AquaTT Training News - Newsletter 3 2016

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23 January 2020
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Training News is a free e-mail news service provided by AquaTT on education, training, news and events in marine science, aquaculture and related sectors. The newsletter currently reaches more than 5,000 international recipients on a monthly basis. Please submit any relevant information for inclusion in next month's edition to Please CLICK HERE to go to the archives of AquaTT Training News and Announcements.




Student Corner


To search for MSc programmes, MSc and PhD courses, and other training opportunities (short courses, online courses, work placements, etc.) in aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resource management, please visit the Aqua-tnet Education Gate. This interactive web portal is the one-stop-shop for education in your field. For information on all educational opportunities (courses, workshops, etc.), as well as general events (conferences, meetings, etc.) please refer to the AquaTT Announcement newsletter which is sent out with Training News. A comprehensive overview of all events is given in the AquaTT Calendar.



Apply Now for Free Training Course on Experimental Data Management: from Generating Protocols to Sharing Data

AQUAEXCEL2020 COLApplications are now being accepted for the first distance learning training course organised by the AQUAEXCEL2020 (AQUAculture infrastructures for EXCELlence in European fish research towards 2020) project. The three-day course, Experimental data management: from generating protocols to sharing data, will be provided online on 25, 27 and 29 April 2016, by tutors from the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. Course attendance is free, thanks to EC Horizon 2020 funding.

AQUAEXCEL2020 Course ImageAQUAEXCEL2020 is a research infrastructure project funded under the EC’s Horizon 2020 programme with the aim to further support the sustainable growth of the European aquaculture sector. AQUAEXCEL2020 integrates a large group of leading European aquaculture research facilities and aims to advance aquaculture research and innovation in Europe. One of its aims is to provide state-of-the-art unique training courses to educate a new generation of aquaculture researchers and industry stakeholders who focus on sustainable exploitation of their new knowledge, skills and tools in order to advance an innovative European aquaculture sector.

This course deals with best practice experimental data management, including all aspects from preparing experiment protocols to sharing data. It is based on an experimental data repository system called bioWES which is a distributed, knowledge-based repository for large datasets, typically applicable in biological and related sciences. Participants will learn how to use the bioWES system for their own experimental work, using their own protocols and real experimental data.

The training will be organised as an online course with active participation of the users. The organisers will guide the users through every single step of the bioWES system, from installation to sharing of experimental data, during three 90 minute sessions. A recorded version of the course will be publicly available after the course date.

For more information and online registration, please visit the AQUAEXCEL2020 website:

Deadline for registration for the live course is 21 April 2016.



COLUMBUS – Navigating Towards Impactful Knowledge Transfer

Additional Logo COLUMBUS weOn 2 March 2016, 57 participants from 36 organisations and 11 countries converged in Brussels, Belgium, for the European Commission (EC) Horizon 2020 funded COLUMBUS project’s first annual Blue Society Knowledge Transfer Conference.

Representing the EC’s most substantial investment in Knowledge Transfer to date, COLUMBUS aims to measurably increase uptake and application of outputs arising from publicly-funded marine research projects by different end-users, such as industry, policy makers, and society in general.

This event was the first of three annual international conferences to be hosted by COLUMBUS with the common objective of bringing together project partners, knowledge generators and end users, as well as Knowledge Transfer specialists, to discuss on-going COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer. Bringing these specialists together and highlighting success stories in this way will allow the Knowledge Transfer process that is implemented within COLUMBUS to be fine-tuned and ensure that COLUMBUS best practices in marine Knowledge Transfer become well-known by relevant stakeholders.

Opened by Dr Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP and Ms Sigi Gruber (Head of Marine Unit for DG Research and Innovation), the conference stimulated lively discussion. The attendees, including representatives from all 26 COLUMBUS partner organisations, explored external Knowledge Transfer initiatives to draw lessons from within the marine and maritime sector which could inform and improve COLUMBUS’ existing five-step Knowledge Transfer methodology.


