AquaTT Training News - Newsletter 10 2016

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13 July 2020
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Training News is a free e-mail news service provided by AquaTT on education, training, news and events in marine science, aquaculture and related sectors. The newsletter currently reaches more than 5,000 international recipients on a monthly basis. Please submit any relevant information for inclusion in next month's edition to Please CLICK HERE to go to the archives of AquaTT Training News and Announcements.





Student Corner





Dr Richard FitzGerald, One of AquaTT’s Founders, Passes Away

Richard FitzGerald

All of us at AquaTT were very sad to hear about the passing of one of our founding fathers, ex-Directors and dear friend, Dr Richard FitzGerald on 5 December 2016, after a very brief battle with lung cancer.

A zoologist by training, he was awarded his PhD for work on ecological interactions of fish-parasite communities and had been involved in Research and Development in Aquaculture for almost 30 years in a variety of roles and posts. In the 1980s, he worked as Technical Director with a salmon farming company owned by the State Venture Capital agency and thereafter, for a decade through the 1990s, he managed and led research efforts at the Aquaculture Development Centre in University College Cork (UCC). In 2000, he established and managed a specialist seafood company until 2006. He joined NUI Galway in 2006/7 as a Senior Research Fellow, and managed the Carna Research Station of the Ryan Institute. He has served as a member of State Boards, Agencies and representative/consultative fora and trade organisations both Nationally and Internationally.

Richard had a long association with AquaTT, back to its foundation in 1991/92, when he compiled and submitted the original application for EU funding to establish the company. He was the first Chair of the Company and has served on the Board regularly over the past 20 years.

Richard was a much-loved colleague and wonderful friend and he will be a great loss to AquaTT, and the larger community.We would like to offer our condolences to his wife, Frances (née Lucy), his family and his many friends.




To search for MSc programmes, MSc and PhD courses, and other training opportunities (short courses, online courses, work placements, etc.) in aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resource management, please visit the Aqua-tnet Education Gate. This interactive web portal is the one-stop-shop for education in your field. For information on all educational opportunities (courses, workshops, etc.), as well as general events (conferences, meetings, etc.) please refer to the AquaTT Announcement newsletter which is sent out with Training News. A comprehensive overview of all events is given in the AquaTT Calendar.




Happy Holidays from AquaTT

Aquatt holiday card 2016


COMMON SENSE Final Event: Demonstration of Next Generation Sensors for Advanced Real-Time Ocean Observation

Additional Logo COMMON SENSEThe EU-funded COMMON SENSE project will host a demonstration event and final partner meeting in Barcelona, Spain on the 27 January 2017. The conference, entitled ‘Demonstration of Next Generation Sensors for Advanced Real-Time Ocean Observation’, is a unique event that marks the end of the COMMON SENSE project which was launched in November 2013. The project was funded to directly respond to the requirement for integrated and effective data acquisition systems by developing innovative sensors that will contribute to our understanding of how the marine environment functions.

Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the COMMON SENSE prototypes of next generation in-situ marine sensors to deliver vital information about the ocean. In doing so, COMMON SENSE results can support the implementation of European Union marine policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The COMMON SENSE sensors need less human operation and intervention than current technologies and create standardised data on eutrophication, underwater noise, heavy metals, and marine litter, with a focus on microplastics. Other important parameters considered are temperature, pressure, pH and pCO2. This information is essential for EU Member States to achieve and maintain a Good Environmental Status (GES) within MSFD, thus ensuring the long-term health of EU marine waters.

As the COMMON SENSE project comes to a successful conclusion, the results will be presented at this final workshop, along with a demonstration of the novel sensors developed and tested during the COMMON SENSE project.

For more information about this event, including programme, registration and logistics, please visit

For all the latest updates as the event approaches please visit our website and follow us on Twitter (@commonsense_eu).


Seafood Safety: New Findings & Innovation Challenges – Discover the Conference Programme Online Now

ECsafeSEAFOOD LogoThe ‘Seafood Safety: New Findings & Innovation Challenges’ conference, which will be held 25-26 January 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, is a unique event dedicated to seafood safety in Europe. The event marks the end of the European Union-funded ECsafeSEAFOOD research project which assessed food safety issues related to non-regulated contaminants present in seafood as a result of environmental contamination. Its outcomes will play an important role in ensuring consumer confidence and addressing public concern in relation to the availability of safe and high-quality seafood.

The preliminary programme is now available to download from the conference website: Event topics include the latest research on marine toxins in seafood and the environment, state-of-the-art rapid detection tools for environmental contaminants and the future of seafood safety.

