Workshop Program

The ICRS 2021 program will include a series of specialised workshops covering a wide range of topics and disciplines. The preliminary workshop program with 19 attractive offers is listed below. ICRS 2021 delegates may express their interest in participating in one or more of these workshops during the registration process.

Pre-Conference Workshops (18 July 2021)

P1 - Workshop and social for early career scientists: how do I maximize success in academia or non-academic pathways?

Jessica Bellworthy1Emma Strand2Laura Richardson3Sandra Schleier2Maha Cziesielski 4Jennifer Lappin5
1 Bar Ilan University (Ramat Gan, Israel)
2 University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI, USA)
3 University of Bangor (Bangor, UK)
4 KAUST (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
5 ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Townsville, Australia)

The ICRS Student Committee has partnered with the ARC Centre of Excellence to form a one-day pre-conference workshop. We wish to invite current students and early career researchers to attend presentations and engage in discussion on topics such as how to write successful grant applications, science communication through different channels, self-promotion, directing future research, and also advice for moving into a non-academic career after doing a PhD and/ or masters. The presentations will be given by expert, invited speakers. Following the presentations, an informal group social is anticipated, to include mixing games in a 'Bingo' or 'Speed Dating' format. This, we hope, will encourage students to talk to others from outside their existing network and find commonality. This workshop will be aimed at graduate students, post doctorates, and early career researchers (i.e. 3 years post PhD).

P2 - Getting Published

Joshua E. Cinner, Terry Hughes
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Townsville, Australia)

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies will host a one-day workshop on ‘Getting Published’. This workshop will be directed at early career scientists (i.e. from graduate students up to ~5 years out of PhD) interested in learning how to navigate the publication process. The workshop will be run by Professors Joshua Cinner and Terry Hughes. Josh and Terry have each published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Nature, Nature Climate Change, PNAS, and Science and have served on numerous Editorial Boards. Profs Cinner and Hughes will use their considerable editorial, publishing, and reviewing experience to provide insights into how to structure manuscripts effectively, navigate the peer-review process, and on how to build a portfolio of publications from early in your career.
The workshop will use five manuscripts from the participants as living examples of what to do and what not to do. After registration, we will contact you and to see if you have a manuscript in preparation and are interested in having your work openly critiqued. We will select five participants to submit manuscripts that will serve as examples for the section of the workshop focusing on structuring a manuscript effectively.  However, you need not have a manuscript prepared to attend the workshop.

Morning: Introduction: why write a paper?, Publish or perish, Common writing flaws & how to avoid them, Parts of a paper
Afternoon: Selecting a journal, How a journal works, How to avoid rejection, Guidelines for authorship

Scientific Program Workshops (19 - 23 July 2021)

S1 - The Allen Coral Atlas: How can global mapping of coral reefs enhance monitoring, management, and policy?

Helen Fox1, Brianna Bambic1, Paulina Gerstner2, Petra MacGowan 3
1 National Geographic Society (Washington, DC, USA)
2 Vulcan, Inc. (Seattle, WA, USA)
3 The Nature Conservancy (Arlington, VA, USA)

Coral reef managers and decision makers at multiple scales need information, in near real time, to react to the increasing threats facing reefs. However, more than three quarters of the world’s coral reefs have never been mapped and lack monitoring. To address this knowledge gap and to support, inform, and inspire critical actions to manage and protect coral reefs, the Allen Coral Atlas combines high resolution satellite imagery, machine learning, and field data to produce globally consistent benthic and geomorphic maps of the world's coral reefs. By providing timely maps and monitoring technology, the initiative’s goal is to help stakeholders ranging from local communities to regional and national governments reach their conservation targets and improve management and monitoring of coral reefs. The multi-disciplinary partnership includes Vulcan Inc., in collaboration with Planet, University of Queensland, Arizona State University, the Nature Conservancy, and the National Geographic Society. Baseline maps have multiple uses, including: site selection of marine protected areas, planning of restoration activities, sustainable coastal development, and reef fisheries management. In this workshop, we aim to reach a diverse audience to demonstrate how the Allen Coral Atlas can support data-driven management, conservation, and restoration for coral reefs at local, national, regional, and global scales. We have developed online courses to facilitate increased use and impact of the Atlas, and are collaborating with networks of individuals and institutions who can be alerted when changes are detected (e.g., large-scale bleaching or sedimentation events; these change detection components of the Atlas are in development). These information products aim to feed into global monitoring of coral status (e.g., GCRMN) and policy targets (e.g., CBD), supporting efforts to preserve and protect vulnerable reefs.