David Murphy, COLUMBUS Strategic and Operational Leader and General Managerof AquaTT, opening the 1st Annual Blue Society Knowledge Transfer Conference

Georgia Bayliss-Brown, Senior Knowledge Transfer Officer at AquaTT (Dublin, Ireland) who manages the application of the COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer methodology, said, “We really are sitting on the crest of a wave and exploring new horizons under the COLUMBUS project. As public spending on research and development continues to grow; funding providers need to see a return on their investment. In COLUMBUS, we use a tried-and-tested methodology to maximise the potential of knowledge to have real, quantifiable impacts on policy, industry, science and society.”

Hosted by some of COLUMBUS’ External Advisory Board members – invited from AZTI Tecnalia, the European Marine Board, the German Marine Research Consortium (KDM), Marcom Defence, Nord University, Researchfish, the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) - the afternoon’s enthusiastic and participatory expert panel discussions looked at the definition of impact and the associated barriers to achieving it, e.g. organisational, linguistic, educational and cross-cultural obstacles.

“The sheer extent of interest that the European Commission and high-level experts have displayed by continuously engaging with COLUMBUS and participating so actively in the conference is not only gratifying, and a proud moment for the project, but it signifies the importance of Knowledge Transfer, Blue Growth and achieving impact across a vast range of sectors,” said Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, COLUMBUS Project Manager, “Not only is it exciting to imagine the potential reach and impact that COLUMBUS’ work is likely to have in the next two years, but the capacity that we are building, in transferring knowledge successfully, will also be an invaluable contribution to research culture and future methodologies.”

In its first year, COLUMBUS has already established a “Knowledge Fellowship”, a network of nine full-time Knowledge Transfer Fellows whose role it is to carry out Knowledge Transfer, each with a specific focus area. Trained in the COLUMBUS Knowledge Transfer methodology, developed by AquaTT, this remote team has identified knowledge gaps relating to Blue Growth within their nodal areas and is proactively collecting knowledge from EU-funded research projects which have the potential to fulfil, or contribute towards filling, these gaps.

With more than 600 Knowledge Outputs collected to date, the scale of COLUMBUS can be easily recognised. All Knowledge Outputs, defined as units of knowledge generated by or through research, will be made publicly available through the Marine Knowledge Gate ( and the soon to be launched EU Marine Information Sharing Platform (

If you would like to know more about the COLUMBUS project or would like to receive regular updates on its progress, please visit or contact its Project Manager, Cliona Ní Cheallacháin (email: or tel: 0035316449008). Presentations from the conference are available on the project website.



Prestigious ERC Grant Awarded for Aquaculture Research to Nord University, Norway

Fernandes J foto UiN stpProfessor Jorge M.O. Fernandes at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA), Nord University (formerly University of Nordland), has been awarded a prestigious European Commission European Research Council Consolidator Grant for aquaculture epigenetics research. The value of the grant is approximately 2 million euro. With an average success rate in ERC of only 12%, this is a significant achievement.

Epigenetics is the study of environmental factors in changes in gene expression. The project aims to investigate the role epigenetics plays when wild fish are introduced into fish farms, and the consequences for sustainable aquaculture. The project, which goes by the name EPIFISH, will use one of the world’s most important farmed fish species, Tilapia, as a model species.

AquaTT currently provide ongoing advisory and mentoring services to Nord University researchers in relation to European and national funding applications. AquaTT provided Jorge with advice and proofing services in relation to his ERC application and also helped him develop his presentation for the interview stage of the evaluation. We are proud to have supported the successful bid and wish Jorge the best as he implements this exciting and high potential research project. If you would like to find out how AquaTT can help you and your institution be successful in funding applications, please contact David Murphy,

Find out more about the project HERE.



Bridging the Gap Between Food Safety Research and Policy

ECsafeSEAFOOD LogoInternational experts provided valuable insights into how to bridge food safety information gaps and improve communication between decision makers and consumers at a workshop in Brussels, Belgium, on 21 January 2016.

