Program & Agenda

Workshops and Town Halls

Listed in chronological order.

Workshop: East meets West: Trans-Atlantic Aquatic Invasions of North America and Europe

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 08:00 - 17:00
Location: Andalucia 3 (Floor 1)

By Invitation Only. This international workshop of experts and students will address the issue of trans-Atlantic aquatic invasions.

Workshop: Environmental Controls on Marine Nitrogen Fixation

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 09:30 - 17:00
Location: Seminario 3-4-5 (Floor 1)

Participation is by invitation only. Refreshments will be provided. This one-day, round-table workshop will bring together marine scientists from different disciplines linking to biology, chemistry and physics, and combining expertise in culture and mesocosm studies, ecophysiology, microbiology, molecular biology, hydrography, remote sensing and numerical modeling from cell- to global scales. We plan to have short overview presentations on the current knowledge and open questions, all in plenary and followed by an open discussion about research priorities and strategies for collaborative efforts. The workshop will start from 9:30am. Overview presentations will cover the following issues:

  • Current estimates of global ocean N2 fixation rates from observations and numerical models - Angela Landolfi, GEOMAR, Kiel
  • What do we know about the global distribution of diazotrophs and the main groups/physiologies - Jonathan Zehr, UCSC, USA
  • What do we know about limiting factors (light, iron, various phosphorus forms, temperature…) - C. Mark Moore, University of Southampton, UK
  • How is N2 fixation represented in cell-scale and global-scale models? – Sophie Rabouille, LOV, France & Andreas Oschlies, GEOMAR, Germany

A general discussion session (structure to be finalized) will follow to address overarching questions. These include 1) Identify the major obstacles and challenges that limit our understanding of N2 fixation 2) Discuss which are the multidisciplinary actions/strategies needed to make progress. Exchanges on possible ways of organizing efficient collaboration and attracting funding will end the 1-day workshop. A report will be written and iterated with all participants in the following weeks, with the aim to eventually use this for putting together a collaborative research proposal, e.g. in the Horizon2020 framework, in which non-EU partnerships are encouraged. Contact Sophie Rabouille - LOV (CNRS-UPMC),Villefranche sur Mer, France at for more information.

Download the workshop's flyer:

CONNECTION: A Workshop to Make Your Science Communication More Effective through

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Location: Andalucia 2 (Floor 1)

See Trailer on YouTube:

Organized by: Jonathan H. Sharp (University of Delaware) and Adrienne Sponberg (ASLO)

Why is it that Much of the Public Does Not Believe in Climate Change and then Another Faction Avoids Vaccinations? Whether interacting with the lay public, local policymakers, or fellow researchers, relaying technical information accurately while keeping an audience engaged is a critical skill. An all too common perception about scientists is that they are tedious, boring, and unlikeable. Since we are experts on societally-important issues, often we assume audiences await our gems of knowledge. In the words of Mark Twain: “with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words”. However, lay public audiences do not hang upon our words, local policy makers are often unimpressed, and even our science peers will tune us out if the presentation is not interesting.

Effective Communication is Needed. For many scientists, presentations are sometimes seen as requirements to suffer through. This is often because you are required to communicate your work, but never taught how to effectively do so.

And, sadly, if you cannot impart the results and recommendations of your work in a way that will yield action, your work will have little impact in the world outside of your own lab.

This workshop will help you improve communications skills so you can present your work more effectively. Storytelling/narrative structure is at the core of virtually all effective broad communication. For obvious commercial reasons the Hollywood entertainment industry has traditionally been the source of both innovation and perfection of narrative elements, yet their basic approach is equally applicable to the communication of science to all audiences, from the general public to academics. For the past five years, scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson has been developing an approach he calls "critical storytelling," bringing together the broadly creative energy of Hollywood with the rigorous discipline and commitment to accuracy of the science world. He has come to ASLO meetings and brought others from Hollywood to help us develop more interesting and effective communication skills.

The Connection Workshop in Granada. Interested meeting attendees will participate in one of two 3-hour workshops scheduled for Sunday before the formal opening of the 2015 Aquatics Sciences Meeting. The format will be similar to workshops held at the 2013 Aquatic Sciences Meeting and the 2104 Ocean Sciences meeting. The workshop will feature the experienced communication specialist, Brian Palermo. In addition to acting in many Hollywood movies and TV series, he is an instructor at the premier Improv theater in Los Angeles, The Groundlings. Working with Randy Olson and actress/screenwriting consultant, Dorie Barton, he has helped us in 2012 and 2013 with video workshops as well as helping create and then presenting the 2013 Connection workshop. Participation in one of the Connection workshop sessions will be limited and prior registration will be required (no fee).