S2 - What’s in your toolbox? Explore the best practices to predict coral bleaching events

Jennifer McWhorter1Mark Eakin2William Skirving3Mathieu Mongin 4
1 University of Exeter/University of Queensland (UK/Australia)
2 NOAA (College Park, MD, USA) 
3 NOAA (Cranbrook, Australia)
4 CSIRO, Oceans and Atmosphere (Canberra, Australia)

Understanding the dynamic environments where coral bleaching occurs is key for successful direct adaptive management applications, increasing the likelihood of coral survival. Various web-based spatial tools have been developed to inform users about bleaching conditions but, each contain caveats that users may or may not be aware of. For example, satellite derived products are heavily interpolated especially during times of high cloud coverage, General Circulation Models effectively simulate global scale climate change processes but, they lack detail at regional and local levels, and coastal 3-D biogeochemical-hydrodynamic models are typically prohibitively computationally expensive to run climate predictions on scales similar to the Great Barrier Reef. This workshop will focus on a range of spatial tools used to inform bleaching events from satellite derived products, to large-scale climate models, downscaled future climate scenarios, a 3-D regional model, and a spatially-applied 1-D water column model. Interactive demonstrations with the audience will help develop skills for using these products and also underpin the caveats of each tool. As a result, this knowledge will enable managers and researchers to make more informed decisions about coral bleaching events.

Further information: Most researchers and managers lack awareness of the strengths and limitations of these products, yet many through necessity make use of them. The workshop will begin with demonstrations on the computer taking the audience through each of the spatial tools. This workshop will bring together international experts in spatial applications of coral bleaching tools with an audience of users from researchers to managers. The presentations will be interactive and open for questions. The last 20 minutes will be focused on what future improvements these tools might benefit from, looking for feedback from the audience.

S3 - Coral Reef Management Source to Solution Workshop - How can a source to solution process improve management strategy selection?

Gabrielle L. Johnson, Jason Philibotte, Jennifer Koss
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (Silver Spring, MD, USA)

Selecting coral reef management strategies that are most effective can prove challenging. This workshop will walk coastal and marine resource managers through a step-by-step process using a Source to Solution Decision Support Tool to assess and prioritize coral reef management strategies. The first step in the process involves a comprehensive method to identify the root cause of an issue as a foundation for deriving more effective strategies that more directly address the issue. The decision tool can then provide guidance for selecting appropriate coral reef management strategy/ies by providing a comparative review of potential strategies based on an array of criteria, such as feasibility, and available financial and human resources. The tool provides a more systematic means for evaluating and prioritizing strategies, making the process less subjective. As part of this process, challenges and opportunities for strategies will also be reviewed to provide an additional level for prioritization. Finally, participants will complete a forward and backward review to ensure that the strategies chosen are truly targeting the root cause of the issue. This tool will provide a means for evaluating comparable strategies supporting overall management effectiveness.

Further information: This workshop is targeted towards natural resource managers responsible for management planning activities, including selecting, implementing, and evaluating strategies to address an array of issues impacting coral reef habitats.

S4 - How can we develop new tools and best practices to accurately delimit Symbiodiniaceae diversity in reef research?

John Parkinson 1, Benjamin Hume2, Matthew Nitschke3Raul Gonzalez-Pech4
1 SECORE International (Miami, Fl, USA)
2 KAUST (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
3 University of Technology Sydney (Sydney, Australia)
4 University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)

