or partially at expert’s home or
    place of work. All exchanges with independent experts shall be carried out through the
    electronic systems available, including meeting via video in remote or call conferences;
  8. Prospective independent experts are expected to have a high level of professional
    experience in one or more of the following ERC sector LS (Life sciences) LS1, LS2, LS3, LS4,
    LS5, LS6, LS7, LS8, LS9;
  9. The SZN shall take appropriate measures to seek a balanced composition within the expert
    groups and evaluation panels in terms of various skills, experience, and knowledge,
    geographical diversity and gender, depending on the situation in the field of the action;
  10. In order to declare your potential availability please fill the Application form and
    send it together with a short CV to the email address phdszn(at);
  11. The Deadline for application 28/02/2018 h. 12.00.

Application form download link: Application-Form-expert-2018EU.pdf


Opportunity to get Antarctic marine biological samples

Opportunity to get Antarctic marine biological samples

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a member of the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) UK node. EMBRC is a group of leading European marine research centres, which is also known as a distributed Research Infrastructure (RI). It provides access to European coastal seas and the endemic fauna, with the addition of Antarctica via BAS.

As part of EMBRC, ASSEMBLE PLUS brings together and opens up research infrastructures to all European researchers in the marine field, from both academia and industry. Researchers can apply for funding bi-annually to collaborate with BAS and collect samples and specimens from the BAS Rothera Research station in Antarctica.

For further information and to apply click here.

Source: MARINE-B, the MArine Research Information NEtwork on Biodiversity


WCMB 2018: 1st recipient of Carlo Heip Award announced

WCMB 2018: 1st recipient of Carlo Heip Award announced

The Carlo Heip International Award for outstanding accomplishments in marine biodiversity science was inaugurated in recognition of Carlo Heip’s leadership in marine biodiversity research and founding of the ‘World Conference on Marine Biodiversity’.

After reviewing 9 outstanding nominations, the IABO nominated jury made the award to Carlos Duarte:

1st Carlo Heip Award Recipient

Prof. Carlos M. Duarte, Director of the Red Sea Research Center and Tarek Ahmed Juffalli Chair in Red Sea Ecology of King Abdullah University of Science Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been selected as the first recipient of the Carlo Heip Award. He is a world-wide leading authority on seagrasses. He has published on all aspects of seagrass ecology, from population biology to genetics, from depth and geographical distribution patterns to their role in biogeochemical cycles, and from conservation strategies to their sensitivity towards climate change. His pioneering work on seagrasses and other vegetated systems eventually led – in collaboration with different UN agencies – to the development of “blue carbon” strategies, which has provided a strong impetus to the conservation of vegetated coastal ecosystems.

Carlos may be the most versatile aquatic ecologist of his generation: he works from the tropics to polar ecosystems, from macrophytes to microbes, from coastal systems to open ocean gyres using all type of approaches. His research is characterized by independence, creativity, serendipity and interdisciplinary linking of thought-to-be separate fields. Many of his synthesis papers have set the stage for the field; e.g. his work initiated the discussion on the heterotrophic nature of oligotrophic systems and identified the role of hypoxia thresholds for marine biodiversity. To date, he has over 630 publications cited 42,000 times. As was Carlo Heip, he has been listed amongst the mostly highly cited scientists by Thomson Reuters.

Recognizing the many gaps in our understanding of the deep-sea pelagic ecosystem, Duarte lead the Malaspina Circumnavigation Expedition, involving more than 500 scientists, and that sailed the oceans between 2010 and 2011 to provide a global assessment of the deep- sea biodiversity and functioning. Other leadership service roles included editing journals, being a member of numerous international scientific committees, and being President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.

During the last decade, his publications have been instrumental to advance our understanding of the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems, organisms and biodiversity. He has also contributed original work to science in support of policy and management towards sustainable use of ecosystems.

Finally, Carlos Duarte together with the late Carlo Heip initiated the World Marine Biodiversity Conference series and organized and chaired the first of these conferences in Valencia.