The workshop, entitled “Science supporting policy for the safety of European seafood”, was held as part of the EU FP7-funded project ECsafeSEAFOOD, which aims to assess safety issues mainly related to non-regulated contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination and evaluate their impact on public health.

Results from the project will inform policy makers about the need for and requirements of seafood regulatory and monitoring programmes for these contaminants of emerging concern. The consultation workshop gave insight into steps that ECsafeSEAFOOD can take to ensure its results contribute to the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), specifically in relation to addressing the issues of contaminants in fish and seafood for human consumption and marine litter.

ECsafeSEAFOOD Policy workshopII 3

ECsafeSEAFOOD coordinator Dr António Marques said: “The workshop was extremely productive, as the audience was deeply involved in the development of policy for food safety and very interested in the project results. Meeting the different policy makers in person will certainly foster closer bonds between policy makers and project researchers, which are critical to ensure the successful accomplishment of the project objectives and to ensure that consumers have a higher confidence in seafood consumption.”

Policy makers advised on how relevant projects and initiatives could collaborate and link up to provide coherent information on seafood safety issues. They also made suggestions on how to optimise ECsafeSEAFOOD outreach tools and communication strategies to ensure uptake and exploitation of the valuable seafood safety information coming from the project. One such resource is an interactive online tool which consumers will be able to use to assess the benefits and risks associated with their seafood consumption.

Assessment of the ECsafeSEAFOOD online tool’s functionality was also a key focus of the seventh ECsafeSEAFOOD general assembly which took place in Porto, Portugal, from 3-4 February 2016. The meeting was attended by members of the ECsafeSEAFOOD consortium, comprising 17 partner organisations from nine countries, and by experts from the international advisory committees. The advisory committee experts reviewed the project’s progress and provided advice on how to improve the project and overcome any issues.

Porto meeting group photo

Dr Marques said: “The meeting involved constructive discussions to optimise resources available in the final year of the project. Participation by members of the external industrial and scientific advisory committees was extremely positive and strongly enriched the discussion with the integration of external visions.”

Plans are underway for the organisation of a final project conference which will bring policy makers, seafood industry representatives and consumer organisations together to discuss strategies to optimise seafood safety. Details of the event will be released at in the coming months. 

For more information on the ECsafeSEAFOOD project, see:



Seminar: Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Seafood

ECsafeSEAFOOD LogoThe ECsafeSEAFOOD project will hold a seminar, entitled “Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Seafood: Are Producers, Processors, and Consumers on the Safe Side?” in Frøya, Norway from 30-31 May 2016.

SeminarLeaflet Pg1ECsafeSEAFOOD is an EU-funded FP7 project which aims to assess safety issues mainly related to non-regulated contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination and evaluate their impact on public health. The seminar will be hosted by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Blue Competence Center, Bridgehead Frøya, and Frøya and financial support has been given by the Norwegian Research Council.

The main objective of this seminar is to increase awareness within the aquaculture industry of the impacts of emerging chemical contaminants on seafood safety. The seminar will cover the role of diet, xenobiotic contaminants, algal biotoxins, environmental factors, climate change, microplastics and other factors on the safety of different types of seafood. Public attitudes and consumer health effects will be discussed, as well as possible industry and policy responses, taking into account the development of mitigation strategies.

The seminar will particularly target industry, students at Master’s level, and food safety authorities.

The programme is available HERE.

The seminar will be free of charge, however, a fee to cover travel expenses and food might be charged for some of the field trips. Registration is mandatory.
To register or for more information, please contact Eliann Egaas (

For more information, see:



Sea Change Marine Coding Challenge for Young People

SEACHANGE Full Logo ColourCoder Dojo enthusiasts are invited to submit games as part of the European project “Sea Change” which aims to create a deeper understanding amongst European citizens of how their health depends on the health of our ocean.

The CoderDojo ‘Future Ocean’ Challenge is being organised as part of the EU-funded project Sea Change which aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea. The contest is currently being run in Galway (Ireland), Lund (Sweden) and in Belgium. 

