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Future Oceans Lab: Year One!

Elena Ojea launched our research group on climate change adaptation only one year ago

15/12/2017 -

It’s time to celebrate a successful first year at FOL. Under Elena Ojea’s leadership we have developed new solutions to small- and large-scale fisheries management, and we have been awarded major research grants as we continued to expand our global and local reach in both the research community and the fisheries sector. This has been possible mainly thanks to the funding support of the European Commission through the ERC project CLOCK, as well as via the research grant awarded by our regional government (Xunta de Galicia) and the everyday support of our home institution, the University of Vigo.

FOL presented its first research findings in several international conferences, including  ICES-ASC2017, YouMares, and IMPAC 4. In these forums, we discussed preliminary results of our ongoing work in project CLOCK  on different questions regarding climate change adaptation in fisheries, such as the socioeconomic impacts linked to fish species distribution change or the role of marine protected areas for climate change adaptation in fisheries. Also, Elena continued to publish her work in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, and Alba, one of our new PhD students, completed the publication of her master’s thesis.

During this year we have welcomed new members to the lab, growing to a team of eight. Iratxe, Diego and Alba began their PhD work, Xiaozi joined us as a postdoctoral researcher, Elena Fontán continued working with us as a project researcher, and Julia and Maria are our project managers. We are especially proud of our PhD candidates, Iratxe, Diego, and Alba, who were all awarded competitive and highly selective research grants for their promising PhD proposals – the Euromarine Network Fellowship (1 and 2) and the National Fellowship for University Professionals (FPU).

Due to the nature of our work and our commitment to delivering research products in service to society, developing collaborations with the research and fishing communities go hand in hand. This year we continued to work with our international partners at UCSB, CSIRO, and the Stockholm Resilience Center, and we established connections with the Cooperative of Shipowners of the Port of Vigo, the Fishing Accelerator, and the Cambados and Cangas Fishermen’s Guild. We are also proud to be part of the Galician Singular Research Center ECIMAT, and to continue working with our colleagues at the Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3), the ECOMAR Network, BiodivERsA project Percebes, the DOCKSIDE project, and ICES working groups.

FOL’s team members are leading in their research as well as in their science outreach and community building initiatives. Diego is making an impact in local high schools with his Future Oceans Around project, and Alba starred with her monologues at the major international events FameLab and Science Stars of the British Council. Also, Xiaozi has launched a new forum and seminar series, the Interdisciplinary Fisheries Seminars (IFS) in the University of Vigo, that brings together the science and economics communities at the University every month. Last but not the least, in our commitment to diversity, Diego is part of the Candiera team and the project EMBARCA, a network created for the support of women in the fishing sector.

We are excited about the scientific journey ahead of us and we look forward to continue sharing it with you. Thank you for being part of our story!

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CATEGORIES: Future Oceans Lab, Team