ECsafeSEAFOOD’s results are of particular interest to national and international policy makers in the fields of food safety, environment and public health, as well as food safety authorities, the seafood industry and consumer organisations. The event therefore includes a dedicated half-day International Stakeholder Event addressing these stakeholder groups. Following the International Stakeholder Event, a one-and-a-half-day Open Science Conference will focus on presenting the latest scientific knowledge on ECsafeSEAFOOD topics to a broad audience.

Conference participants will have the opportunity to exchange the latest knowledge on seafood safety, identify the key issues associated with seafood safety in Europe and discuss strategies to mitigate these risks, present the latest developments in toxin detection tools and network with food safety experts and other stakeholders from the field.

The preliminary programme can be downloaded nowThe registration deadline is 15 January 2017

For more information about this event or to register, please visit, or contact

For more information about the ECsafeSEAFOOD project, visit www.ecsafeseafood.euFor all the latest updates as the event approaches, follow ECsafeSEAFOOD on Twitter (@ECsafeSEAFOOD).


“Understanding Biomarkers in Fish Nutrition” Resource Published by ARRAINA Project

The EU-funded ARRAINA (Advanced Research Initiatives for Nutrition & Aquaculture) project has published a new resource for aquaculture feed producers, entitled “Understanding Biomarkers in Fish Nutrition”.

Snapshot of 3rd booklet coverThe objective of this booklet is to provide a reliable set of biomarkers and associated methodologies to assess the nutritionally mediated effects on growth performance, metabolic homeostasis, stress responsiveness and health condition of fish which are fed new diet formulations from early life stages to completion of production cycle and sexual maturation. Of particular value are predictive and non-invasive biomarkers available at a relatively low cost, although the combination of conventional and omics approaches is emerging as a user-friendly option.

This booklet is specifically aimed at scientists and feed producers, but it also targets other industrial segments (e.g. fish farmers, feed additives companies, retailers) and individuals interested in gaining further knowledge of the physiological consequences of the raw materials that are currently used in the feeds of farmed fish. The species focussed on by the ARRAINA project are: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, European sea bass and gilthead sea bream.

This booklet is the final in a series of three technical booklets on the nutrition and feeding of fish farmed in Europe, and has been produced under the framework of the European Union FP7 funded ARRAINA project. The aim is to make these booklets widely available both to targeted stakeholders and society in general, in order to raise awareness of the science-based knowledge supporting the development of high quality, safe, and environmentally sustainable aquaculture feeds.

The first two ARRAINA technical booklets were focused on feed ingredients and nutrient requirements, and are available at and can also be requested from the dissemination task leader Cliona Ní Cheallacháin, AquaTT. The website also provides further information on all other aspects of the ARRAINA project including specific research methods and available results. For more information, contact the ARRAINA Project Coordinator, Sadasivam Kaushik.


The Ischia Declaration:Managing Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea, the Way Forward

The number of recorded non-indigenous species (NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea is far higher than in other European Seas. A EuroMarine workshop, entitled ‘Management of Bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea: the way forward’, addressed this issue by discussing a framework for a comprehensive action plan to manage NIS under the unique conditions of the Mediterranean Sea.

Ischia groupThe workshop, organised and co-convened by Maria Cristina Gambi, a Senior Researcher at Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, was held in Ischia, Italy from 4-5 May 2016. The workshop participants formulated the ‘Ischia Declaration’, a document calling for specific strategic actions focused on effective science-based transboundary management of bioinvasions to reduce the risk of new introductions and the further spread of NIS already present in the Mediterranean Sea. Though states are responsible for ensuring that activities within their jurisdiction do not damage the environment of other states, effective management of marine NIS in the Mediterranean Sea depends on policy coordination with the Regional Sea Convention (Barcelona Convention).

Prof. Bella Galil, workshop convener and a Senior Scientist at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, said: “The number of non-indigenous species, far higher in the Mediterranean than in other European seas, doubled between 1980 and 2016. The sea’s shallow water biota, including important marine protected areas, has already been altered by the negative ecological, economic and human health impacts arising from bioinvasions. We call on the Parties to the Barcelona Convention to take immediate effective measures to protect the sea from further bioinvasions.”

For more information on this event, please visit the Euromarine website, or view the Ischia Declaration online: The workshop report can be downloaded from the Societa' Italiana di Biologia Marina (SIBM) website: See more about the EuroMarine network at or follow EuroMarine on Twitter (@Euromarine_tw).


