The news

A turning point for the Future Oceans Lab

The ERC CLOCK project comes to an end, leaving us much closer to the fishing sectors and to implementing adaptation to climate change.

23/12/2022 -

Year 2022 is closely coming to an end and as like to do, we take a look at our activities through the year and recall our major milestones.

During this year our main achievement has been closing the ERC CLOCK project, which finished last November. We have been sharing the results in publications and press, and we will launch a website and an event next year to summarize the project results. We are really proud of Diego Salgueiro and Alba Aguión, new FOL doctors who successfully defended their brilliant doctoral theses in front of two international committees. We closely follow their next steps and wish both the best in for careers. Alba started a postdoc position at the University of Duke in partnership with FAO, on contributions, impacts and drivers of small-scale fisheries globally to inform policy-making processes and empower fishing communities. Diego just finished a video of his PhD results for science dissemination.




Although 2022 started with some COVID measures such as working from home, few in person meetings, and hosting most events online, the experience on the previous years allowed us to continue to lead our research and present main findings in international conferences and disseminations events. We are now more relaxed and enjoy in person meetings and events. For example, Xochitl Elías and Francesca Barazzetta attended the kick of meeting of Fisheries project led by Katja Edberg from University of Bergen, and Elena Ojea was a keynote speaker in different events to present the main findings from IPCC 6th Assessment report. She participated in the SIBIC 2022 conference hold in Porto, and gave a conference at the University of Granada. Moreover, Xochitl and Francesca presented their research on adaptations of coastal social-ecological systems to climate change and climate change vulnerability at the ICES PICES ECS Conference in Canada.Also, inspiring events were conducted by FOL team members to share their research to the society, especially children to engage them in science.

We believe and commit to participatory science. This year has been a turning point for us as we have intensively engaged stakeholders in the fishing sector. Diego Salgueiro and Xochitl Elías have demonstrated that a well-planed participative process where results from the research are presented and discussed, in order to hear back from fishers their views and solutions is key to a successful and respectful fieldwork. Diego and Xochitl have led this year a series of workshops in fisher guilds in Galicia (Spain) and Nayarit (Mexico) to communicate their results on adaptation and transformation of the sector under climate change. In these shared spaces, the fishing sector had the opportunity to give their feedback and opinions about research, and co-designed a list of potential policies and practices that will help them to face climate change impacts as well as inform decision making on the sector needs. For the Galician case study, a report and a short video containing  the results of workshops were produced, and we keep working on Nayarit case study outputs that we share with all of you soon.



The IPCC 6th Assessment Report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, were Elena is a lead author in the oceans chapter has been released last February. This constitutes a tipping point in international climate science and policy as for the first time we identify the limits for some ecosystems such as coral reefs and seagrasses under emission scenarios, and show evidence about how important equitable and just participatory processes are key to deliver successful adaptation. We also published in top international journals, including a Nature publication led by UCSB on climate change impacts and adaptation on food from the sea. The team has been able to publish most of the remaining work in CLOCK. Alex published a global analysis on efficiency of artisanal fishing fleets and its relationship with sustainable food security and vulnerable livelihoods in face to climate change. Diego published the two last papers from his PhD that explore social-ecological networks and responses to climate change in high impact journals. Alba published several papers on biological aspects of the stalked barnacle. Xochitl published her first PhD chapter in the Nature portfolio family, her novel research about climate change hazard hotspots and fishers responses. Smit V. Caballero published his work on fishers’ choice behaviour in catch portfolios to face climate change in Ecological Economics.

Our vulnerability and risk work is advancing successfully. Juan has been leading the EU FutureMARES project, where he coordinates and supports the climate risk assessments of nature-based solutions across European Seas. He has presented the progress at the Annual project Meeting celebrated last October in Porto. Francesca has successfully lead the MPA-Engage project, which finished in June, and where we developed a vulnerability assessment tool. This tool supports managers of Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to enhance the effectiveness of MPAs as nature-based solutions to adapt and mitigate climate change. Francesca and Elena presented the main findings of the vulnerability assessments to managers and stakeholders during the final combined event for MPA-Engage and MPA-Networks celebrated in three locations: Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Roses in June.


We love to host visitors at FOL and this year has been a special with hosting Frida Sanchez, master student from IMBRSea in the lab. Frida worked together with Xochitl and Juan on the adaptation of small-scale fisheries to climate change, and presented the results in a poster at the IMBRSea symposium. We also had the opportunity to know Lucía Millán and Lucía Espasandín, colleagues from ICM-CSIC working in the FutureMARES project. They visited us to move forward on her vulnerability analyses. Also, the brief visit of Sarah Elkin, master student from IMBRSea who will develop her master thesis supported by Elena and Xochitl next year. And we cannot forget Grace Callahan, a Watson fellow who is travelling around the world to explore the role of women in fishing. She decided to visit us to explore Galician shellfish harvesters and connect with the team. We had the chance to do a field visit and Grace learned from the community first hand.

We have had our ups and downs through 2022. We were sad say goodbye to team members Alex and Francesca, who contributed to many FOL research actions but mainly were great people and we miss them both. We are however very happy that Alex is now working for the French Governmental Fisheries Offices in Montpellier (France) and Fran is a project Manager at the Eurofish International Organisation (Copenhagen). We wish the best to them and keep in touch.

Next year comes with new projects and collaborations that will keep us busy, for example the new EU project ACTNOW. We also will expand the team and host new master students in 2023. We can’t wait to connect with new researchers, present our work abroad and keep working on what matters most at FOL, bright future for marine social-ecological systems.

But first and most importantly, we will rest and enjoy family and life out of work. Happy holidays and happy 2023.



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CATEGORIES: Collaborations, Dissemination, Future Oceans Lab, Outreach, Research, Team