To Korea for the early careers

​Following two previously succesful conferences, ICES and PICES have joined forces again to bring together the upcoming generation of marine scientists in the Republic of Korea next year. Here, we speak to some of the organizers.
Published: 4 July 2016

With the planning well under way and the Call for Abstracts open for the third outing of the P/ICES Early Career Scientist Conference in Busan, Republic of Korea, 2017, the early career scientists from ICES and PICES that form the event's Scientific Steering Committee talk about how they became involved with organizing the event and what they hope participants will get out of it. Look out for them in Busan!

Maija Viska, ICES, Latvian Institute Aquatic Ecology, Latvia​

My involvement is through working at the Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology​. Our director advised me to apply for a position in the Scientific Steering Committee. I have been working in the international environment before and it was interesting for me to get involved in organizing this conference.

My research area is coastal zone and coastal processes. My PhD research was on wave-induced longshore sediment transport and its spatio-temporal variations along the eastern Baltic Sea coast. As well as this, my areas of interest include the possible stress of climate change on coastal areas, coastal hazards, coastal engineering and coastal zone management.​

I hope to contribute to the session "Coastal dynamics: changes in sea level, geomorphology and ecosystems" because it is my field of my interest. I am also interested in climate and anthropogenic effects on the marine environment topics,  particularly "Cross-scale interactions and trends of climate change" and "Introduction of anthropogenic substances to the ocean and their impacts".

All members of the Science Steering Committee, along with Harold Batchelder (PICES) and Wojciech Wawrzynski  (ICES) were involved in the process of deciding the conference's theme. We chose the theme that fits all sessions and could speak to early career scientists from different fields. The title is meant to speak more broadly about society's connection with climate change and the changes that can be observed in oceans.

I hope that this conference will help early career scientists from different fields to interact and find common interests. Also that climate change impacts all the oceans and can help to understand better how climate change is affecting our planet. Human activities and processes in the ocean are not separate; in this conference we want to direct the attention on to interdisciplinarity​ and how processes interact with each other.​

Daniël van Denderen, ICES, DTU Aqua, Denmark

During my PhD, I studied the effects of bottom trawl fishing on the benthic ecosystem. I examined how trawl disturbance may change benthic communities and the biotic interactions between target and non-target species. In the coming years, I will examine the effects of fishing further and I will particularly focus on the importance of the benthic-pelagic energy channel for fish production and fisheries catch.

A former colleague recommended that I apply for the organization of this event. He told me it will be exciting to organize such a big event and to meet lots of new people. So, that's how I got involved!   

During the conference, there will be a large variety of presentations, all covering marine science. I hope this will inspire participants and give them new insights and ideas to be explored at home. I also hope participants will have an enjoyably time in Busan. 

I hope I can contribute to theme 3 "Patterns and processes in marine ecosystems" and in particular to the session "Marine population and community ecology" as it is closely related to the work I'm doing now.  


Haruka Takagi, PICES, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Japan

I finished my PhD in Waseda University in 2016. During my PhD, I studied symbiotic relationship between protists in oligotrophic environment, especially focusing on photosymbiosis between algae and planktic foraminifers (single celled zooplankton). My current interests are how the organisms interact, how they have evolved, and how they contribute to biogeochemical cycles in oligotrophic/well-lit oceans.​

My current boss at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute in the University of Tokyo told me about the ECS conference and I got interested in it. I believe that organizing an international conference in my early career will surely be a precious experience.

The Science Steering Committee wanted to make the title attractive to broad potential participants with various background. The word society was purposely included to make us conscious of important issues involving human activities and their impact on the marine environment and ecosystem.

We hope there will be good connections and communication with other young scientists from around the world, potential future collaboration, and fruitful discussions.

My research is connected to marine microzooplankton ecology and paleoecology (especially for planktic foraminifers and their symbiosis with algae) and so I will be contributing to theme 1 "Climate effects on physical, chemical and biological processes" and theme 3 "Patterns and processes in marine ecosystems​" at the conference. 


Tae-Wook Kim, PICES, Incheon National University, Republic of Korea

There was a recommendation from the Korean PICES community. I was lucky  because there were many early career scientists. It may make me lucky that I was working in the KIOST (local organizing institution) when the community was looking for an ECS.

How was the theme of the conference "Climate, Oceans and Soc​iety: Challenges & Opportunities" decided upon?

All ECS SCS members agreed the climate change and its impacts on the ocean are big challenges human societies have to take seriously and resolve wisely.

