ICES Annual Science Conference 2024

The quest for interdisciplinarity: addressing ocean challenges using a diverse range of skills and expertise

An opportunity for self-reflection and collaborative working. The sea must be saved! You are a brave ocean hero tasked with building an interdisciplinary party of researchers to go on this quest. Will you answer the call?

Our oceans face complex challenges. Such multifaceted problems can only be solved by diverse science, but examples of true interdisciplinarity are scarce still.  Different terminologies, epistemologies, siloing within research and the ability to recognise others values are all barriers to this.  

This network session aims to promote innovative thinking about the possibilities of interdisciplinary work. In this network session, a diverse group of Ocean Professionals will collaborate on an interactive 'quest' to simulate interdisciplinary collaboration. Participants will use personal experiences from their disciplines to choose one specific issue (your dragon) which the party will address using its own complementary skills through the quest. Once addressed (or slayed), results of the quest and relevant steps of the process will contribute to one of the following goals inspired by ICES science priorities:

  • Ecosystem science: Advance marine ecosystem monitoring (scientific surveys, seabed mapping, deepsea explorations etc.) to develop knowledge, and evidence for conservation and management, providing options to better meet objectives
  • Impacts of human activities: Quantify and evaluate human impact on ecosystems and services, modelling future natural and social system states
  • Emerging techniques and technologies: Innovate techniques (emerging technologies, AI, etc.), enhance marine knowledge, inform management
  • ​Sea and society: Assess ocean's role in livelihoods, culture, and recreation to guide policy, management and Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and generate sustainable seafood from fisheries and aquaculture

Network session participants will consider what they can offer and gain when collaborating with other disciplines, the barriers that interdisciplinary research faces, and how these can be overcome. The interactive format facilitates networking while encouraging members of the ICES community to learn about interdisciplinary work and how it fits within the ICES aims and framework. Verbal and written feedback from the session will be collated by the organisers to develop further integration of interdisciplinarity within ICES activities and working groups.​​

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Marta Ferraro (Netherlands)
James Lamb (US)
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The quest for interdisciplinarity: addressing ocean challenges using a diverse range of skills and expertise

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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