Warmer Winters in Europe Will Be Bad News for Coral

atlas logoCold-water coral in the North Atlantic could be vulnerable to changes in large-scale weather systems due to climate change, according to research into coral connectivity. These conclusions not only contribute to our scant knowledge of deep-sea ecosystems, but also provide vital information for people planning how best to protect the health of our oceans. They were published recently by a team led by Dr Alan Fox of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and part of the broader Horizon 2020 ATLAS (A Trans-AtLantic Assessment and deep-water ecosystem-based Spatial management plan for Europe) project.

Coral reefs play an important role in the marine ecosystem as they provide other species with protection from predators and a safe place to reproduce. Scotland in particular has recently set up a network of Marine Protected Areas, designed to protect vulnerable ecosystems formed by cold-water corals. These protected areas do not exist in isolation but are connected by the movement of migratory species, larval life stages or simply the circulation of the elements. These transfers, known as connectivity, are essential for sea populations to thrive and prosper. The extent to which a network of MPAs is capable of facilitating the connectivity of species and habitats is a core criterion for how effective they can be at safeguarding the marine ecosystem.

"In summary, our new findings demonstrated significant climate-driven alterations in the connectivity of an established MPA network using biologically integrative particle tracking models," say the researchers in an article published in November 2016 in the journal Royal Society Open Science. "We conclude that the existing MPA network is not robust enough to atmospheric-driven changes in ocean circulation."

Professor Murray Roberts, also of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences and co-ordinator of the ATLAS project, commented: "Scotland's seabed plays a unique role as a stepping stone for deep-sea Atlantic species. By teaming up with researchers in Canada and the US, we will expand this work right across the Atlantic Ocean."

Read the news release on CORDIS or read the latest from ATLAS on the project website



Knowledge Transfer and Impact Officer (12-month contract)

AquaTT LogoAre you interested in increasing impact from publicly funded scientific research? Are you enthusiastic about exploring different methods and approaches for knowledge transfer and exploitation? Are you passionate about working with researchers to accelerate the transfer of state-of-the-art knowledge to industry, policy and society? If so, then AquaTT is looking for you!


Position: Knowledge Transfer and Impact (KTI) Officer
Type: Full-time 12-month contract (initial 6-month probation period) with potential for renewal. Position available immediately.
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Primary Responsibilities

AquaTT operates using a practical approach to knowledge transfer in all its project work, at both a national and European level. The KTI Officer will assist in the implementation and optimisation of Knowledge Management and Knowledge Transfer strategies at AquaTT, full training will be provided.

The successful applicant will be responsible for applying this methodology to a number of projects and collect, analyse and transfer research results to a diverse range of audiences and partners. As well as providing support across the AquaTT team to ensure that timely Knowledge Transfer is carried out, the KTI Officer will play an integral role in creating impact from EC- and nationally-funded scientific research. Measuring the impact of Knowledge Transfer activities will be an important aspect of the job role.


Application Deadline: 30th January 2017 at 17.00.
The position is available immediately. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and short listed candidates may be invited to interview before the application closing date.

Application Requirements: A customised cover letter and CV should be addressed to David Murphy, General Manager and sent electronically to: quoting “Knowledge Transfer and Impact Officer” in the subject line.



Student Corner


International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources

Join the first international study programme focussed on study and management of the Biological Resources from the Sea. The IMBRSea programme is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and functions in close contact with the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC), a leading European distributed research infrastructure. Students joining the programme will be able to specialise in one of the five themes (Marine food production, Management of living marine resources, Applied marine ecology and conservation, Marine environment health and Global ocean change). Students will have the opportunity to study at several universities, and will participate in a diverse range of study environments.

Applications to join the International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources are open now at Scholarships, mobility grants and study fee weavers are available for the best ranked applicants.

Apply before 30 March 2017 to join IMBRSea in September 2017! To apply online, visit:


Protein Interactions, Networks and Pathways Training Course

This course from the EMBL-EBI will provide life scientists with training on exploring and using protein interaction bioinformatics resources. The content examines the data repositories, resources and tools available to explore and analyse large datasets. The principles of biological network and pathway analysis will be introduced and explained using relevant case studies. Participants will also have the opportunity to either learn how to access public repositories via programmatic methods or spend time analysing their own data using the approaches covered in the course.

This course is aimed at bench-based biologists, who are involved in or embarking upon protein interaction and/or pathway related projects. The course requires no prior knowledge of pathway analysis or computer programming skills.

