ICYMARE 2019 BREMEN started off with an Icebreaker evening at MARUM, where 180 participants already got to know each other. The plenary discussion at the University of Bremen next morning was led by Peter Benham (Master student of the IMBRSea program) and paved the way for that easy-to-talk-to but nevertheless professional atmosphere ICYMARE is aiming for.

The panelists Julia Jung, Rosa Maria Canedo Apolaya, Justin Tierney, and Thomas Sanborn discussed together with the audience of about 300 people if scientists should be more activist. About the role and responsibility towards society, some really differentiated thoughts were expressed. When the audience was asked to describe in one word the kind of scientist they want to be, two words stood out: “marine” and “honest”, while when being asked by the end of the conference “active” was in the center.

On Friday morning, Prof. Dr. Sheila Heymans, the Executive Director of the European Marine Board (EMB) gave an inspiring keynote, supported by MARUM’s Dr. Luzie Schnieders, on career advice and gender aspects in science. The following discussion showed one more time the importance of having the opportunity to not only share scientific ideas at eye level but also to discuss how to eliminate discrimination of any kind in science and embrace diversity.

ICYMARE 2019 BREMEN consisted of over 140 talks and over 70 posters organized in 20 scientific sessions. These sessions covered a broad variety of topics from citizen science, plastic pollution, and tropical ecology to more organismic sessions as for instance on plankton, or invasive species. More than 350 participants, and among those about 40 volunteers, enjoyed presenting and discussing their science and plenty of network opportunities during one of the four days. Together with additional workshops, excursions and other communicative activities, ICYMARE was an excellent networking event for young marine researchers. For many it was the first conference experience and presenting their research was even more exciting. Have a look at the impressive program below. You can also download it at the bottom of this page.

We are very proud of each of you, you did a great job! Keep up the spirit and see you next year at ICYMARE 2020 BREMERHAVEN (25 – 28 August 2020).


24 September
Day 1
  • 6:00 pm Icebreaker (MARUM Foyer)


25 September
Day 2
  • 7:30 am Registration & Welcome Coffee
  • 8:30 am Opening & Announcements
  • 9:30 am Panel Discussion
  • Should we be more activist? - Examining the current roles & responsibilities of scientists towards society
  • Moderator: Peter Benham
  • Panelists: Julia Jung, Thomas Sanborn, Julieta Vigliano Relva, Rosa Maria Canedo Apolaya, Justin Tierney
  • 10:30 am Coffee Break & Posters
  • 11:00 am Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 13: ‘Winter is Leaving’ – Polar Regions in the Age of Climate Change
  • (B) Session 2: Share Your Data! New Approaches to Advance Research by Cross-boundary Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange & Session 5: Forensics Meets Ecology - Environmental DNA Offers New Capabilities
  • (C) Session 18a: Emerging Technologies in Marine Science
  • 1:00 pm Lunch Break (self-paid)
  • 2:00 pm Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 11: The Recording Structures of Marine Animals
  • (B) Session 20a: Open Session
  • (C) Session 18b: Emerging Technologies in Marine Science
  • 3:00 pm Workshops & Excursions, incl. flexible Coffee Break & Posters
  • 7:00 pm Movie Screening: Wind2Win
  • 9:00 pm Bar Evening at Kukoon (self-paid)


26 September
Day 3
  • 7:30 am Registration & Welcome Coffee
  • 8:30 am Opening & Announcements
  • 9:00 am Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 12a: Functions of Tropical Marine Ecosystems under Environmental Change
  • (B) Session 20b: Open Session
  • 10:30 am Coffee Break & Posters
  • 11:00 am Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 12b: Functions of Tropical Marine Ecosystems under Environmental Change
  • (B) Session 16a: Biodiversity and Resilience in the Anthropocene
  • (C) Session 17: Not as bad as it seems?! Why we need a differentiated evaluation of the impact of marine plastic litter
  • 1:00 pm Lunch Break (self-paid)
  • 2:00 pm Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 12c: Functions of Tropical Marine Ecosystems under Environmental Change
  • (B) Session 16b: Biodiversity and Resilience in the Anthropocene
  • (C) Session 9: Climate Change as Seen from the Perspective of the Small: Plankton in a Changing Ocean
  • 4:00 pm Coffee Break & Posters
  • 4:30 pm Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 4: Living Structures Against Changing Oceans & Session 19: Marine Engineering
  • (B) Session 10: They are Among us – Marine Aliens on the Advance
  • (C) Session 15: Towards Sustainability in Aquaculture
  • 5:30 pm Group Photo
  • 6:00 pm Poster Session, Food & Drinks (included)


