The news

A year of lonely remote working with a warm team

More than ever, this year we faced big ups and downs at home and with our work

24/12/2020 -

This is a difficult year to balance and we are happy we made it through. We are really looking forward to experience nature, friends and in person relationships in 2021, experiences we missed so much this year. As for everybody, 2020 has been a challenging year to keep up with research, but we were still able to continue doing our job, thanks to the weekly virtual meetings that hold up the team at the Future Oceans lab. Many of these years’ new people at FOL could not yet get to know colleagues in person, but everybody joined seminars and online meetings so frequently, it gave a sense of community to go though the lock down and mobility restrictions we all faced.

This year we have greatly enlarged the team with amazing new members. Smit Vasquez Caballero joined in January as a new postdoc to work in CLOCK, bringing all his expertise on fisheries economics to the group. Soon after Francesca Barazzetta came back to the lab from Italy to launch MPA-Engage. Getting Xochitl Elías  from Germany to Vigo was not as straightforward. A long visa process followed up by the most early restrictions of COVID made her arrival as late as June. She is now fully engaged with the project CLOCK, beginning anew case study in Japan with Jorge García Molinos as her PhD co-director. Finally Juan Bueno Pardo made all the way from Portugal to join the lab in September as a new postdoc, to work on the H2020 project FutureMares.

Our family is larger though, and despite the difficulties of this year we have also brave students that moved to Vigo to join us. Jané Salazar joined us in spring to conduct her master professional practices and now is developing her thesis with Alex Tidd. Lara Paige, also from IMBRSea has virtually joined us so far, and will develop her thesis with Smit Vasquez Caballero.  Finally but not least, the prize for the covid adventurer of the year goes to Marian, a student that closely worked with Juan Bueno while camping on campus, before leaving back to Germany for Christmas. Getting to know  all of them this year has been one of the best things of 2020 for all of us. On the sad news, our beloved researcher Raquel Ruíz Díaz is leaving the team to join a much greater adventure, A PhD in Canada. We will certainly missed her but know that we will cross paths sooner than later.

With ups and downs both personally and professionally for all of us, this year we have seen some of the first results of the early history of FOL and the research we conduct. We have had a number of nice publications, most importantly by out fellow PhD students and researchers. Diego Salgueiro Otero has published his work about approaching adaptation with a social-ecological systems perspective, Iratxe Rubio has also published her work on climate change impacts in tuna vessel operations in the Atlantic, Raquel Ruíz and Alba Aguión published a vulnerability assessment for the stalked barnacle fishery in Galicia, and  Diego and Elena published a piece in One Earth that is core to the approach we are developing at CLOCK. For the first time, we also collaborate in an important publication in Nature, about the future of food from the sea, that captured the attention of many media and policy makers here in Spain. We hope we can continue to publish successfully next year all the ideas we are still developing at the lab.

We managed to attend some important events, prior and along the pandemia. Elena attended the IPCC LAM3 in Faro in January, and has just submitted the second order draft of the report for external evaluation. Francesca organized a training event, first virtually in April, then at Tavolara over the summer, to train MPA managers on vulnerability assessments. We also managed to show Galician fisheries to the new comers in October, safely outdoors. We do hope we will be able to experience activities on the field this new year, but if not, we learned that online team building is possible. Meanwhile, we will continue to do outreach events, contribute to international activities, such as the IHH SSF gender chapter, and support the work life balance of our team members as much as we are able to.

As challenging as 2020 has been, we look forward enlarging the team in 2021 with new students coming and getting further with our research, while keeping safe and helping each other all along the ups and downs of this situation. I am very grateful for the bright, special and warm people I have the pleasure to work with at FOL and wish everyone a happy new year!



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CATEGORIES: Alba Aguión, Alex Tidd, Clock, Diego Salgueiro, Elena Ojea, Francesca Barazzetta, Future Oceans Lab, FutureMARES, Iratxe Rubio, Juan Bueno, Julia Ameneiro, MPA-Engage, Raquel Ruiz Diaz, Research, Results, Smit V. Caballero, Team, Xochitl Édua Elías Ilosvay