Brian will facilitate this through a hands-on, experiential workshop where you will participate in exercises designed to help improve your presentational abilities. We will focus on how to “act” throughout your presentation so that your audience remains engaged and how to create a recognizable structure for each presentation so that it tells a relatable story.

Your science does not have to be "dumbed down" to be effectively communicated to others outside of your specific discipline. But there are communication tools -- learned through improvisational theatre games -- that can be employed as a syringe with which to inject the more challenging aspects of your work into the hearts and minds of your audience. (That is not a mistake. Having your message reach the hearts of your audience is how you will spread your message more effectively. Think of the anti-vaccination movement in America. That is misinformation distributed widely by evoking emotion in the audience. Science communicators could learn much from this paradigm and use it to spread factual information.)

And the workshop has been empirically proven to be fun!

Why Participate? It is our hope that improved communication skills will assist the aquatic science community in reaching out to explain the results of our research. These skills are needed to better reach lay audiences, elected officials, and resource managers. Unless we can learn how to better connect to these groups, the benefits of our research are lost to society. The workshop registration is open to anyone interested; we hope to attract graduate students, early career scientists, and also established scientists. While not everyone can become a super star speaker, almost everyone can improve his/her skills. Financial support for this workshop has been received from the Ocean Sciences Division of the US National Science Foundation.

To Register: There will be two sessions on Sunday, February 22; one from 10:00-13:00 and the other at 14:00-17:00, both in Andalucia 2 (Floor 1) at the Granada Congress Center. Please register directly using the following ( Participation in the workshop is limited, so, please be committed to attend if you register. For more information and updates, periodically check:

Workshop: Writing And Publishing A Scientific Paper (Organized By The Youth Of The Iberian Limnological Society (J-AIL)

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 12:00 - 16:00
Location: Machado (Floor -2)

The workshop aims to provide the students and young researchers key guidelines that will help them to successfully publish their papers. Three selected reseachers working in different fields of Aquatic Ecology and with wide experience in writing and reviewing papers, as well as editorial roles, will talk about successful paper writing, publishing and reviewing. Lunch will be included. There also will be time for questions and discussion. The meeting is organized by the young researchers of the Iberian Limnological Society (J-AIL) and has a symbolic fee of 15 euros. Inscriptions can be made to

CONNECTION: A Workshop to Make Your Science Communication More Effective through

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Andalucia 2 (Floor 1)

See Trailer on YouTube:

See CONNECTION: A Workshop to Make Your Science Communication More Effective through "Critical Storytelling" - Part A for a complete description of Parts A and B.

Workshop: Science Education

Date: Sunday, 22 February 2015   Time: 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Picasso (Floor -2)

Recently, an increased demand around the world for students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields has focused attention on science education in and out of the classroom, and across all age groups. At the same time, funding agencies often require scientists to include a broader impacts section in their research proposals. This workshop will focus on helping participants develop ideas for effective education and outreach activities and broaden the impacts of scientific research. This workshop will feature active, hands-on learning, small group discussions, and guided inquiry and will include short presentations on exemplary projects in formal and informal education designed for K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and public audiences to stimulate ideas. Discussions of how people learn, how to assess the effectiveness of outreach activities, and how to develop projects that meet specific goals will help support project development. Participants are welcome to bring ideas that they would like to develop and share, and for which they would like to receive feedback. Please join us for a lively, productive, thought-provoking, and fun afternoon.

Organized by: Bob Chen (University of Massachusetts Boston);

Open to all attendees; walk-ins are welcome. While there is no need to register for this workshop, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email

ASLO Editors and Wiley Demonstration Forum

Date: Monday, 23 February 2015   Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Auditorium Manuel de Falla (Floor 1)

Join President Jim Elser and all the ASLO Publication Editors for an open forum on new developments within their respective publications, and a discussion of editorial objectives and future plans. An open question and answer session will follow. Representatives of Wiley, ASLO’s publishing partner, will demonstrate and discuss the enhancements and benefits from the migration of journal content to Wiley Online Library. Refreshments and boxed lunches will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact Teresa Curto ( for more information.