The photosynthetic symbionts of reef-building corals, dinoflagellates in the family Symbiodiniaceae, are inherently challenging to resolve taxonomically because individual cells are small and morphologically non-descript. Hidden within this simple form are at least 15 distinct, genus-level lineages containing extensive genetic and phenotypic diversity. As scleractinian corals receive a significant portion of their daily carbon requirements in the form of photosynthates, these microalgae play a central role in the maintenance of reef health and function. Critically, functional traits that vary across Symbiodiniaceae lineages appear to mediate coral survival during stress. As such, coral reef research relies on the accurate delineation of these endosymbionts. In this 2.5 hour workshop, four core themes will be presented and discussed: I) the history of "Symbiodinium" taxonomy and the contemporary systematic framework of the family Symbiodiniaceae; II) the genetic resolution provided by different gene markers within Symbiodiniaceae; III) analytical approaches for studying the diversity and community composition of mutualistic and free-living Symbiodiniaceae; and IV) the use of 'omics' data for phylogenetic and functional classification of Symbiodiniaceae taxa and 'cybertypes.' Presentations will be given by the co-chairs and followed by 10-minute question and answer sessions. The remainder of the time will be reserved for an open discussion period with a larger panel of invited experts. From this workshop we aim to gather feedback from participants regarding how best to facilitate practical advances in the field.

S5 - Can we empirically determine coral thermal thresholds anywhere in the world before bleaching actually occurs?

Daniel Barshis 1, Mark Warner2, Christian R. Voolstra3
1 Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA, USA)
2 University of Delaware (Lewes, DE, USA)
3 University of Konstanz (Konstanz, Germany)

Researchers have recently identified a number of coral populations, reef regions, and coral genotypes with enhanced bleaching resistance. These are critical resources/targets for conservation in a changing climate. However, there is still no standard procedure for determining bleaching susceptibility and assessing populations, individuals, and regions for these resilient characteristics. Published approaches range from: observational surveys of naturally occurring bleaching severity and mortality, to multiple months of controlled thermal exposure or years of field transplantation, to rapid, single/multi-day acute heat shocks. Field surveys are one of the most informative measures of bleaching susceptibility, however, natural bleaching events are difficult to predict (and measure), large-scale bleaching surveys are costly, and monitoring recovery and mortality is a lengthy process requiring months to years. Longer-term lab exposures (weeks to months) to elevated temperature are designed to approximate natural thermal stress events and have a proven track record in the literature over many decades; yet they require extensive/expensive aquarium systems capable of sustaining corals for weeks on end. These systems are not practical in many remote locations where coral reefs exist, and the approach takes weeks to months for an assessment of just a single set of individuals from a single population. Experiments utilizing short-term (0-3 day), acute thermal exposures in remote field settings show a promising ability to reveal fine-scale differences in thermal tolerance across small spatial scales, however, the degree to which these differences mirror ecologically relevant variation remains unknown. This workshop will convene leading experts in short-term (0-3 day) coral resilience diagnostics to present recent methodological and technological advancements and discuss the utility and applicability of short-term diagnostic approaches to inform research and conservation efforts.

S7 - How do we best design, validate, and monitor test-beds for radical reef intervention?

Diane Thompson 1, Craig Humphrey2, Julia Cole3, Ty Roach1Raquel Peixoto4
1 Biosphere 2, University of Arizona (Oracle, AZ, USA)
2 Australian Institute of Marine Science (Cape Cleveland, Australia)
3 University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA)
4 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Decades of coral reef research have improved our understanding of the building blocks of reef resilience - the critical processes and mechanisms; however, the coral reef community now recognizes the urgent need to apply this knowledge and move from processes to solutions. Innovative initiatives have yielded major advances in techniques for reef restoration and increasing resilience through interventions such as stress hardening, probiotic treatment, phage therapy, and assisted evolution. These approaches offer great potential for (re)building resilient reefs that can better withstand warming and acidification. We identify a growing need to test these solutions in controlled environments before they are applied in the wild. Mesocosms provide a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between observational and experimental studies to test these novel (even risky) solutions at reef scales. They mimic natural reefs while offering precise control of environmental conditions and an ability to simulate future climate variability and change. Such control facilitates research on the resistance and resilience of restored genotypes to future stress, and on the persistence of engineered resistance. By capturing many intrinsic processes, mesocosms allow these solutions to be "scaled up" to test novel interactions across levels of complexity, species, functional groups, and trophic levels. Given their potential impact on reef management and restoration, such experiments must be thoughtfully designed, validated, and monitored to address potential limitations and increase the applicability of the findings to natural reefs. Despite challenges, mesocosm experiments from the Biosphere 2 (University of Arizona) and SeaSim (Australian Institute of Marine Science) have contributed to significant advances in our understanding of reef resilience under climate change. This workshop will bring together international reef scientists interested in leveraging these and similar facilities to discuss lessons learned and identify the opportunities and challenges for the next generation of mesocosm experiments to test radical reef solutions.

