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Detailed Programme CommOCEAN 2016

DAY 1: December 6th 2016

Registration desk: open from 8:30


Session chair: Jan Seys, European Marine Board Communications Panel (EMBCP) & Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

09:00   Opening – welcoming addresses (plenary) 

  • Vladimir Ryabinin
    Executive Secretary of Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO)
  • Sigi Gruber
    Head of Marine Resources Unit at DG Research and Innovation, European Commission
  • Jan Mees
    Chair of the European Marine Board (EMB) & Director of Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)


on targeting your audience, audience segmentation, community marketing with contributions on best practices in communicating towards policy-makers, the wider public, the media; on didactics of public outreach, how to write publications, how to address a specific group, etc.

Session chair: Francesca Santoro, UNESCO/IOC Project office for IODE

09:30   Keynote addresses (plenary)

  • Paul Rose - Storytelling: Good stories save oceans
    Explorer, TV presenter, public speaker, polar guide ...
  • Ceri Lewis - Ocean acidification in the Arctic: the other CO2 problem
    Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology at College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter

10:30   Conference group picture & Coffee break

11:00   Oral presentations (plenary)

  • Karen Christian & Mary Goodchild - Boaty McBoatface: PR triumph or disaster?
    Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Alain Dinis - OceanConnected: A virtual dive project
    Akwatyx -
  • Line Reeh - Boosting impact and citations: Why talking to journalists might actually be a good idea
    National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Aqua)
  • Frank Schweikert - The awareness of civil society on ocean issues: Do we communicate contexts understandable enough?
    German Ocean Foundation (CMAS)

12:00   Workshops and themed sessions (parallel activities)

ROOM A: A Blue Public – getting the message out to a wide audience (themed session)
Chaired by: Ned Dwyer, EurOcean

  • Manuel Cira - The role of marine science communication in bringing about the blue society
  • Andreas Villwock - Big waves for marine research in Germany: the science year 2016-2017 'Seas & Oceans'
  • Maija Sirola - Realising potential of the leaders of tomorrow, the scientists: reaping results of rewarding public engagement
  • Lisa Spotowitz - Off to future coasts: a modern education centric concept for a marine biological station

ROOM B: Copyright: two sides to the coin (workshop)
By: Inge Van Nieuwerburgh, Ghent University

ROOM C: Seafood and fisheries science communication (themed session)
Chaired by: Nancy Fockedey, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

  • Kim Sys - Connecting fishers and scientists in the sustainability debate: the interactive VALDUVIS sustainability web tool
  • Elisabeth Vallet - Changing behavior by communicating to seafood buyers
  • Vera Sequeira - Traditional fish markets: bringing marine research & society together
  • Celia Quico - Communicating the issues and challenges of sustainable fisheries across Europe: trends and issues

ROOM D: Catch me if you can: media training tips, social videos and blogs (themed session)
Chaired by: Thomas Isaak, French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer)

  • Thomas Isaak - Media training tips: maximize your media moment
  • Sofie Vandendriessche - Interview training for fisheries scientists: truth or dare?
  • Dana Hellemann - Come as you are: experiences from a young science blogger
  • Lisa Fitzpatrick - Using event & social video to promote marine research

ROOM E: Communication strategies (themed session)
Chaired by: Lucy Calvert, National Oceanography Centre (NOC)

  • Aurora Ribeiro - Image and narrative on marine scientific projects – the example of the FIXO3 project

13:00   Lunch & Poster session


on how to measure/maximize the impact of your communication & on website use/search engine optimization; on the incentives to communicate your scientific work and how to upgrade it

Session chair: Andreas Villwock, European Marine Board Communications Panel (EMBCP) & Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR)

14:00   Keynote addresses (plenary)    

  • Eric Karsenti - TARA OCEANS: A global picture of plankton ecosystems distribution and organization
    Scientific Director of the TARA OCEANS expedition & Senior Scientist at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
  • Patricia McHugh - Participatory Impact: Paving the Collective Way Forward in Marine Science Communication
    Sea Change Social Innovation Postdoctoral Researcher at National University of Ireland Galway

15:00   Oral presentations (plenary)

  • Maximilian Schupp - Engaging in meaningful science-stakeholder dialogues in polar and marine research
    Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Science, Alfred-Wegener-Institute (AWI)
  • Roisin Nash - Scientists in residence: interactive innovative learning STEMing from within
    Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT)

15:30   Coffee break & Poster session

16:00   Workshops and themed sessions (parallel activities)

ROOM A: making the invisible, visible  (themed session)
Chaired by: Anuschka Miller, The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS)

  • Belén Gonzalez-Gaya - Marine pollution lessons in a city without sea
  • Susana Lincoln - Communicating about marine: the challenge is on!

ROOM B: Pictures of ocean systems & methods of observation (workshop)
By: Glynn Gorick, illustrator

ROOM C: Communicating about our changing ocean and inspiring action (workshop)
By: Jennifer Bennet-Mintz & Leslie Wickes, National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

ROOM D: Raising awareness on the state of our seas: yes! But... for whom? On what? And how? (workshop)
By: Pierre StrosserACTeon

ROOM E: Cutting out the middle man: digital news distribution (workshop)
By: Lucy Calvert, National Oceanography Centre (NOC)

17:00   Wrapping up the day’s program and closure of the day (plenary)


Welcoming reception at the town hall (more information)


DAY 2: December 7th 2016


on how to share your results and visuals in the most effective way

Session chair: Niall McDonough, European Marine Board (EMB)

8:45   Welcoming address (plenary)