27 September
Day 4
  • 7:30 am Registration & Welcome Coffee
  • 8:30 am Opening & Announcements
  • 9:00 am Keynote talk Prof. Sheila Heymans (Executive Director of the European Marine Board): Lessons from a circuitous marine science career
  • 10:00 am Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 8: A World of Symbioses! The Wonderful Complexities of Marine Symbioses and Applications for Conservation
  • (B) Session 20c: Open Session
  • 11:00 am Coffee Break & Posters
  • 11:30 am Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 3a: Marine Ecosystem Modelling for Social Benefit, Current State and Challenges for Europe
  • (B) Session 20d: Open Session
  • (C) Session 7a: Microbial Ecology – How the Smallest Ones Have an Impact on a Global Scale
  • 12:30 pm Lunch Break (self-paid)
  • 1:30 pm Parallel Sessions
  • (A) Session 3b: Marine Ecosystem Modelling for Social Benefit, Current State and Challenges for Europe
  • (B) Session 1: Exploring Social Dimensions of Conservation: Lessons, Experiences and Methodologies
  • (C) Session 7b: Microbial Ecology – How the Smallest Ones Have an Impact on a Global Scale & Session 6: Endocrine Disruptors and Model Organisms, Why Do We Need Sentinels in the Marine Realm?
  • 3:30 pm Coffee Break & Posters
  • 4:00 pm Project Pitches
  • 5:00 pm Awards & Closing
  • 8:00 pm Post Conference Clubbing at Schüttinger (self-paid)

Sessions of ICYMARE 2019 BREMEN

Session hosts: Julia Jung and Thomas Sanborn

With the growth of marine conservation both in importance and prevalence, it has become apparent that the success of projects hinges not only on the quality of the science, but on how well it is integrated with the social aspects of its implementation.  Embracing this multidimensional approach, we invite participants to share their methodologies and perspectives for working within dynamic social frameworks. We aim to further the continuing conversation that as scientists we have a responsibility not only to our work, but also to the communities we work in.

Session host: Rosa María Cañedo

Data sharing instead of data storing. We want to emphasize the advantages of merging collected data in times of climate change. Scientists, governments and the public must work together – obtaining an overall understanding of what is happening to the oceans and its biodiversity. This session invites you to discuss your work related to

  • Citizens for science: Data-collection on social media and Apps
  • Scientific structures – similar and yet so different. How can we find common procedures of data-collection?
  • Intergovernmental bureaucracy problems and data protection
  • Looking at the bigger picture. Benefit from broader data exchange: projects implemented by cross-boundary collaboration

Session host: Pedro Manuel Carrasco De La Cruz

As recognized by the European Marine Board, there is a new era in terms of computational tools and biological-oceanographic data availability which will generate a niche of opportunities for the development of more accurate models and their application to the process of decision-making. Are you already part of this “revolution”? Come and communicate to your fellow young researchers in a story-telling innovative way how you are collaborating to improve Europe’s capability to ecosystem modeling. We will address this session with focus on the applicability of our models to generate social well-being and to achieve some of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Session host: Peter Benham

Coastal development has left many nations vulnerable to climate change. Reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and other biogenic structures protect us from storm events, clean the water, and create habitat. We must restore these biogenic structures to receive these ecosystem services. However, the execution of restoration projects is often difficult. This session will investigate the complexity of applying ecosystem-based solutions to coastal restoration. How can we successfully restore biogenic structures in a myriad of different coastal ecosystems and communities? The goal is to discuss various techniques and methodologies of coastal restoration and how these restoration efforts bring back critical services to coastal communities.