S8 - How do you accelerate coral reef science and conservation through better data management workflows?

Brian Beck, Sarah Hile, Sarah O'Connor, Zack Mason
NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program (Silver Spring, MD, USA)

Advances in data collection technology and increased utilization of existing data is outpacing our capacity to manage, process, and report on coral reef data. Vast amounts of data are stored in offline databases, spreadsheets, and other disconnected systems. This slows down collaborative processes that seek to share data across projects and geographies, limiting our understanding of the trends and statuses of coral reefs globally. Data management is not always the most exciting part of any project, and has subsequently lacked appropriate investment, but if we can develop improved practices, then the potential for data to be used to influence better management decisions grows exponentially. This workshop aims to provide guidance on managing data throughout its lifecycle, from field collection to long term archiving, to ensure its usefulness. This will be done in a targeted approach appropriate to the audience's level of experience and resources available, highlighting a range of planning practices, tools, data sharing options and archival platforms. Along with brief presentations on data management tools and strategies, breakout groups based on experience, interests, and levels of capacity will discuss the challenges with data management planning, documentation, and integrating legacy data that are unique to their situations. The strategy of this workshop is to approach data management from a variety of perspectives, appealing to a broad audience from resource managers to scientists. The workshop will address strategies for implementing best practices for projects with varying levels of resources, funding, and different ultimate goals. It will also provide data management guidance for various stages in the process from field collection, to backups, to ensuring preservation and access. The overall goal of the workshop is to increase the attendee's knowledge of data management workflows, available tools and how to manage their data with the resources available to them.

S9 - Get your story heard! Using art to communicate coral reef science and conservation.

Scott Heron 1, Carlie Wiener2, Nathan Cook3, Richard Vevers4
1 James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
Schmidt Ocean Institute (Palo Alto, CA, USA)
2 Reef Ecologic (Townsville, Australia)
3 The Ocean Agency (Washington, DC, USA)

Communicating effectively and in a captivating way is one of the biggest challenges for science and management to engage the mainstream population. Breaking through via novel and innovative means and media is required to reach new audiences and go beyond traditional methods of scientific reporting. Artists, like scientists are important storytellers that help people to see in new ways and activate the attention of the general populace. The use of creative arts (e.g., performance, visual, multimedia) can create a new space for dialogue and understanding to provide new opportunities to educate and raise awareness across a broader community of stakeholders. Here we will share stories of how we, as reef scientists, managers and artists, creatively communicate our stories – what has worked, what could work better, strategies for engaging target audiences, and garnering the support (including funding) to enable these activities. Through examples and hands-on activities, we’ll consider best practices for a variety of creative outlets, such as cinematography, composition, choreography, graphic design, photography, music, fibre arts, painting and graphic arts. One opportunity for collaborations between artists and scientists is with the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor – the Artist-at-Sea program provides berths for artists to work side-by-side with the scientists, immersing themselves in the research. Partnering of professional artists and creative communications experts is one way that scientists and managers can disseminate messages through innovative ways and can transform the work perspectives of both groups.

S10 - What alterations, new roles and perspectives can we foresee for Octocorals under climate change conditions?

Götz B. Reinicke 1, Lorenzo Bramanti2, Federica Costantini3
1 German Oceanographic Museum (Stralsund, Germany)
2 CNRS-Sorbonne Université (Banyuls sur mer, France)
3 University of Bologna (Ravenna, Italy)