Including the presentation of 'Ocean Communicators United' by Sophie Seeyave (POGO)

9:00   Keynote addresses (plenary)

  • Lisa D. Tossey - Using the technology in your pocket for science storytelling in the digital age
    Social media community manager and editor for the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) and doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware
  • Daniela Zeppilli  - Deep-sea diving in meiofauna tiny wonderland
    Marine Biologist at Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (Ifremer)

10:00   Coffee break & Poster session

10:30   Oral presentations (plenary)

  • Kelsey Heath - Visual science communication development as a process for active stakeholder engagement
    University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
  • Rita Steyn - What can microblogging tell us (scientists) about how we tell them (the world) about science? A hashtag crawl analysis of #marinesciences, #climatechange & #ecosystemservices
    Rhodes University & The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON)
  • Anna Pienkowski - Communicating Arctic marine geoscience: a hidden world uncovered
    MacEwan University
  • Tom Duscher - The  next generation scientific poster

11:30   Workshops and themed sessions (parallel activities)

ROOM A: Diving and underwater technology as tools (themed session)
Chaired by: Silvia Morgana, Institute of Marine Sciences (ISMAR)

  • Marion Latiers - Live underwater broadcasting: an innovative solution to engage audiences in ocean topics (case study)
  • Silvia Morgana - Underwaterfront: an interactive laboratory on harbor biodiversity
  • Maria Angels Garau Bisquerra - Follow the glider: a web-based educational tool for glider exploration
  • Maarten De Brauwer - Involving different stakeholders in marine research: collaborations with the recreational scuba-diving industry in Southeast Asia

ROOM B: True story-telling, some deep insights (workshop)
By: Ivan Waumans, Karel De Grote Hogeschool

ROOM C: A story map to share ocean research data (workshop)
By: Luc Zwartjes, Ghent University (UGent) & European Association of Geographers (EUROGEO)

ROOM D: Ocean maps & knowledge systems (themed session)
Chaired by: Joana Saiote, Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (Ciimar)

  • Paula Oset García - Using Marine Regions in communication
  • Pascal Derycke - An introduction to the EMIS Marine Analyst to assist in the management of European Seas
  • Oonagh McMeel - From marine observations to user applications: the role of theEuropean marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) in marine knowledge transfer

ROOM E: Tools & toolkits for marine science outreach & governance (themed session)
Chaired by: Niall McDonough, European Marine Board (EMB)

  • Lucy Calvert - Making outreach easy
  • Ivan Murillo Conde - The Ocean health index as tool of communication in the management of the Colombian marine and coastal areas
  • Hans Pirlet - The Compendium for Coast and Sea: bringing the marine science-policy interface to practice
  • Vanessa Vargas - Ecosystem health report cards are science communication tools that can raise stakeholder awareness and influence behavior

12:30   Lunch & Poster session (end of competition)


on how you can learn creative thinking (mind mapping,…); on new formats dealing with art, citizen science and the media

Session chair: Jan Seys, European Marine Board Communications Panel (EMBCP) & Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

13:30   Keynote addresses (plenary)

  • Giovanni Coppini -  How to communicate to stakeholders and users through operational oceanography services
    Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change
  • Karin Dubsky - Designing citizen science projects that capture the imagination
    International coordinator of Coastwatch Europe

14:30   Oral presentations (plenary)

  • José Teixeira - Little mermaid & plastic seamonsters help raise awareness about marine debris in ocean actions campaign
    Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto (CIIMAR)
  • Florence Huron - Mr Goodfish: a sustainable seafood consumption
    Nausicaa, Centre National de la Mer

15:00   Coffee break & Poster session

15:30   Workshops and themed sessions (parallel activities)

ROOM A: Changing people’s ways: how can our work bring about behavioral change? (workshop)
By: Manuel Cira, Nausicaá National Sea Centre

ROOM B: The Ocean Plastic issue (themed session)
Chaired by: Martha Papathanassiou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR)

  • Silvia Merlino - Marine pollution and environmental awareness: an efficient way to approach high school students towards marine sciences
  • Sabine Pahl - Communicating about marine litter: insights from the European MARLISCO Project
  • Silvia Morgana - Invisible signs in the future of the sea: educational laboratory- on micro-plastics during the Italian Science Festival
  • Martha Papathanassiou - Communicating marine science through art

ROOM C: At sea & technology experiences (themed session)
Chaired by: Line Reeh, National Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua)

  • Lucy Calvert - Don’t forget the engineers
  • Annette Wilson - Message in a bottle? Communicating ocean science training and education at sea
  • Line Reeh - Making a splash about eel

ROOM D: Ocean campaigns, exhibitions & festivals (themed session)
Chaired by: Karen Rappé, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

  • Sigrid Maebe - Celebrating the 30th anniversary of research vessel Belgica: how big is the Belgica? #HBIB
  • Alexandre Nieuwendam & Ágatha Gil - Science at the helm: an ocean science communication initiative
  • Carolyn Scheurle - Crowdfunding as a powerful tool to communicate
  • Susan Heaney - Our wild Atlantic: what lies beneath? A unique exhibition for public engagement in Ireland

ROOM E: A theatrical dive to the deep sea (workshop)
By: Monique Janssen & Els Van de Putte, Youth Theatre Larf! & Brede School Nieuw-Gent

16:30   Wrapping up the day’s program (plenary)

16:35   Ned Dwyer - Award of the Professor Mário Ruivo Prize (plenary)

16:55   Closure of the conference (plenary)


Guided tour in the town brewery De Halve Maan & Conference dinner (more information)


  Download the CommOCEAN 2016 programme here.