Preference will be given to those actively involved in or commencing interaction/pathway-based projects. Registration deadline is 24 February, 2017. Apply on EMBL-EBI training pages


Summer School: Crash Course on Data Assimilation – Theoretical Foundations and Advanced Applications with Focus on Ensemble Methods

The 4-day school aims at PhD-level students and early stage scientists with beginner or little experience of data assimilation intending to apply data assimilation as part of their research. The crash course will cover the basic notions of data assimilation, focusing on ensemble methods, illustrated with real-scale / operational applications and with the aid of practical exercises. The event is organised in the framework of the Nordic Countries Centre of Excellence EmblA (, running in June 2017 in Bergen, Norway. Further details are available on the course announcement page.


Introduction to Omics Data Integration

With the increase in the volume of data across the whole spectrum of biology, more researchers are looking to integrate data of different types to inform hypotheses and biological questions. This may also include public domain data, which can provide added value to data derived through researcher’s own work. This course will provide participants with biological examples of data integration, and the challenges that researchers face. The course will focus on the use of public data resources and open access tools for enabling integrated working, with an emphasis on data visualisation. This course is aimed at biologists who have some experience of working with at least one type of omics data, and computational biologists / bioinformaticians who wish to gain a better understanding of the biological challenges when working with integrated datasets.

No programming or command line experience is required to attend this course, but please note this course does not cover statistical approaches for data integration. The application deadline is January 13th, 2017, and the event will run in early March 2017, in the UK. The course announcement can be found at:


Established and Emerging Marine Model Organisms Course 2017

A new edition of an international two-week course on Established and Emerging Marine Model Organisms will take place at the Station Biologique Roscoff (France) on March, 6-17th 2017. The course will include theoretical lectures as well as practical lab work on key marine taxa currently used as experimental paradigms in several fields of biological research. Students will be actively involved in lab work, discussions and debates on modern reference literature. Participation to the course requires knowledge of fundamental principles of molecular biology and developmental genetics. Knowledge in metazoan phylogeny and evolution is also desirable.

Course language: English. Students will be awarded 6 ECTS* credits after they have successfully completed the course programme (written and oral evaluation). Registration fees: 220€ (including full board accommodation in individual rooms). Application deadline is 8 January, 2017. The course flyer can be found at:


Eukaryotic Metabarcoding Course

Metabarcoding techniques are a set of novel genetic tools for qualitatively and quantitatively assessing biodiversity of natural communities. This workshop gives an overview of metabarcoding procedures with an emphasis on practical problem-solving and hands-on work using analysis pipelines on real datasets. After completing the workshop, students should be in a position to (1) understand the potential and capabilities of metabarcoding, (2) run complete analyses of metabarcoding pipelines and obtain diversity inventories and ecologically interpretable data from raw next-generation sequence data and (3) design their own metabarcoding projects, using bespoke primer sets and custom reference databases. All course materials (including copies of presentations, practical exercises, data files, and example scripts prepared by the instructing team) will be provided electronically to participants. This workshop is mainly aimed at students, researchers and technical workers with a background in ecology, biodiversity or community biology. The application deadline is 20 January, 2017, with the workshop running in Mid February 2017. Potential participants can apply at:



Other News


Antarctic Ice Sheet Study Reveals 8,000-year Record of Climate Change
An international team of researchers have found the Antarctic Ice Sheet plays a major role in regional and global climate variability. Many models examining the last several thousand years fail to account for the amount climate variability captured in the paleoclimate record, according to Pepijn Bakker, lead author of the research. The discovery may explain why sea ice is currently expanding in the Southern Ocean despite global warming.
Read more on the Cambridge University website.


European Commission Brings #FARMEDintheEU Aquaculture Campaign to Spain
The annual "Día de la Acuicultura" was celebrated recently in Spain, with open door visits and conferences being held across the country. The "Di sí a la acuicultura sostenible" (“Say yes to sustainable aquaculture”) competition was launched this year by the Observatorio Español de Acuicultura from Fundación Biodiversidad (Mapama), which was supported by the European Commission. More than 1700 Spanish students from 37 schools have already been involved in workshops.
Read more on the EC Maritime Affairs website.


The Commission Proposes Additional Catch Limits for the North Sea and Atlantic Sea for 2017
The European Commission's yearly proposal for the 2017 fishing opportunities has now been supplemented with additional figures on stocks, where ICES has provided scientific advice after the publication of the Commission's proposal. More specifically the Commission has now put forward proposals for skates and rays, Norway lobster in North Western Waters, a proposal for the Rockall component of the megrim stock in North Western Waters and a proposal for anglerfish in the North Sea, Rockall and West of Scotland, Skagerrak and Kattegat.
Read more on the EC Fisheries website.


