Science Sessions



Valued Ocean: The ocean significantly contributes to global benefits for humans (social/economic) and environments (ecosystem services). This topic discusses ecosystem function and services provided by the ocean and consequences of their loss/degradation for social, economic, and environmental issues. Although these terms are anthropocentrically driven, it appears that ocean values offered to humankind must be identified in order to make them competitive in economic and legal debates. Major questions that could be addressed include: What are the benefits of the ocean? How are different sectors contributing to the loss of benefits? How is unsustainable use of resources valued by different sectors? How will society/the economy change if certain ocean services disappear? How can we protect common against national/individual interests? Who decides which interests are common?

Keynote speaker: Prof. Andrew Thurber, Assistant Professor of Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry, Oregon State University
Vast, Unknown, and Critical: Ecosystem Function and Services Provided by the Deep Sea


Ocean Conservation: Conservation of marine biodiversity is fundamental to preserving ocean function. This includes everything from global scale elemental cycling by microbial communities to intact marine food webs that support fisheries. The goal of this session is to present a road map of current highlights in marine biodiversity research and the legal challenges we face in implementing conservation policies. We particularly encourage presentations on marine biodiversity topics that are occurring in international dimensions and /or on the high seas. This session will include discussions on the issue of protecting marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). This is a matter that falls within the interface of marine biology, oceanography, marine policy and international law of the sea. As far as the political and legal perspective is concerned, the situation concerning ABNJ is characterized by the concurrence and overlap of different legal traditions and underlying political interests. Significant progress has been made in the number of relevant treaties and concepts in the past decades. It is thus essential to focus on the question of how the existing interactions between the different instruments and categories may best be tackled.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Liesbeth Lijnzaad, Professor of Practice of International Law, Maastricht University and Legal Adviser of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and head of the international law department
BBNJ, process and prospects for the marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction negotiations in the United Nations


The Ocean in 2100: The global ocean system is currently under increasing anthropogenic stress. The effects of climate change are already widely observed in the world’s oceans, and they are likely to have significant consequences for natural systems and humankind in the future. The oceans absorb much of the anthropogenic heat and about a quarter of anthropogenic carbon dioxide introduced to the atmosphere. These impacts lead to sea level rise and melting of sea ice and coastal land ice at high latitude. They also lead to ocean acidification and deoxygenation, reduced ocean productivity, and are threatening the sustainability of marine ecosystems. We invite presentations in a wide range of marine research areas highlighting impacts of climate change on the oceans across different spatial and temporal scales. The aim of the session is to link and integrate studies of the modern oceans with future projections and paleo studies using proxies to define how the ocean system has changed through the past on a number of different timescales.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University
Sea Level Rise: Wide-ranging Estimates, Disaster Planning, and the Need to Decide

Sessions will include invited keynote lectures and presentations by selected applicants as well as pitch talks and a lively poster session.