Poster imageEntrants from individuals or teams with up to a maximum of four members are invited to submit games on the theme of Ocean Literacy, creating a deeper understanding of how our health depends on the health of our seas and ocean. The submissions will be reviewed by a panel of experts and judged on ‘best concept’ and ‘ease of use’.

Teams and individuals who enter the competition will be able to call on the services of a ‘game designer’ as a mentor and sounding board to help them develop their games. The winning project will be included in an eBook about cold-water corals that will be presented as a teaching resource to secondary schools, and the winners will also receive a cash prize of €500. The best junior project will receive €300.

Dr Veronica McCauley from the School of Education at NUI Galway and organiser of the challenge said: “Coding is now an optional subject on the Junior Cycle Curriculum and junior coding languages such as ‘Scratch’ offer tremendous opportunities for children to be creative while learning the basics of coding. The challenge here is to use the fun and popularity of designing and playing technology games while enjoying digital stories to raise awareness of marine issues, and to ensure healthy oceans and seas in the future, for ourselves, for the animals that live in them, and ultimately for the planet.”

At the  Galway launch event, Dr Anthony Grehan from Earth and Ocean Sciences at the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway, provided ideas for project development and gave a talk about why we need to protect cold-water coral reefs. Dr Grehan was joined by Dr Amy Lusher, who recently completed her PhD at GMIT, and provided an update about her work on the hunt for micro-plastics in the oceans. Gavin Duffy, Director of Galway based RealSIM Ltd., also spoke at the event. He discussed the company’s work on the Titanic Belfast Ocean Exploration project, and current work on the East Coast and Cork Harbour, which aims to apply innovative 3D technologies to marine environmental exploration.

For registration and competition details visit the project website:

Registration for the competition closes on Saturday 15 April 2016 and is open to Coder Dojos in Galway City and County in Ireland, Lund in Sweden and Belgium. 

For further information, contact Dr Veronica McCauley, School of Education at NUI Galway on or

For press queries, please contact the project Communications Officer: Tanja Calis, AquaTT (email: Tel: +353 1 644 9008)



Help the Sea Change Project Select an Innovative Idea to Encourage Ocean Literacy

SEACHANGE Full Logo ColourThe Sea Change project is seeking public votes to help select the winner of the Think Big, Think Ocean contest, a challenge requesting ideas for innovative events or initiatives to increase people’s awareness and appreciation of the ocean.

Sea Change is an EU-funded project which aims to bring about a fundamental change in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by developing “Ocean Literacy” (an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean) in Europe to foster responsible behaviour towards the ocean.

To increase Ocean Literacy in Europe, the Sea Change project has sought innovative concepts for events, campaigns or any other activities that could help to increase people’s awareness and appreciation of the ocean.

Contestants made videos to illustrate a creative, innovative idea to be in with a chance for their idea to become reality! The winners will win a day in the life of a marine scientist or behind the scenes of an aquarium or science centre. On top of that, the entry which receives the most votes will be in with a chance to win a GoPro Hero Silver camera. Voting will be open until 10 April 2016.

Winning entries will be chosen based on public vote as well as the innovation, feasibility and potential impact of the idea.

Vote for your favourite Ocean Literacy idea, see:

For more information about the Sea Change project, see:



MaCuMBA Project Final Event: Marine Microbiome - Discovery & Innovation

MACUMBA FINAL COL LOGOThe MaCuMBA project will host a joint industry conference and open science meeting in Berlin-Adlershof, Germany’s leading science and technology park, from 27-30 June 2016. The conference, entitled ‘The Marine Microbiome – Discovery & Innovation’ will focus on the biotechnical applications of marine microbes.

MaCuMBA focuses on increasing the rate of isolation of marine microorganisms using novel high throughput techniques for improved isolation efficiency and cultivation of marine microorganisms and screening for bioactive compounds and biotechnological applications.