Carlos will be a keynote speaker at the WCMB in Montreal 13-16th May 2018. All WCMB delegates are invited to the Carlo Heip Award ceremony on Tuesday evening 15th May 2018.

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Dr Mark J. Costello, Institute of Marine Science,
Science Building 302, Level 3, Room 315, 23 Symonds Street,
University of Auckland, P. Bag 92019,
Auckland 1142, New Zealand.

Centres of scientific excellence in Poland funded by MPG and NCN: Dioscuri call opened

Centres of scientific excellence in Poland funded by MPG and NCN: Dioscuri call opened

On behalf of the National Science Centre in Poland we are pleased to announce the recent possibility of funding your excellent research in Poland within a Dioscuri scheme.

Dioscuri is a programme initiated by the German Max Planck Society (MPG), jointly managed with the National Science Centre in Poland (NCN), and mutually funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The Dioscuri scheme is designed to establish Centres of Scientific Excellence at Polish Host Institutions. Addressees of the call are researchers with a PhD degree obtained within a period not exceeding fifteen years prior to the submission of their application to Dioscuri.
Funding will be provided by the NCN from the resources contributed by MNiSW and BMBF. Polish Host Institution will receive up to € 300,000 annually to be spent exclusively on the Dioscuri Centre’s operations.
To learn more about the call visit or

Did you know that you can apply for NCN funds even if you do not have Polish citizenship?

The only condition is that projects we fund must be carried out at Polish host institutions. So, if you have ever thought of coming and conducting your basic research in Poland, we have a variety of opportunities for you.
For other funding opportunities see the NCN website.

Best regards,
Joanna Płaszewska
Zespół ds. informacji i promocji
ul. Królewska 57
30-081 Kraków

href=”” target=”_blank”>MARINE-B, the MArine Research Information NEtwork on Biodiversity

IOC-UNESCO: Global Ocean Science Report

IOC-UNESCO: Global Ocean Science Report

Dear Colleague,
I would like to bring your attention to the “Global Ocean Science Report – The Current Status of Ocean Science around the World” which was just published by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).

The Global Ocean Science Report (GOSR) assesses for the first time the status and trends in ocean science capacity around the world. The Report offers a global record of who, how, and where ocean science is conducted: generating knowledge, helping to protect ocean health, and empowering society to support sustainable ocean management in the framework of the United Nations Agenda 2030.
The GOSR identifies and quantifies the key elements of ocean science at the national, regional and global scales, including workforce, infrastructure and publications. This is the first collective attempt to systematically highlight opportunities as well as capacity gaps to advance international collaboration in ocean science and technology. This Report is a resource for scientist, academics, policy makers, and other stakeholders seeking to harness the potential of ocean science to address global challenges, the Report makes a case for increased funding in view of the ocean’s economic importance and other social and scientific challenges (e.g. the UN Sustainable Development Goals).
The GOSR is the result of the enthusiastic collaboration of many repute scientist from around the word, under the leadership of the IOC-UNESCO. As coordinator of the GOSR, I am very proud of the final product. This is the first time ever that this information is presented in a straightforward manner in understandable language at a comprehensible pace. The list of contents includes (not exhaustive):

• Ocean research capacity and infrastructures (Chapter 3)
• The Funding for ocean sciences (Chapter 4)
• Ocean research productivity and science impact (Chapter 5)
• Oceanographic data information, management and exchange (Chapter 6)
• International organizations supporting ocean sciences (Chapter 7)
• Contribution of ocean sciences to the development of ocean and coastal policies and sustainable development (Chapter 8)

To be published every five years, the inaugural Report also serves as an instrument to assess progress in the accomplishment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 on the conservation and use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.
I Hope you will enjoy this report as much as we have enjoyed creating it and by reading its articles you get motivated to participate in future editions. I do hope you find it informative, providing some food for thought as well as useful for your daily work; and please, help us to disseminate the GOSR among your colleagues and networks, and do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions or comments.
All the best,
Luis Valdés (Coordinating editor)

Download report