MASTS 2021 Webinar Series

MASTS is pleased to announce the re-launching of its webinar series for 2021. Last spring and summer, MASTS ran a series of weekly and publicly available webinars that were all very well received. Audiences joined from both within and outside the UK to listen to different speakers each week, and many would catch-up on our YouTube Channel.

MASTS wishes to continue promoting open and accessible marine science discourse and we are pleased to provide with our next round of speakers running until the end of June 2021. Our June webinars have a strong link with EMBRC. Check out who is speaking below!

Every Wednesday at 13:00 UK time, plus a live Q&A with our speaker

Sign up for the below webinars here

12 May

Marilena Oltmanns

National Oceanography Centre

How does the Arctic affect our weather? Fresh perspectives on a long-standing question

Recent decades have been characterised by an increased occurrence of extreme weather events in the North Atlantic region, entailing severe economic costs. While earlier studies indicated links between mid-latitude weather extremes and the amplified Arctic warming, the dynamical connections remain elusive. In my talk, I will demonstrate a new mechanism linking Arctic ice losses in the form of freshwater with the development of storms over the North Atlantic in winter and heat waves and droughts over Europe summer. Considering feedbacks of the identified mechanism on the ocean and atmospheric circulation in the Arctic, I will also discuss the potential for rapid changes in the North Atlantic climate.

26 May

Daniela Diz

Heriot Watt Uni. 

The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and its Implications to International Ocean Governance

The Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are currently negotiating the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) for adoption at their next Conference of the Parties (COP) scheduled for October 2021 in China. The GBF will entail a set of global goals, targets and a monitoring framework that will replace the well-known Aichi Biodiversity Targets (2011-2020) as a means to achieve the 2050 vision of living in harmony with nature.  The GBF will therefore constitute an important tool for the implementation of the objectives of the CBD related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal biodiversity.

In this webinar, we will explore the state of play of the GBF negotiations with a focus on the draft GBF targets that are applicable to marine biodiversity, compare those with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, and discuss their interface with the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on oceans and coasts, and other relevant policy and legal instruments. Special attention will be given to the GBF draft targets related to marine spatial planning, ecological connectivity, marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, fisheries, and nature-based solutions. 

June Webinars with EMBRC!

MASTS is delighted to announce that we have collaborated with EMBRC: European Marine Biological Resource Centre to provide you a collective webinar series! These exclusive webinars include a live Q&A with the speaker and will all be recorded.

Sign up for the below webinars here!

2 June Kim Praebel University of Tromsø, Norway

Marine environmental DNA in the Anthropocene – Applications in the Arctic and sub-Arctic

Marine ecosystems are changing at a rapid pace due to the ongoing climate crises, increased organic and biological load from intensifying farming, and by increased human activities in the marine realm. This is especially true for Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystems, where borealization and other ecosystem shifts are happening at unparalleled rates. The currently used surveillance and assessment methods halt behind in documenting and understanding these changing ecosystems. Here, I present some results from our environmental DNA research and show how novel molecular techniques can provide insights and solutions for more timely ecosystem assessments and understandings.

9 June Helene R Langehaug

Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Norway

Propagation of Thermohaline Anomalies and their predictive potential in the Northern North Atlantic

We assess to what extent seven different dynamical climate prediction systems can predict winter sea surface temperature. We focus on the pathway where Atlantic water flows towards the Arctic Ocean in the period 1970-2005. Observational studies suggest that there is predictability on decadal time scale in this region. However, predictive skill drops after 1-2 years in the prediction systems and we investigate possible reasons for the poor skill along the poleward pathway.

16 June Douglas Speirs

University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Modeling zooplankton and fish in space and time, and under climate change

Marine zooplankton and fish species often have very wide, but continuous, geographic distributions in which individuals move or are transported by ocean currents over large distances. They also often have complicated life cycles involving physiologically different developmental stages. As a consequence, species can occur over an enormous range of environments, including food abundance and temperature, in which different life-history stages may respond variably. Combing these considerations in population models capable of capturing the dynamics of such species and their changing spatial distributions in response to changing environments poses serious modelling challenges. This talk will overview the development at the University of Strathclyde of an approach to combining physiological spatial structure in marine population models. Examples will be drawn from modelling and mesopelagic fish, and zooplankton in the Arctic under climate change.

23 June Luigia Santella

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Italy

What Happens when Sperm Meets Egg: A Revisitation of the Process

Much of the knowledge on the fertilization process comes from research on sea urchin and starfish eggs that are fertilized in seawater. Even if starfish and sea urchin eggs are physiologically ripe for fertilization at different meiotic stages, their initial response to fertilizing sperm includes virtually the same structural and biochemical changes, i.e., separation of the vitelline layer from the egg plasma membrane and an intracellular calcium increase. Studies from our laboratory have shown that these sperm-induced changes strongly depend on the structural organization of F-actin of the egg cortex, which undergoes restructuration upon sperm-egg interaction. Furthermore, the F-actin remodeling plays a crucial role in preventing the entry of multiple sperm and in ensuring successful embryonic development

30 June Tamara Galloway

University of Exeter, England

Assessing the Impacts of Plastics

Plastic debris is a societal issue of global concern, illustrating the difficulties in balancing the convenience of plastic in daily life with the environmental degradation caused by careless disposal. The environment impacts of plastic extends beyond the end-of-life issues of litter; the carbon footprint of the plastics industry already exceeds that of air travel and shipping combined, and is set to grow hugely in future if current  methods of production and patterns of use continue.

This talk will provide an overview of our work at University of Exeter in determining the impacts of plastics. It will include a summary of the ecotoxicology of microplastics, their entry into the marine food web and the biological impacts this can lead to. The future of plastics is also considered, including how the Circular Economy can provide a more sustainable vision of the future, where new materials and business models are developed and plastics never become waste.