Workshop: Snap It Up

Date: Tuesday, 24 February 2015   Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Albeniz (Floor -2)

See the trailer at:

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” –Albert Einstein, 1951

Limnology and Oceanography are very much multi-disciplinary sciences, combining aspects of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology; and often including socio-economics. You can make a presentation at a meeting with very narrow scope, using specialized terminology, not explaining the relevance of your results, and presenting in a boring fashion. This is fine for a small number of specialty peers who will listen raptly for fear of being scooped by your work, or wishing to scoop you. However, if you want to reach and appeal to a broader interdisciplinary audience, you need another approach. Most of us probably know of individuals in our field who give fascinating talks from which a generalist can learn a lot. This workshop will address techniques and approaches that you can use to make presentations that are more exciting and appealing to those outside your specialty as well as more effective in explaining results of your research to those within your specialty. In doing so, you often develop a better understanding of your own work.

This workshop is open to all. It will be held during the lunch break (13:30-15:00) on Tuesday, February 24 in Albeniz (Floor -2) at the Granada Congress Center. The workshop will run by Jonathan Sharp (Professor Emeritus at University of Delaware), Adrienne Sponberg (ASLO Director of Public Affairs), and Brian Palermo (Hollywood actor and instructor at the Groundlings Improv Theater in Los Angeles). For more information and updates, periodically check:

Workshop: Teaching Aquatic Science

Date: Tuesday, 24 February 2015   Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Room C (Floor -3)

Introductory environmental, ocean, and aquatic science courses provide an excellent opportunity to prepare both majors and non-majors for thinking about some of the largest issues facing society such as climate change and energy needs. Introductory courses can also serve to recruit students into the field. However, students attracted to introductory aquatic science courses often come from highly diverse backgrounds spanning from those that are afraid of mathematics to those that want to become science majors. Sometimes these courses are very large. This workshop will provide strategies to overcome some of the challenges of these introductory courses while making your teaching engaging, relevant, and effective. Come ready to share ideas, to think actively about teaching and learning, and to discuss what works and why. Organized by: Bob Chen (University of Massachusetts Boston);

Open to all attendees. Lunch will be available for student participants.

National Science Foundation Town Hall

Date: Tuesday, 24 February 2015   Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Picasso (Floor -2)

A town hall to update the community on recent news from the National Science Foundation including the recently released Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences.

Contact Richard Murray ( for more information.

Workshop: iMicrobe: A Cyberinfrastructure to Support Research in Microbial Ecology

Date: Wednesday, 25 February 2015   Time: 20:00 - 21:00
Location: Machado (Floor -2)

Workshop Overview: The iMicrobe workshop provides a comprehensive look at platforms, tools, and services for large-scale data analysis provided by the iPlant Collaborative, a cyberinfrastructure project of the National Science Foundation. The workshop focuses on data and tools for microbial ecology developed in the iPlant cyberinfrastructure through the iMicrobe project. Through several hands-on demos and guided exercises, workshop participants will get a comprehensive look at the iMicrobe Data Commons and tools for large-scale data analysis in the iPlant Cyberinfrastructure. Use cases will draw on topics in microbial ecology, and will enable participants to use tools in iPlant ranging from microbial genome assembly and annotation to metagenomics analysis pipelines.

Workshop Description: Participants will get hands-on experience with the following iPlant cyberinfrastructure:

  • Discovery Environment: Simple web portal for managing data, analyses, and workflows. Complex bioinformatics applications can be run without knowing command line programming; users can also integrate their own tools.
  • Data Store: Scalable, secure, and reliable storage for terabyte-scale data (and community data/metadata in the iMicrobe Data Commons).
  • Atmosphere: 1-click, on-demand cloud computing for accessing microbial analysis tool suites such as QIIME.

Who Should Attend?

Any investigator (PIs, post-docs, grad students, industry users) who are or will be working with large datasets and computation-intensive research questions in microbial oceanography.

What will we do at the workshop?

We will cover a variety of hands-on computer demos designed to familiarize you with the major tools and resources freely available to you. The workshop starts with an introduction to iPlant’s tools to manage, analyze, and share data – then apply these resources to structured use cases in microbial oceanography. The focus will be on tools for microbial genome analysis and metagenomics (developed through the iMicrobe project). All tools and data are freely accessible with an iPlant account.

What Should I Bring?

