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A milestone Year for FOL

In 2021 FOL PhD students made it to the end of their PhDs

31/12/2021 -

At first sight, this one seems like another difficult year to balance. But with 2021 about to finish, it is a good time to look back and revise all that happened at FOL, and it was a lot!

During this year, covid measures were still prevailing: people working from home, few in person meetings, and most events held online; but 2020 had taught us how to continue doing our work. With these circumstances, FOL-team members were able to continue leading their research and presented their main findings from our ongoing projects on international conferences and dissemination events. Iratxe presented at the online ICES/PICES conference her research on adaptation of large scale fisheries, and brought her children’s dissemination book to a literature congress. Moreover, Xochitl, Diego and Alba participated in the ICYMARE conference, and Alba showed her results in World Fishery Congress (WSCF). Inspiring events were conducted by Xochitl, Smit and Alba, who shared FOL research with young students at different schools, to awake their interest in sustainability science.

We have been also producing new publications, the Spanish Office of Climate Change finally released a report on the impacts of climate change, were FOL members led the marine chapter. Elena continued working on the IPCC 6th Assessment report, which was due this fall and will be published in 2022, while FOL members submitted and published important scientific papers. Alba published her first PhD paper in AMBIO, where she reviews the attributes of sustainable fisheries in the stalked barnacle artisanal fisheries of Europe. Iratxe published all her thesis chapters in high impact journals. Alex published a global analysis on fishing fleets technical and resource efficiencies that raises the concern of falling efficiencies in global fleets. Francesca, Smit and Juan worked hard within MPA-Engage and FutureMARES projects. Francesca is finalising a vulnerability assessments for 6 Mediterranean MPAs, and she was able to present the results to managers and get feedback from the whole process. Juan has been leading WP5 events in the FutureMARES project, including a workshop with all the partners involved and a set of new guidelines to perform risk assessments for marine Nature-based solutions to climate change. Finally, the group published a paper on Scientific Reports with a novel climate change resilience index applied to the ecological, institutional and social dimensions of fisheries.

During this year, an important milestone has been reached by Xochitl both for CLOCK and for her PhD. During the months of August to December, she was able to develop a new case study in Nayarit (Mexico), performing fieldwork to assess the adaptive capacity of small-scale fishers to climate change. This adventure would not have been possible without the support of Dr. Javier Tovar from CRIAP-INAPESCA, and the collaboration of Eréndira Aceves, Alexis Medina and Jhosafat Renteria. We would like to show them our gratitude for the inestimable support. We plan to come back to present our main research findings to the Nayarit stakeholders soon.

This has also been a very special year as we hosted two Master students from IMBRSea in the lab. Jané Salazar assessed how climate change induced distributional shifts are influenced by biological characteristics of commercial fish species, and was supervised by Alex. Lara Paige Brodie developed her thesis on the impacts of climate change on food security, by looking at the vulnerability of Tanzanian artisanal fishing communities, with the main supervision of Smit. We are really proud of Jane and Lara for their fine work and successful results. We say thanks and goodbye to Smit, who contributed to many projects at FOL but now is taking a position at NOAA in the United States, we wish him the best.

But if we want to highlight a milestone for 2021, that is seeing our first three PhD students come to an end with their theses. We were really delighted to see how our PhD candidate, Iratxe Rubio became a PhD with honours in a brilliant doctoral thesis, defended in September. Now, we wish her the best in her new challenge, her co-funded marine research consultancy. Diego Salgueiro has also recently submitted his PhD thesis for consideration, closing a cycle within the CLOCK project where he specialized in social-ecological network analysis in small-scale fishing communities. Finally, Alba Aguión is almost there, and will be submitting her PhD for consideration in a matter of weeks. We are really proud for all the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of Alba, Diego and Iratxe, and their success in reaching this point after the long and intense process that a PhD entails.

We look forward to 2022, our sixth year where we have important milestones and innovations, especially in CLOCK project, as it comes to an end in September. We plan to share with all of you our results and future plans, and for that we will be spending the year planning and performing dissemination activities. Next year will be the year of coming back to the stakeholders and show them our work, learning how to do that well and with impact is our priority. We look forward to a renewed year of fulfilling activity and great experiences. Accompany us!

We wish everyone happy new year!

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CATEGORIES: Future Oceans Lab, Team