MaCuMBAThe effective transfer of novel research discoveries in the field of marine biotechnology can greatly improve Europe’s capacity to generate new commercial opportunities. This exciting event represents MaCuMBA’s contribution to exploring how the European marine biotech industry could benefit from the latest research results in the area. It will be a platform for research and industry alike to diversify their cross-sectorial knowledge, strengthen their existing partnerships and build new opportunities.

Target outputs of the MaCuMBA project that have potential industrial relevance will be presented and practical commercial development and applications of these outputs will be discussed.

‘The Marine Microbiome – Discovery & Innovation’ should not be missed. The programme will feature: an interactive industry exhibition featuring MaCuMBA ‘hardware’; round table discussions (on the cultivation of microorganisms, the potential of marine microbiology for industry, the future of synthetic microbiology and the global effects of legislation on marine biodiscovery); moderated panel discussions; one-to-one meetings; and excellent networking opportunities.

Registration for this unmissable event is now open with the deadline for Abstract Submission fixed at 9 May 2016. Special early bird rates for participants and attendees are available until this date. For more information about this event and to register, please visit, or contact

For all the latest updates as the event approaches please visit our conference webpage. Follow us on Twitter (@MaCuMBAProject) and Like us on Facebook (


Student Corner

Open Call: SMARTSkills 2016: Research Vessel Equipment and Instrumentation

The fourth annual SMARTSkills workshop on Research Vessel Equipment and Instrumentation will take place at the Marine Institute, Oranmore on Friday 29 April 2016. This workshop is a collaboration between SMART and the Marine Institute and follows the annual Research Vessel Users Workshop on Thursday 28 April 2016, also in Oranmore.

SMARTSkills 2016 aims to increase capacity in ocean science by showcasing selected scientific equipment, instrumentation and software on Ireland’s research vessel to early stage researchers and research vessel users. This intensive one-day event will focus on the hydro-acoustic and remote sensing instrumentation and systems used in the discovery, mapping and quantification of Ireland’s marine resources.

To register for attendance please click HERE



EcoAqua Summer School

Registration is now open for the EcoAqua Summer School which will take place from 13-17 June 2016 in University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, Spain.

Participants who undertake the five-day course will get a solid overall understanding of basic and applied aspects of both micro-and macroalgae (seaweeds) culture methods and uses, increasing their outstanding biotechnological potential. The course programme will address different aspects related to the biology of cultivated algae, cultivation approaches, novel techniques, and biotechnology as well as practical case studies.

Registration deadline: 12 April 2016

For more information, click HERE



DEVOTES-EuroMarine Summer School

The DEVOTES - EuroMarine summer school will be held from 6-9 June 2016 (coinciding with the week of the Oceans’ Day on 8 June 2016), at Aquarium of San Sebastian (Spain). 

The theme for this summer school is marine ecosystem services and the links between their assessment, mapping and the need for a socio-ecological framework to address the important management issues related to the governance of the oceans.

For more information, click HERE.



Professor Mário Ruivo Prize 2016

What can you do to ensure that the ocean we grow up with continues to play an essential role in our lives whilst being maintained for future generations?

The Professor Mário Ruivo Prize will be awarded to a team of young people, aged 11-16 years old, for an original project on the theme: “Your Ocean, Your Future”. This can be achieved by designing a novel research project, implementing a community scheme, investigating a topical subject through the popular media, etc. that supports the Blue Society Principles (see

Registration deadline: 8 April 2016

For more information, click HERE.



Summer School - Aquatic & Social Ecology: Theory and Practice

The summer school on Aquatic & Social Ecology: Theory and Practice will take place from 9 - 22 July 2016 on the Samothraki Island, Greece.

The course is designed for Masters and PhD students who will learn and apply aquatic ecology and social ecology approaches in a local setting while supporting current research and building synergy with the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve process. Students will have the opportunity to engage in a real-life project and utilise their scientific training to support the process further, namely the creation of a management plan with a set of activities towards sustainability, and a science plan for further research on the island that would also meet local interests.

For more information, click HERE.



