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Partners met for a great 3rd Annual Meeting in Thessaloniki in late October

Hosted by Antonios Mazaris & his team at KEDEA, Aristoteles University, 40 scientists from across Europe met in Greece to discuss the status of FutureMARES after 3 years of work

A group of forty FutureMARES researchers met in Thessaloniki, Greece, from 23-25 Oct 2023 for the project's 3rd Annual Meeting. The agenda featured discussions of each Work Package's status, collaborative research between the partners, engagement with policy and stakeholders, as well as an outlook on the final year of the project and the synthesis of results. Scientific coordinator Myron Peck and project manager Sanne Vennenbos (both NIOZ) led the consortium through three productive days which were followed by a dedicated synthesis writing workshop in a smaller core group of Work Package (WP) leaders.

The project's first WP, led my Nova Mieszkowska (MBA), almost finished its work of investigating the links between ecological functions and ecosystem services. WP2 under the lead of Momme Butenschön (CMCC) successfully delivered projections of future climate change hotspots and refugia in Europe and CELAC countries. WP3 is led by Gil Rilov (IOLR) and is still in the process of conducting field and mesocosm experiments to explore climate change impacts on FutureMARES' study regions. In WP4, Ana Quieros (PML) and her colleagues from other partner institutions project climate change effects on marine species and biodiversity. The results from this research is used in WP5 by Juan Bueno Pardo and Elena Ojea (Uni Vigo) to develop and conduct novel socio-ecological risk assessments in relation to climate change and marine biodiversity. Fabio Bulleri (Uni Pisa) and Sarah Simons (TI) lead WP6 which is dedicated to performing economic analyses of different nature-based solutions and testing implementation strategies, including bio-economic analysis. WP7 (Isabel Sousa Pinto, CIIMAR) and WP8 (Vera Köpsel, Uni Hamburg) focus on engagement and exchange with policy makers and other stakeholders in order to receive valuable input to the project and share the results with those who will apply them (learn more about FutureMARES' research foci here).

Research and team building

Although the scientific exchange was the main focus of the meeting in Thessaloniki, team building among the consortium and getting to know the host city were part of the agenda, too. Antonios Mazaris (AUTH) and his team organised a great leisure program that featured a social dinner in a traditional Greek taverna, a visit to the Science Museum, and a stroll through Thessaloniki's historic old town. In the interactive Science Museum, the researchers switched on their exploration mode and tried out the different technical, physical and tricky learning stations of the exhibition.

The project partners, who usually are located at institutions in different countries across Europe, used the opportunity and caught up with each other over dinners and drinks on the free evenings. On Oct 26th a smaller group consisting mostly of WP leaders got together at Ypsilon, a co-working building, to draft the outline for FutureMARES' Synthesis Report that will be developed during the coming final year of the project.

Many thanks to all participants for a fruitful meeting, and to Antonios and his team for being such great hosts!

FutureMARES' final meeting is currently being planned for June/July 2024.

For more information about the project, get in touch with:

Myron A. Peck (Scientific Coordinator, NIOZ)

Sanne Vennenbos (Project Manager, NIOZ)

Isabel Sousa Pinto (Policy Engagement, CIIMAR)

Vera Köpsel (Stakeholder Engagement, UHAM)

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