New MarTERA Call on Marine Technologies
The new ERA-Net COFUND MarTERA which will be coordinated by Project Management Juelich recently launched its first call on marine technologies. The overall goal of MarTERA is to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in maritime and marine technologies as well as Blue Growth.
Find out more on the MarTERA wesbite.


Commission Launches Call Worth €1.5m to Promote Coastal and Maritime Tourism
The European Commission recently made available €1.5m to link up, through nautical routes, maritime sites throughout Europe. Coastal tourism is the most popular in Europe, with more than two thirds of European tourists preferring to stay at coastal locations above any other. When calculated alongside cruise tourism, yachting and marinas, coastal tourism in the EU provides almost 3 million jobs and generates revenue of €400 billion.
Read more on the EC Maritime Affairs website.


Commission Proposes Black Sea Fishing Opportunities for 2017
The Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for the Black Sea for 2017. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish that EU fishermen may catch from the main commercial fish stocks in the Black Sea. The proposals, which affect Bulgaria and Romania, are based on the EU's reformed Common Fisheries Policy and take into account the best available scientific advice.
Read more on the EC Fisheries website.


EU Engages in Third Round of Negotiations to Prevent Unregulated Fishing in the Arctic High Seas
The third round of negotiations between the European Union and international bodies to prevent unregulated fishing in the Arctic high seas took place from 29 November to 1 December. The Arctic region is warming at almost twice the global average rate. Due to disappearing ice caps, an increased productivity in fish stocks and changes in spatial distributions may occur. Good progress was reported at the negotiations for a legally binding draft text as a first step for possibly moving towards one or more additional regional fisheries management organisations or arrangements for the Central Arctic Ocean.
Read more on the EC Maritime Affairs website.


Happy Salmon Swim Better
A study from Umeå University, published in the journal Nature Communications, now shows that the salmon’s inclination to migrate is partly limited by its fear of the unknown downstream. “By treating salmon with an anxiolytic drug, anxiety medication that is, we artificially changed the migration intensity of the salmon where treated salmon travelled further and faster than untreated salmon,” says Gustav Hellström, one of the researchers behind the study.
Read the full story on the Umeå University website.


Reanalysis in Climate Change
Experts at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have issued an assessment of recent weather data, which indicates global warming slowed less from 1998 to 2012 than initially thought. The research also found there has been an alarming rise in warming since then; February 2016 saw the average global temperature hit 1.5⁰C above those in the Industrial Revolution. This is a worrying figure, considering the fact limiting the global temperature to below this figure was an agreed goal set by the Paris Agreement in 2016.
Read more on the ECMWF website


Reconstructing the Red Sea’s Climate Pattern
Researchers are now better able to understand the variability of the Red Sea’s climate patterns, thanks to an advanced numerical model. The system, called the Advanced Research version of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW), was developed to reconstruct and forecast weather data based on current conditions. The model is being used to study some extreme events that recently affected Saudi Arabia, examples being the Jeddah floods of November 2009 and January 2011, and the Mecca storm of September 2015.
Read more on the KAUST website


Wet Regions Getting Wetter, Dry Regions Getting Drier
Wet regions of the world are getting wetter and dry regions drier, but not at the pace previously feared. That is the ultimate finding from research conducted in the University of Southampton, which analysed the saltiness of the world’s oceans. To measure these results accurately, the researchers used measurements of salinity throughout the global and deep oceans over the last 60 years to estimate how much global rainfall is changing. The changes in both environments were measured to be roughly 2% over the past 60 years.
Read the story on the University of Southampton website.




 PiscesTT Jobs

pisces-logo-blue Sept 2007If you are interested in viewing or posting a job vacancy in the marine sector and related areas, please visit the PiscesTT website or contact Click HERE to subscribe to live RSS updates of new job postings.



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DISCLAIMER: AquaTT provides this newsletter as a free service to interested parties. Most of the information is provided by AquaTT. Where it is not, the source of the news is provided in the text of the news brief or else AquaTT attributes the news to the coordinating body as the "Data Source Provider". In no way does this newsletter, by promoting events not coordinated by AquaTT, intend to wrongly or inappropriately claim projects, news, etc. as its own nor is it responsible for incorrect information provided from other sources. "Training News" is a promotional tool and forum for both AquaTT and other organisations.
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