This workshop is hands-on so please bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Organizer: Bonnie Hurwitz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biosystems Engineering, University of Arizona (


Panel Discussion: What can you do and should not do to inform the public about environmental problems

Date: Wednesday, 25 February 2015   Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Auditorium Manuel de Falla (Floor 1)

See the trailer about the panel discussion:

We are upset that the public does not better understand environmental problems and become involved with fixing them, yet we do a very poor job of communicating with the public. Sometimes, the wrong approach will actually decrease public interest in the issue being addressed. There is growing awareness in our aquatic science community that we should be doing more, yet most scientists do not know what or how to effectively communicate.

We have organized a panel discussion with a media expert as moderator and three of your colleagues as panelists. All of us have struggled in recent years with ways in which we can more effectively attract the attention of the public and get them involved. We also recognize that some activities to get public interest tend to be alarmist and do the opposite of getting public involvement. In this panel discussion, the focus will be on both successful approaches with warnings about the wrong approaches.

The panel will be moderated by Montserrat Dominguez, Editor of the Spanish Edition of the Huffington Post. The panelists will be Daniel Conley (Professor of Biogeochemistry, Lund University, Sweden), Carlos Duarte (Tarek Ahmed Juffali Chair in Marine Biology, KAUST, Red Sea Research Center, Saudi Arabia), and Jonathan Sharp (Oceanography Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware). The panel will take place in the mid-day break (13:30 – 15:00) of Wednesday February 25 in Auditorium Manuel de Falla (Floor 1) at the Granada Congress Center. For more information and updates, periodically check:

Town Hall: Expanding the U.S. network of Coastal Ocean Ecosystem LTER’s ?

Date: Wednesday, 25 February 2015   Time: 20:00 - 22:00
Location: Andalucia 3 (Floor 1)

This open town hall will introduce interested people in the ASLO community to the U.S. LTER network of 25 sites, which currently includes 8 coastal marine sites and a number of continental sites where aquatic research is a primary focus. A discussion is currently underway at the U.S. National Science Foundation to add two more coastal marine sites to the LTER network. If resources are available, a competition is expected in late 2015/early 2016 to identify and fund new sites that would be supported by the Ocean Sciences Division. Representatives of NSF and existing LTER's will be present to answer questions about the research, education, and outreach activities at LTER sites; the organization of sites and their relationship to the network; and opportunities for cross-site synthetic science.

Contact Mark Ohman ( for more information.

Workshop: Scientific Speed Networking

Date: Thursday, 26 February 2015   Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Restaurant Area 2 (Floor 0)

It can be daunting for a student to try to introduce himself/herself to someone at a large scientific meeting, but given the right opportunity, a quality exchange can have a lasting impression.  Scientific speed networking is a twist on the popular singles speed dating phenomenon, but the goal here is to foster an interactive environment between small groups of advanced scientists and students in hopes of creating some short, high-impact exchanges.  It's amazing what can be accomplished in five minutes! We hope that participation in this workshop will be a catalyst for improved student engagement throughout the meeting and beyond. The workshop is a structured, though informal meet and greet and is intended to be fun.  Please Amy Burgess at for more information.

Town Hall: Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean and the enlargement of the Suez Canal

Date: Thursday, 26 February 2015   Time: 14:15 - 15:00
Location: Andalucia 1 (Floor 1)

In August 2014, the Egyptian government announced the enlargement of the Suez Canal, dispensing with environmental impact assessment, risk analysis, and control and mitigation management. On learning this, a group of concerned scientists mobilized and, in September 2014, published a “Letter to the Editor” in the journal “Biological Invasions” expressing their shared concern over Egypt's plan, its potential amplification of an already critical environmental problem, and the apparent lack of any risk assessment (Galil et al. 2014, doi: 10.1007/s10530-014-0778-y). Since then, news outlets with global reach, such as the New York Times and the Guardian, picked up the news and editorialized about it, prompting the drafting of an open letter, signed by concerned scientists, that has been distributed to relevant intergovernmental organizations (UNEP/MAP, IMO, CBD) and bodies/agencies of the European Union. This town hall meeting aims to provide a forum at which to exchange information on the proposed expansion of the Suez canal, the current status of non-indigenous species (NIS) introduced through the canal, their spatial spread and impact across the Mediterranean, and the future of the coastal ecosystems under the influx of thermophilic NIS in a warming sea. Our intention is to follow the insights from this meeting to approach the relevant intergovernmental organizations with a call for action. Anyone interested in giving a short presentation may contact Angelos Hannides at or Bella Galil

Schedule subject to change.