Octocorals (Cnidaria, Anthozoa) can be prominent elements of benthic coral reef communities, often significantly competing with scleractinian corals, thus influencing reef development. Recent observations indicate that benthic faunas react to changes in various environmental conditions, like shifts in community structures and composition. Further to tropical reefs, also cold-water and deep-sea habitats carry diverse octocoral fauna in temperate and cold ocean regions. The complicated taxonomy of octocorals is under intense study with ongoing progress from the interaction of morphological and molecular analysis; however, it often complicates research consideration of diverse octocoral populations – which requires active exchange and cooperation of the specialists with the coral reef researching networks. Moreover, aspects of the octocorals functional ecology needs more context observations. While reef-building corals are on the retreat, octocoral dominated reefs could be an alternative, but the mechanisms underlying this possible shift are still unknown.
In particular, the following questions should be addressed:
1) Are octocorals more resilient due to faster demography?
2) Are octocorals more resistant to bleaching and ocean acidification?
The workshop intends to provide an active forum for octocoral researchers and interested scholars in the conference, who handle subjects of taxonomy, phylogenetics, physiology, biology and ecology. The format further includes targeted discussions on the effects of climate change on octocorals both in temperate and tropical habitats. The workshop will identify gaps where future research should focus to conserve and manage vulnerable species and the ecosystem services. Further, the workshop will explore options for a platform to strengthen the link of ongoing field observations with taxonomic expertise. The intended final product would be a review on the response of octocorals to climate change related disturbances.

S11 - How important are oceanic fisheries for a) coastal marine resource use and management, and b) food security of island populations?

Annette Breckwoldt 1, Elodie Fache2
1 Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (Bremen, Germany)
2 Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) (Montpellier, France)

This workshop aims to highlight and critically discuss (1) the socio-cultural, socio-economic, ecological, policy and geopolitical connections between coastal and oceanic fisheries and fisheries management frameworks and (2) the existing and emerging strategies and measures designed to make oceanic fisheries contribute more significantly to both national and local sustainable marine resource use and food security efforts. The workshop will have two parallel groups discussing each of these topics in a 'World Café', followed by a short summary of the discussion highlights and a final open discussion round. The workshop's background is the research conducted in the frame of the Franco-German project "A Sea of Connections: Contextualizing Fisheries in the South Pacific Region" (SOCPacific, 2018-2021,, led by a team from IRD and ZMT. Despite this project's focus on the South Pacific, the panel will also welcome insights based on research conducted in other regions of the world, to generate fruitful comparative discussions and collaborations. The initial discussion spark will follow up from a panel at the MARE's 'People and the Sea' Conference in June 2019, where the first outcomes of SOCPacific will be presented. Hence, we expect the workshop to focus on inter- and transdisciplinary insights into various scales and dimensions of the two above-mentioned themes, for example on: - the local perceptions and practices in the face of global changes and drivers; - the (sometimes conflicting) values attributed to coastal and oceanic fisheries by different stakeholders and societal actors; - the tensions between fishing and conservation interests, in particular within marine protected and managed areas; and/or - the meaningful methodological approaches to generate and analyze locally, policy, and scientifically relevant inter/transdisciplinary data. The output of the workshop will be a joint publication with interested delegates, with a cross-regional focus.

S12 - Are coral restoration efforts worthwhile to engage in? A Reef Debate

Matt Tietbohl1, Maha J. Cziesielski2
1 KAUST (Thuwal, Saudi Arabia)
2 ICRS Student Committee (International)

We study coral reefs at a time when they are at a crossroads along with our society. A host of threats impact coral reefs with an equal amount of possible solutions to save them. However, the complexity of the issues facing coral reefs and how they respond to these negative and positive impacts means their responses are incredibly complex. This makes the crossroads of coral reefs like a busy, tangled mess of potential paths reefs will take in the future. Reef Debates’ goal is to have a civilized, open debate among expert coral reef scientists about wicked problems in coral reef science and conservation. This is inspired by Munk Debates ( which allows debaters to openly discuss major public and policy issues in front of a public audience. Reef Debates aims to emulate their style and intrigue. It will create a safe space to debate and teach others the important, nuanced details of coral reef science. The topic of this debate is framed to fit the key scientific questions of ICRS 2020, specifically questions four and five. The event will proceed as follows. Audiences will be polled on their initial stance on the topic. 1-2 debaters will support each side. Each person will have 5 minutes for an opening statement. The debate will move into a half hour of moderated discussion. There will then be 20 minutes for audience questions. Finally, each debater will have 5 minutes for a closing statement. The audience will vote on where they now stand, and a 'winner' will be the side that swings the most votes. Total time will be under 2 hours. In this style, Reef Debates will host a format where scientists can comfortably debate potentially contentious and complex areas of coral reef science. This event aims to give scientists a place to explain this complexity to a large audience. These debates ideally will teach a greater understanding of complexity and lead to future collaborations and new research directions.

