Water-associated Diseases Working Group journal article

Members of the GEO Blue Planet Water-associated diseases working group along with partners from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and Nansen Environmental Research Centre India (NERCI) have published a new journal article in Remote Sensing titled “Environmental Reservoirs of Vibrio cholerae: Challenges and Opportunities for Ocean-Color Remote Sensing



The World Health Organization has estimated the burden of the on-going pandemic of cholera at 1.3 to 4 million cases per year worldwide in 2016, and a doubling of case-fatality-rate to 1.8% in 2016 from 0.8% in 2015. The disease cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that can be found in environmental reservoirs, living either in free planktonic form or in association with host organisms, non-living particulate matter or in the sediment, and participating in various biogeochemical cycles. An increasing number of epidemiological studies are using land- and water-based remote-sensing observations for monitoring, surveillance, or risk mapping of Vibrio pathogens and cholera outbreaks. Although the Vibrio pathogens cannot be sensed directly by satellite sensors, remotely-sensed data can be used to infer their presence. Here, we review the use of ocean-color remote-sensing data, in conjunction with information on the ecology of the pathogen, to map its distribution and forecast risk of disease occurrence. Finally, we assess how satellite-based information on cholera may help support the Sustainable Development Goals and targets on Health (Goal 3), Water Quality (Goal 6), Climate (Goal 13), and Life Below Water (Goal 14).


The 52nd International Liege Colloquium on Ocean Dynamics

The 52nd International Liège colloquium on Ocean Dynamics

Towards an understanding and assessment of human impact on coastal marine environments

Liège, Belgium 25th – 29th May 2020

Web site: http://labos.ulg.ac.be/gher/home/colloquium/

The coastal ocean is under increasing multiple (climate and not-climate) pressures that affect its functioning and health, and compromise the provision of services to the society. The set-up of a scientifically underpinned ecosystem-based management scheme for the coastal ocean requires a thorough understanding of human impacts on the physics, biogeochemistry and biodiversity at large scale. Such a management scheme should be firmly embedded in the science-management-policy interface, taking account of selecting useful and communicable indicators for the ecosystem health, targeting ecosystem services and making use of novel analytical tools acknowledging the complexity of Drivers-Pressures-Stressors-Impacts-Responses (DPSIR) interactions.

The 52nd international Liège colloquium will gather an interdisciplinary community of scientists to overview the progress in our capabilities to understand, monitor and forecast the impact of human activities on coastal marine environments to guarantee a productive and healthy system as requested by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Deadline for Abstract submission: January 17th 2020.

Opening KEYNOTE Speaker: Karline Soetaert (NIOZ, NE).

Regular sessions will be held on the following themes:

  1. Assessing the impact of sedimentary changes on the coastal ocean physics, biodiversity and biogeochemistry.  KEYNOTE Speaker:Martin Solan (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
    2. Assessing the impact of hard substrate introduction on the coastal ocean physics, biodiversity and biogeochemistry.  KEYNOTE Speaker: Jennifer Dannheim (AWI and HIFMB, Germany)
    3.  Assessing the impact of land-based pressures on the coastal environment, river-estuary-coastal ocean coupling.  KEYNOTE Speaker: Marjorie A.M. Friedrichs (Virginia Institute of Marine Science, USA)
    4. Multiple stressors, multi-use, cumulative effect assessment, including climate change. KEYNOTE Speaker: Philip Boyd (University of Tasmania, Australia)
    5. Ecosystem services. KEYNOTE Speaker: Tara Hooper (Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom)
    6. Indicators definition for ocean health assessment in connection with SDG30 and GES assessment. KEYNOTE Speaker: Ángel Borja (AZTI, Spain)
    7. Science base for marine spatial planning. KEYNOTE Speaker: Vanessa Stelzenmüller (Thünen Institute, Germany)

SIDE EVENT: A special event gathering scientists, stakeholders and industries is foreseen on Tuesday May 26th afternoon for reviewing current knowledge and gaps on offshore wind farms impacts on biodiversity and biogeochemistry. The special event will set the scene for a follow-up discussion during a networking reception directly following the presentation.

Further details (scientific committee, submission, registration, deadlines, venue…) are available on the web site (http://labos.ulg.ac.be/gher/home/colloquium/).

Ireland-SIDS Fellows Programme Applications are Now Open

Ireland’s Strategy for Partnership with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) makes the commitment to establish an annual number of awards to SIDS professionals for postgraduate study in Irish higher education institutions in courses relevant to addressing climate change and its associated challenges.

Ireland is offering three new Fellowships to Small Island Developing States in each of the Pacific and Caribbean regions, for Masters level studies in Ireland in the academic year 2020/2021

Applications close January 31, 2020. Apply here!

Countries include:

Caribbean Region: Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname.

Pacific Region: Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

In addition, applications will open for the following African SIDS in Spring 2020: Cabo Verde, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tomé and Príncipe.

The aims of the Programme are to nurture future SIDS leaders, women and men; to develop in-country capacity to address climate change and its associated challenges; and to build positive relationships between Ireland and SIDS. On return home, graduates are expected to bring their acquired skills to contribute to capacity building in their home countries.  It is also envisaged that they will contribute to building enduring positive personal and professional relationships with Ireland, promoting institutional linkages.