Session hosts: Clare Isabel Ming-ch’eng Adams and Yvonne Schadewell

ICYMARE 2019 BREMEN is pleased to invite the submission of abstracts to a special session on the emerging and promising field of environmental DNA (eDNA). We welcome all research including, but not limited to, methods development of eDNA, ecological discoveries using eDNA, and future directions of the eDNA field. Further, we encourage interdisciplinary studies, combining eDNA with various fields, like modelling, population dynamics, fisheries management and more. This special session is aimed at connecting young researchers across the globe who work with eDNA for networking and collaboration to help map the future of the eDNA field.

Session host: Gustavo Guerrero Limón

We live in a heavily polluted era, that is not new to anybody since several cases have been well-documented across the world. A growing concern lies in the so-called Endocrine Disruptors (EDs). In brief, EDs may have consequences at different levels, from breeding failure, to cancer development, etc. Model organisms have been used in labs to assess their consequences. Unfortunately, most of the research is made almost exclusively using either freshwater or land organisms. Thus, we welcome any related work that could contribute to enhance our understanding of EDs and potential marine model organisms.

Session host: Nadine Gerlach

Microorganisms might be small but they are everywhere, accounting for more than 90% of ocean biomass. Microbes have an essential impact on all aspects of our planet and its inhabitants. They are providing us with oxygen, driving important global biogeochemical cycles, affecting anthropogenic effects such as pollution and have reshaped our planet throughout its history. No matter if you are working on archaea, bacteria, fungi, viruses or eukaryota, if you are studying single cells or symbiosis, ecological or molecular processes, if your samples come from the water body or the sediments, from the poles or the tropics, … you fit perfectly into this session.

Session hosts: Olivia Hewitt and Hisham Shaikh

Being one of the most common and ancient phenomena, symbioses between different organisms are truly fascinating but not very well understood. Intricate symbioses are ubiquitous. From light harvesting dinoflagellates of cnidarians to anemones housed on pom-pom crabs, and the chemosynthetic bacteria of deep-sea mussels, our oceans are a “World of Symbioses”. Adaptive, symbiotic relationships facilitate the success of diverse organisms, across trophic levels, to successfully exploit niches otherwise overcrowded or extreme. Ranging from molecular biology to policy, this session aims to learn from the diversity of marine symbioses, explore its threats, and examines the ramifications for conservation.

Session host: Patricia Kaiser

Although some people are still in denial, climate change is real and it is happening now. Impacts on the marine environment are vast, including for instance rising sea temperatures and declining sea ice coverages. Plankton is ubiquitous in our oceans. It plays a key role in pelagic processes and directly or indirectly supports most of the marine life. To investigate how climate change is affecting small organisms of the sea is thus crucial to better understand the consequences on the whole ecosystem. This session invites you to share your research results on climate change and its effects on plankton communities

Session hosts: Eric Oellrich and Nina-Svenja Klebach

Invasive species set a large problem for ecosystems. The enormous amount of ships and their journeys lowered the barrier for alien species in the marine ecosystem. Different guidelines regarding the release of invasive species have been ratified over the world. After 1.5 years, new questions form: is the transport of invasive species decreasing? Do we need better tactics to succeed? Is it maybe already too late, and some ecosystems are unrepairable destroyed? Are new methods for the detection of invasive species invented? We hope with your research, questions can be answered and a new outlook on the future is gained.

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Session hosts: Yusuf C. El-Khaled and Arjen Tilstra

Shallow-water tropical marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds provide a range of important services. These ecosystems are often affected by environmental change including ocean warming, acidification, eutrophication, and overfishing. The investigation of their functions (e.g. productivity, calcification, nutrient cycling, and associated biodiversity) is of paramount interest for conservation and management, but a holistic understanding is still missing. Thus, we invite researchers from all disciplines working on these ecosystems and/or topics to send us their abstracts and discuss their findings in our session with us.

Session hosts: Lydia Scheschonk

Increases in global temperature have been most pronounced in the Artic during wintertime. The warming impacts all domains, from bottom ‘primary producers’ to top ‘predators’, as well as their habitat: It is causing drastic changes in many abiotic factors, and biota respond via regime shifts in marine systems. Due to the strong interaction between land and sea in the polar regions, we would like to include marine and terrestrial projects in this session. So if your research is on-shore, but your results might be of interest to those working on the marine ‘runoff-recipients’, please feel also welcome!