Further information: Reef Debates will appeal to a large audience, with attendees including students, scientists, and managers. The specific audience will depend on the argument. An argument focused around the realm of coral reef science and policy action will likely draw in the largest crowd. As scientists, we should be some of the most open-minded, so this audience is expected to be largely coral reef scientists. Many student attendees are likely too, since this will be a great opportunity to learn more about reefs and could help them as they think through the structure their future work. We would like to leave this debate open to the public so other people might have a chance to learn more about the details of coral reef science, if they're interested.

S14 - Critical knowledge gaps in coral science: how do we overcome the unknown to secure coral reefs into the future?

Tracy Ainsworth 1, Hollie Putnam2, Raquel Peixoto3, Virginia Weis4, Shayle Matsuda5
1 The University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
2 University of Rhode Island (Kingston, RI, USA)
3 Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
4 Oregeon State Unviersity (Corvallis, OR, USA)
5 Hawaiian Institute For Marine Biology (Honolulu, HI, USA)

In the face of increasing predictions of ecosystem declines worldwide, there has been ongoing debate surrounding the ethical and practical constraints of intervention in high-value habitats such as coral reefs. This is despite the knowledge that non-intervention will come at the largest cost to the human populations that are least able to adapt, and those with the fewest available resources. Much of the uncertainty that underpins inaction and reluctance to invest in interventions is due to critical knowledge gaps related to our fundamental understanding of reef-building corals. For example, it is now apparent that the most severe and drastic changes on coral reefs are the result of severe marine heatwaves. However, coupled with this knowledge is the fact that physical habitat attributes of reefs (such as water flow, upwelling and existing micro-habitat shading) and biological responses (acclimation, acclimatization and adaptation) influence survival, wherein some corals at some locations, are able to survive these heating events. Despite this understanding of the reef environment and the changes occurring in coral reef ecosystems, as a field, we still argue that interventions carry with them too much uncertainty. This workshop will bring together leading early and mid-career coral reef scientists to identify the most pressing knowledge gaps that need to be addressed for effective decisions to be made on coral reef interventions. This workshop will generate a synopsis paper entitled "Addressing the unknown. A consensus of critical knowledge gaps in coral biology for adaptive and reactive management of coral reefs". The aim is for this workshop to be held at each ICRS Symposium in the future to provide ongoing assessments of critical knowledge gaps and acknowledge scientific advances and improvements that can provide reliable tools to increase coral resilience.

Further information: The expected audience for this workshop outcome includes both coral scientists and reef managers. Longterm, this workshop will provide a means to address the advances in critical research areas in the context of developing reef restoration and intervention efforts.

S15 - How do we harness the power of crowdsourced citizen media and tell stories to engage a global public?

Deborah James
Governors State University (University Park, IL, USA)

In a region known for its gin-clear waters, this workshop examines amateur first-person videos filmed and shared on YouTube by divers of the Florida Reef, the only living coral reef in the continental United States. Often dismissed as banal and narcissistic, this 'cinema of me' is a form worthy of our reconsideration as a multiple and popular expression of our human experience, and offers insight into how we make sense of our changing relationship with the environment. More than 80,000 videos recorded along the reef are posted to YouTube, some garnering over a half million views. With the power to represent, shape and influence issue debate, serve as a cultural reference point and constitute knowledge, an analysis of a corpus of these videos and associated YouTube data reveals ways we imagine and communicate our connection to the reef. Reef and reef adjacent research continues in the disciplines of science, business, and tourism. Humanities research examines and reveals the ways humans cope with environmental change. Media Studies expands the understanding of how we make meaning. To illuminate a pathway, this study draws research from scholars who bridge the humanities including marine biologist, conservationist and author, Rachel Carson. French language, literature, and civilization scholar, Margaret Cohen who centers the representation of the ocean in documentary, theorizing the impulse of divers to film and the historical context of underwater cinematic innovation. An author noted for her writing on the environment, Joy Williams' popular series of guidebooks on the Florida Keys and afterword illuminate the changing environment. In this way, the project expands on Donna Haraway's notion of the cyborg. Here, the cyborg's multi-valent standpoint also includes a coral reef; divers' training, skills and knowledge; and video technology designed for human observation, documentation, and dissemination. Integrated, the study of images generated, circulated, and stored on platforms such as YouTube, and their social embeddedness can take many forms. A wide-ranging multi-discipline approach to this topic can contribute to our understanding of how we interpret, represent, and interact with underwater environments.