The Programme enables early to mid-career professional women and men, with leadership potential, to benefit from a prestigious, world-class, quality education contributing to capacity building. It offers selected students the opportunity to undertake a fully-funded one-year Masters level programme at a higher education institution (HEI) in Ireland. The award covers course fees, flights, accommodation and living costs. Eligible Masters level courses in Ireland commence in August or September each year and, depending on the course, will run for between 10 and 16 months. The Programme promotes equal opportunity and welcomes diversity.


Learn more about Ireland’s Fellowship Programme here

New logo for GEO Blue Planet!

GEO Blue Planet worked with the GEO Secretariat to make a new logo for our organization. We’re excited to unveil it here! For an image file to replace and prior logos, please see in our basecamp folder.

Plastics Data Challenge Applications Open!

The Plastics Data Challenge is a global innovation challenge that will source, support, and scale innovative solutions that address the leakage of plastic waste into the environment.

The challenge invites all innovators worldwide (including academic institutions, startups, companies, and data scientists) to submit their innovative data solutions that advance plastic waste management and the circular economy in South and Southeast Asia. Participants have the chance to win up to $10,000 USD, a trip to Singapore for a one-week Innovation Summit, technical support and the opportunity to pilot their innovation in the region! Applications close 13 March 2020.


Learn More and Apply Here


Save the Date for “Our Coastal Futures” Conference 2020

We are very excited to invite you to save the date for Our Coastal Futures – the next Future Earth Coasts Open Science Conference, which will take place 19-22 October 2020 (with provisions for workshops until October 24) at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, Australia.

The conference is organised around interdisciplinary themes and seeks contributions from sciences, arts and humanities, policy and governance and has a strong emphasis on the contribution of Indigenous Knowledge.

Our Coastal Futures will be a transdisciplinary, multi-format international conference to share and generate knowledge and enable effective action.


Call for contributions is now open. We are seeking expressions of interest from diverse fields, geographies and people for the following presentation formats:

  • Workshops
  • Panels
  • Virtual Engagement
  • Artistic Expressions
  • Youth Event
  • Yarning (Talking) Circle
  • Other Contributions

Please visit the website for further information on the formats and the submission form.  Contributions close on the 6th January 2020. 

Abstract submissions for oral presentations and posters will open on the 3rd February 2020.  Further information will be released at the time of opening


This event is hosted by Future Earth Coasts, Future Earth Australia, Australian Academy of Sciences and Southern Cross University and supported by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Copernicus Marine Service Training Workshop for the European North-West Shelf Seas.

The workshop help in Galway, Ireland, on December 12-13 2019 aims at training current and potential users of the Copernicus Marine Services ocean products for the European North West shelf. We anticipate users from various fields including aquaculture, fisheries and marine energy.

By the end of this training event you will be able to:

  • Describe the potential value of using Copernicus marine products
  • Identify relevant Copernicus marine products that would be appropriate for you to use.
  • Navigate the Copernicus marine product catalogue.
  • Confidently use appropriate tools and products from the catalogue.
  • Input into the future design and development of Copernicus marine service tools and products


Registration and additional information can be found at this link!



Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?

Register for the free workshop here! 

IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society is hosting a workshop in Brest, France this upcoming 16-18 December, 2019! This workshop is a follow-up of last year Brest meeting on “Technologies for observing and monitoring plastics in the oceans” and the theme for this year will be dedicated to “Marine Debris Indicators: What’s Next?”

The objective for this conference is to assess the potential observation and monitoring platforms for marine debris and plastics. The conference will propose a refined road map and recommendations to major institutions and funding agencies for future technology initiatives. 

Click here to find more information on the meeting as well as the program!

The organizing committee:

René Garello (IEEE OES / IMT Atlantique)
Hans-Peter Plag (IEEE OES / ODU)
Christophe Maes (LOPS/IRD/IUEM)
Anouck Hubert (ALLOHa, IMT Atlantique)
Jay Pearlman (IEEE OES / FourBridges)

‘Ocean Observing for Societal Benefit’ supplemental issue published!

GEO Blue Planet is excited to announce the Journal of Operational Oceanography Supplemental Issue titled “Ocean Observing for Societal Benefit” has been published!

The article “An introduction to the ‘Ocean and Society: Blue Planet initiative,” is featured in the issue and co-authored by a number of GEO Blue Planet Members: Emily A. Smail, Paul M. DiGiacomo, Sophie Seeyave, Samy Djavidnia, Louis Celliers, Pierre-Yves Le Traon, Jeremy Gault, Elva Escobar-Briones, Hans-Peter Plag, Christine Pequignet, Lenore Bajona, Li Zhang, Jay Pearlman, Andy Steven, Jonathan Hodge, Marie-Fanny Racault, Curt Storlazzi, William Skirving, Ron Hoeke, John Marra, Ap van Dongeren, Frank Muller-Karger, Douglas Cripe & Daniel Takaki.