Session hosts: James G. Hagan and Audrey Granger

We are currently losing biodiversity at unprecedented rates. The synergistic impacts of habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution and climate change are causing rapid changes in biological spheres worldwide. These changes have far reaching consequences for how ecosystems function and the benefits that humans can derive from them. Whilst these impacts are ubiquitous, they are felt most strongly on land. Thus, improving our understanding of terrestrial ecosystems is an important global goal. In line with this, we call for abstracts that address ecological and conservation problems in the terrestrial realm.

With this session, we hope to bring a terrestrial perspective to ICYMARE. We would like to create a conference to host young terrestrial researchers from around the world: ICYTERE. After the session presentations, we will hold a discussion with you to explain ICYTERE 2020, how we move from this session under ICYMARE to holding a full young terrestrial researchers conference, and to explore any ideas or suggestions you may have.

Session hosts: Carlos Brais Carballeira Braña, Kristine Cerbule, Paula Senff, Insa Kristina Stolz

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production sectors and has great potential for food security and livelihoods. However, it generates concerning consequences for the environment and society, including chemical and biological pollution, disease outbreaks, unsustainable feeds and competition for coastal space. Recent investigations are focusing towards sustainable techniques (e.g. polyculture, aquaponics) to improve the relationship between the industry, environment and society. However, communication between sectors needs improvement. Are you involved in research on sustainable aquaculture? We encourage scientists from both natural and social sciences to present solution-driven research and discuss current and proposed technologies and research methods

Session host: Eva Paulus

While our society is slowly realizing the seriousness of climate change, scientists have long been aware and are now racing to catalogue the world’s biodiversity before it is simply too late. From intertidal habitats to the deep-sea environment, there is a need to increase knowledge on the resilience of marine organisms. Our understanding of the biodiversity upon which all marine ecosystems depend is too valuable to renounce in the face of anthropogenic disturbances and destruction. This session invites contributions covering a broad range of topics surrounding resilience and biodiversity from a genetics, species, or ecosystem level

Session hosts: Carolin Müller

Though numerous studies demonstrated the ubiquitous distribution of synthetic particles along with various detrimental impacts on both invertebrate and vertebrate marine species, your study objects refuse to eat the plastic dinner you served? Have you tried multiple methods to separate sediment particles from synthetic ones until you finally succeeded? We encourage you to share with us your field and laboratory lessons learned! Let’s talk about why we also need the rather inconvenient results to truly assess the potential effects of (micro-) plastic on marine organisms and habitats – both from a scientific and a social perspective.

Session hosts: Morgan L. McCarthy, Dóra Szekely and Thomas Luypaert

We call for participants to join the session “Emerging technologies in marine science.” New technology is rapidly evolving and we are looking for the pioneers making it happen. We call on students who use new approaches in answering old questions or students who are asking new questions entirely with technological advances. This could range from applying new software to model marine habitats, to novel bioinformatics pipelines, or innovative self-constructed experimental designs. If it’s new and you think it could benefit other students, we want to hear about it! So, submit your abstract to our session and let’s update the field with your fresh perspective!

Session host: Jan Boelmann

The use of technology in the marine science is inevitable and spans all fields of research. From the obvious use of technology in the marine energy sector or special measuring technologies to measure the ice thickness to the use of cameras to track particles in the water column. Furthermore, the usage and development of technology is a major part of the marine research. This Session invites young researchers, engineers or undergraduate students to share their work as a part of the interdisciplinary field of marine engineering. However, they used special equipment or developed new devices or methods to explore the marine sector

Session hosts: Lena Rölfer, Charlotte Kunze, Mirco Wölfelschneider, Jana Schmitz, Hanne Banko-Kubis

Marine Sciences are a vast and diverse field of research with a lot of different topics to be covered. No conference is able to represent all topics with a separate session. The Open Session aims to summarize contributions of young marine scientists from all research fields which do not feel to fit into one of the other sessions.

Thanks to all contributors of
(24 -27 September 2019)