Enrol Now for the RISC-KIT Summer School

The RISC-KIT Summer School will take place from 12-16 September 2016 at the Università Degli Studi Di Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.

The course will give students an opportunity to work with experts learning how to assess coastal risk, identify coastal hazard hotspots, and find applicable Disaster Risk Reduction solutions. It is open to European PhD students who have completed 1st year and early-career researchers with transdisciplinary interests.

Registration deadline: 30 April 2016

For more information, click HERE



Workshop on ‘Spatial Bio-Economic Modelling with Complex Regulatory Goals’

The Centre for Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Economics (FAME) are holding a workshop on 'Spatial Bio-Economic Modelling with Complex Regulatory Goals' from 25-26 May 2016 in Esbjerg, Denmark. The regulation and management of biological resources for optimum social benefit is complicated by many potential interacting forces. These forces guide the material for this course and include:

  • Ecological and economic interactions of species within or across trophic levels
  • Spatial differences in expected returns due to differences in costs of access (including variations in technological restrictions)
  • Spatial differences in external damages from harvest activities
  • Fragmented or incomplete property rights to the harvest and/or additional ecosystem benefits at risk from harvesting. Fragmented property rights include considerations where international agreements may be necessary.

While some bio-economic problems can be modelled with analytical solutions, in many cases, numerical solutions and related simulations are required. This course aims to provide students with tools to generate analytical and numerical solutions to spatial bio-economic resource questions.

For more information, click HERE

For more information about FAME, click HERE


Other News

Promoting Educational Activities on Aquaculture

In the framework of the communication campaign "FARMEDintheEU" launched in 2014, the European Commission is meeting representatives from education networks and aquaculture producers to disseminate the school-kit designed for teachers. 

For more information, click HERE.



EuroMarine 2016 Call for Proposals Now Open

EuroMarine has invited its members to submit proposals for four categories of activities before 31 May 2016.

These categories are foresight workshops; EuroMarine working groups or EuroMarine service worskhops; capacity building and training and endorsements.

For more information, click HERE



Marine Bacteria: Who Does What, and When?

Marine bacteria play a crucial role in biogeochemical processes such as the cycling of carbon and nitrogen. They have a variety of functions, which in some species are triggered only when seasonal conditions indicate that the time is right. A Marie Curie fellow has taken a closer look at the task division among these tiny agents of change.

For more information, click HERE.



Free Online Ocean Literacy Course

This 10-week online course will give you a deeper appreciation for the ocean. It will provide a holistic view of how the ocean functions, how human interactions with the ocean can be understood, and what solutions are available to support both sustainable use and stewardship of our blue planet.

For more information, click HERE



Third Annual World Oceans Day Photo Contest

This open and free photo contest seeks to inspire the creation and dissemination of imagery which conveys the beauty and importance of the ocean.

For more information, click HERE



Ocean Week 2016 to be Held this May in Norway

Ocean Week 2016 takes place in Trondheim, Norway (Electro Building, Gløshaugen) from 9-12 May 2016. This is an annual, cross-disciplinary conference. This year’s edition aims to contribute to ocean innovation within the areas of aquaculture, marine minerals and ocean innovation, maritime transport, monitoring marine ecosystems, and ocean opportunities.

For more information, click HERE



Paving the Way for Sustainable Fishing in the Baltic Sea

On 15 March 2016, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on a multiannual plan for the most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, following a Commission proposal in 2014. This fisheries management plan aims to make the management of fish stocks more flexible and more sea-basin specific.

For more information, click HERE.



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DISCLAIMER: AquaTT provides this newsletter as a free service to interested parties. Most of the information is provided by AquaTT. Where it is not, the source of the news is provided in the text of the news brief or else AquaTT attributes the news to the coordinating body as the "Data Source Provider". In no way does this newsletter, by promoting events not coordinated by AquaTT, intend to wrongly or inappropriately claim projects, news, etc. as its own nor is it responsible for incorrect information provided from other sources. "Training News" is a promotional tool and forum for both AquaTT and other organisations.
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