Scientific Publishing: writing and refereeing 

This workshop is aimed at postgraduates and young researchers/scientists and aims to discuss what is looked for in papers submitted to international, high-ranking journals. It will discuss the important aspects of writing papers (style, content, titles, focus, etc) and the approach to refereeing papers. This includes what is looked for in good papers by editors and recent trends in publishing. It will be led by Professors Donald McLusky and Mike Elliott, as past and present Editors-in-Chief of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science respectively and hopes to have an input from other editors and editorial board members present at the conference.

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Stable isotopes and fatty acids in food web studies

Food webs represent an important feature of ecosystems and their complexity has made them for decades a central and challenging theme in ecology. Trophic markers such as stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen and fatty acids are increasingly used nowadays to investigate food web structure and dynamics. While each approach has specific applications, strengths and weaknesses, the combined approach is a noveland promising way of overcoming the limitations of individual methods. The goals of this workshop are to outline the applications, advantages and weaknesses of stable isotopes and fatty acids, illustrate the benefits of using the combined approach for investigating ecosystem trophodynamic functioning and encourage discussion and new ideas. The workshop will include technical and theoretical issues. The technical aspects will be addressed mainly to students and young researchers without previous experience in food web studies. The contribution of senior researchers is appreciated to share ideas and examples, stimulate open discussion and explore difficult andcomplex issues. This workshop will be led by Salvatrice Vizzini, University of Palermo.

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Ecosystem health: concepts and assessment methods and relationship to management

The EU Directives for Water Framework, Species and Habitat and Marine Strategy Framework are centred on our understanding of the environmental health of systems in realtion to human aspects. Most importantly they focus on a determination of ecosystem health in relation to Good Ecological Status, Favourable Conservation Status and Good Environmental Status. In ecology and in health sciences there are many ideas of what constitutes health, how it is degraded, how it is recovered (i.e. trajectories or degradation and recovery) and what types of assessments and indices are required for it. The workshop will discuss the definitions and concepts of health (resilience, recovery, vigour, structure, function, etc) against a background of indices and indicators and thus the monitoring required to determine when a healthy ecosystem is reached. Discussions can include the relationships with The Ecosystem Approach, Ecosystem Services and Societal Benefits and the DPSIR philosophy tomarine and coastal management. This workshop will be led by Prof. Mike Elliott. IECS,U.K.

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A hidden world below our feet - the subsurface of coastal sediments

For decades microbial life in sediments was thought to depend on organic matter produced by photosynthesis and therefore to be restricted to the surface where a constant supply of easily degradable organic is available. However, during the late 1980s the geochemical analysis of sediments tens to hundreds of metres below the seafloor indicated the presence of sulphate reduction and in 1990s a report on a deep biosphere down to 500 m below the seafloor was published that changed our view on classic separation between geosphere and biosphere. Since then, it has been shown that deep marine sediments are the probably largest microbial habitat on Earth that extends vertically over kilometres and harbours more than half of Earth’s prokaryotic cells. At present we had only a glimpse at coastal subsurface sediments and it is very hard to generalise the findings obtained as every site investigated showed its very own combination of lithological, biogeochemical and microbiological settings. However, it became clear that they harbour a huge microbial biomass and apparently play a much more significant role in the biogeochemical cycles as considered previously. This workshop will be organized by Henrik Sass (School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University) and Ana Isabel Lillebø (CESAM, University of Aveiro).

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