Further information: This interactive workshop calls on participants from across stakeholder groups and disciplines to discuss amateur first-person videos filmed along the reef utilizing data visualization, network and critical content analysis. Participants enhance skills for decoding the changing tools of meaning-making and new practices of video production, interpretation, and social use. Potential outcomes include collaborations to investigate, expand and challenge emerging practical knowledge, applications, and uses for such knowledge to advance towards a holistic coral reef culture.

S16 - Which characteristics define coral reefs in the Anthropocene?

Jens Zinke1, Reinhold Leinfelder2, Nicolas Duprey3, Georg A. Heiss2
1 University of Leicester (Leicester, UK)
2 Freie Universität Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
3 Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (Mainz, Germany)

Many geo-ecosystems around the world are increasingly modified by Humans. Coral Reefs are no exception. Geologists are currently debating the formalisation of the term Anthropocene as a new chronostratigraphic geological unit. The selection of a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) candidate section for the Anthropocene is a requirement in seeking formalisation of the term as a potential new unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart. Currently, the GSSP candidate sites and archives are chosen by an international working group that will strive to provide compelling evidence for a transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene. All sections will be in borehole/drill cores, most showing annually resolved laminations that can be independently dated radiometrically to confirm a complete succession extending back to pre-Industrial times. Airborne signals provide the most geographically widespread and near-isochronous proxies, applicable across most of these environments, which are expected to provide distinctive markers at around the mid-20th century, the preferred start/base of the Anthropocene. The question arises if coral reefs provide clear Anthropocene markers which set them apart from previous reef development stages in Earth history. Coral skeletal proxy archives are a prime GSSP boundary candidate from the tropical oceans due to their yearly growth banding providing highly precise age control over several centuries locking a suite of geochemical information into their skeleton (Waters et al., 2018). Corals have been shown to record climatic and environmental change over several decades to centuries related to natural processes. Furthermore, coral provide invaluable records of anthropogenic activity, e.g. CO2 uptake by the oceans (Suess effect; Swart et al., 2010), radiocarbon bomb spikes, radionuclide distributions, heavy metal discharge and eutrophication. In addition, the need to better understand the spatial and temporal ecopattern for the entire spectrum of recent and subrecent reefs, including “atavistic” reefs (such as mesotrophic, mesophotic and heat-tolerant reefs), is a prerequisite to better understand the development of reefs in the future Anthropocene (Leinfelder, 2019). In this workshop we like to bring the coral paleoclimate and ecostratigraphic community together to discuss the suitability of corals and reefs to define the start of the Anthropocene, to better understand resilience and adaptability of reefs and to develop scenarios for the future of reefs.  We like to encourage critical discussions on most suitable sites, proxy systems, techniques and modeling approaches to be used, and the best definition of a GSSP boundary for the Anthropocene.

S17 - Reef conservation off the hook: What market-based solutions can address the coral reef crisis?

Jack Kittinger1, Joshua E. Cinner 2Katie Cramer 3
1 Conservation International (Honolulu, HI, USA)
2 James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
3 Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ, USA)

Significant research on coral reefs has revealed that proximity to markets is associated with reef degradation. This suggests that a range of market-based solutions and policy levers can help address the coral reef crisis. Research on markets for coral reef fisheries products shows that supply chains are complex, noisy, and often local or regional. A range of market-based interventions have been developed for seafood, but these have primarily focused on internationally traded seafood commodities (e.g., tuna, salmon, whitefish). These solutions have had success in transforming many of these commodities but the utility of these approaches for coral reefs, which exhibit very different supply chain structures and actors, is largely unknown. In this workshop, we will explore market solutions to address the coral reef crisis. Building from a review of existing market-based approaches in commodity seafood and research on coral reef fisheries supply chains, a group of thought leaders will identify the most promising approaches for market-based levers to support sustainable fisheries and conservation for coral reefs.

Further information: We expect this topic to be of interest to a wide array of coral reef scientists, conservation practitioners, and conference attendees. Significant effort and funding (100s of millions) has gone into the development of market-based solutions for commodity seafood. At the same time, millions of dollars have been spent in service of coral reef conservation and protection from local to international scales – focusing primarily on governance improvements and capacity development. Bringing thought leaders together from these sectors would provide a powerful workshop setting, identifying key solutions (and eliminating non-viable approaches) that the coral reef conservation community can develop, implement and evaluate in a broad array of settings.