Which session do you hope to contribute to? My research areas are mainly ocean carbon cycles and the impacts of atmospheric deposition on ocean biogeochemistry.​ Session 2!​

Personally, I would like to meet many ECSs and make many opportunities to collaborate. I think other participants think similarly. As a local member, I would like to recommend to travel around Korea if there will be a few days either before or after the conference. Korea is dynamic and beautiful place and has a good public transportation systems that reaches anywhere in Korea within a few hours!

Allan Hicks, PICES, International Pacific Halibut Commission​, USA

My research area is fisheries stock assessment and management strategy evaluation. My interests are to integrate sources of data to determine stock status, simulate populations to evaluate management strategies, express uncertainty in ways that are useful to managers, and involve stakeholders in the assessment and management processes.

I became involved in organizing the conference through my ties with the Northwest Fishery Science Center in Seattle and PICES.

The conference theme reflects current topics of interest in marine science. The management of ocean resources can be challenging but with new scientific research and management, there are also many opportunities to promote sustainable resources. 

I am interested in all sessions but I mainly plan to contribute to the evaluation of best management practices session.​

I hope that the participants leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of the marine resources on a global scale and the research being done. I also hope that participants meet many new people that will inspire collaborations in the future.​

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Antje Gimpel, ICES, Thunen Institute, Germany​

I finished my PhD thesis “Evaluation of spatial management strategies in the German Bight: How to balance sustainable use and ecosystem health?” in 2015. Since that, I have been working as a post doc at the Thünen Institute of Sea Fisheries, in Hamburg. Being part of the research unit of marine spatial management, my focus is on analytical methods to assess risks and (cumulative) effects of human uses or management approaches on the marine environment in time and space to support an ecosystem based approach to marine spatial management.

I was nominated for involvement with the organization by Dr. Vanessa Stelzenmüller, who supervised my PhD thesis. Given the already diverse scientific background and interests of the Scientific Steering Committee we decided, together with the advisory board, on a conference title which covers a broad spectrum of research areas related to marine ecosystems.
Coming from a marine spatial planning perspective, I would definitely like to contribute to theme session 2: “Anthropogenic effects on the marine environment”. However, I am still thinking about submitting an abstract for sub-session 2b: “Ecosystem-Based Management – Get the big picture” or to focus on outcomes of marine management approaches in sub-session 2c: “Evaluation of best management practices”.
The conference provides a great opportunity for young researchers to present themselves and their work to an international audience, in particular the P/ICES community. We are planning to provide a comprehensive set of networking opportunities to promote informal discussions among participants. I hope participants will use the feedback they get to improve their work, use the P/ICES channel to reinforce their voice, and actively take part in the large network of the P/ICES community - working together on the challenges and opportunities of the future.​


Wojciech Wawrzynski, ICES convener​

The aim of the 2017 ECS conference is to empower young scientists by promoting their involvement in international collaborations. Similar to the previous ICES/PICES ECS conferences, (2007 in Baltimore, USA and 2012 on the Spanish island of Mallorca), the scientific scope will include various disciplines, addressing a wide range of interactions between human maritime activities and natural marine processes.

At the 2012 conference I was a speaker on cooperation between marine and maritime research, sharing my past experience at improving communication among researchers. This time, in my capacity as the Head of the ICES Science Committee Support, my role is the ICES convener. Me and my colleagues from PICES, the Korean hosting organizations, and the Scientific Steering Committee, will make sure the success of the 2012 ECSC, both in terms of excellent science and friendly atmosphere, is repeated, now with the new geographical and cultural setting.


Hal Batchelder, PICES convener

Two years ago I started as the Deputy Executive Secretary of PICES, following more than a decade as a research professor and later a tenure track professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. I am primarily a zooplankton ecologist and modeler, and have examined the ecology (feeding, respiration, reproduction, population dynamics) of zooplankton (esp. copepods) in the subarctic Pacific, subarctic Atlantic, and subtropical Atlantic. 

I never experienced the benefit of attending a conference having goals directed at assisting early career marine scientists, and providing networking experiences with scientific peers. I'm convinced from feedback from participants to earlier PICES-ICES ECS meetings (Baltimore and Mallorca) that those that attend the Busan, Korea conference in 2017 will find the friendships and science experienced to have long-lasting impacts on their future marine science careers. 

The conference theme of "Climate, Oceans and Society: Challenges and Opportunities" includes topics that span ecological, physical, and anthropogenic processes, including resource management. It should be an exciting conference. We thank the Republic of Korea for offering to host and financially support the 2017 ECS conference. The scientific themes and sessions identified by the SSC for the ECS3 should enable a broad diversity of marine scientists to participate. Those fortunate enough to attend will cherish the experience and friendships that begin in Busan.

Interested in participating #ECSC17?
​​Take a look at the themes sessions that will take place in Busan and submit your abstract before 28 September 2016.

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To Korea for the early careers

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