S18 - Greening coral reef tourism - How to achieve environmental sustainability?

Franz Brümmer1Ralph O. Schill2
1 University of Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany)
2 CMAS (Rome, Italy)

Water sports, particular diving tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing sector in the tourism and recreation businesses. It is a major source of income for many countries with access to the seaside and coral reefs. With approximately one million newly certified divers each year and quite a high number of snorkelers, dive- and snorkeler-tourism industry can stimulate economic growth, and create decent jobs and business opportunities. However, like other forms of development, diving tourism can also cause its share of problems. Especially during the last decades many impacts of diving tourism became visible in several countries due to its intensive use. Due to its strong reliance on healthy and attractive coral reefs, the dive-tourism sector is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. No reef-based diving industry will survive in locations where coral reefs are smothered with algae, the surface of the water is polluted with marine debris, and all the marine life is gone. Learning about the impacts of diving tourism in coral reefs leads many different stakeholders to develop standardized concepts of sustainability to enhance the welfare of the local people, the protection of our marine environment and underwater cultural heritage. This session will focus on methods, strategies, initiatives and challenges for sustainable coral reef tourisms as well as present ideas and solutions from scuba diving industry, scientists and decision-makers.

S 19 - Reef research in times of the COVID-19 pandemic

Annette Breckwoldt1, Katharina Beyerl2 
1 Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), (Bremen, Germany)
2 IASS Potsdam (Potsdam, Germany)

What have been the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on reef research and researchers all over the world? What are lessons learnt? What future impacts do we expect and how do we continue our international cooperation? These are some of the questions we would like to discuss with you! The COVID-19 pandemic has most likely impacted all reef researchers and their work to some extent – be it as scientists living close to a reef or far away. Collaborations have suddenly become more challenging as we were not only confronted with travel restrictions but also with sudden changes in our personal lives due to home office and extra care work. How did you as reef researchers from all over the world experience these changes and the impact on your work and collaborations? What are your stories? What are your lessons learnt for potential and necessary transformations regarding transdisciplinary research, participatory approaches, research proposal development, funding, as well as decarbonisation efforts within academia and conservation work? In this workshop, we would like to reflect on effects, repercussions and visions for the future. Our exchange will be structured along several guiding questions and we plan a quick online survey with real-time visualizations. Everybody on every career stage is welcome to share stories, experiences and ideas!

Youth Leaders Workshop at Übersee-Museum Bremen

What is the role of the next generation in supporting coral reef health?

Nathan Cook
Reef Ecologic (Townsville, Australia)

Climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to coral reef health worldwide. Despite lofty emissions targets and pledges by the international community, scientists predict that the effects of climate change, severely impacting coral reefs, are likely to get worse before any improvement is realised. Consequently, the next generation is in line to inherit natural ecosystems in a much poorer, and declining state than present, potentially requiring drastic action to support reef resilience and ecosystem health. The Youth Leaders Workshop is specifically designed to explore opportunities to improve the health of coral reefs globally, incorporating key elements of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 14, Life Below Water and 17 Partnerships for the Goals. This opportunity will enable them to better understand reef health issues, relate to coral reefs and strategise with industry leaders and professionals in their field how they may become part of the solution in tackling the challenging future of coral reefs. The Youth Leaders Workshop asks representatives of the today's youth, "What is the role of the next generation in supporting coral reef health and resilience?" This workshop presents an opportunity to engage the leaders of tomorrow in meaningful conversation around the ecological, social and economic values around coral reefs. The workshop will take a multi-faceted approach to problem solving inquiring and addressing elements of good leadership and collaborative decision making to deliver realistic, achievable solutions to coral reef health. Participants will be asked to answer the key question, "What kind of adaptive management, conservation, and restoration measures need to be developed for future reefs?" approached through the more accessible queries, "What do the coral reefs mean to me?" and "How can we work collaboratively to protect their future?".

Further information: This is a semi-closed workshop -(age restriction). Designed for high school students in conjunction with researchers and scientists attending ICRS 2020.

Register for this workshop here: