Tidal seas – how do the rising tides influence life in the tropics?

6th Fortaleza Austral Spring School

Living under the influence of tides is not an easy task. Even so, different ecosystems have found a way of thriving and play vital roles in maintaining biodiversity and providing essential services. Mangroves, sandy beaches, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes, and reefs are some of those ecosystems, each one with unique features as well as a plethora of goods and services worth giving a closer look at, such as being highly productive and blue carbon sinks. Nowadays, they are all threatened by different stressors related to global climate change and human impacts, factors that sum up to the ecological drivers that have sharpened them for centuries. In this strict balance between life and death, enduring and vanishing, they can provide nature-based solutions to help us deal with the socioecological crisis we are facing nowadays.

This year, the 6th Fortaleza Austral Spring School will be held on November 13-17th, 2023, with the theme “Tidal seas – how do the rising tides influence life in the tropics?”. The theme will be approached in lectures, debates, and practical courses with some of the best specialists in those ecosystems.

The School will start with two days dedicated to lecture sessions and panel discussions, both held online with the support of the AIR Centre. Then, students will have three days dedicated to field courses. This year, four field courses will be run in parallel, each focusing on different methodologies for studying mangroves, sandy beaches, reefs, and seagrass meadows. In this edition, we will also repeat the flash presentations side event, which was a great success in the last edition, giving students of different backgrounds in the area the opportunity to present their studies as a plus to all the knowledge they will be learning during those five days.

Commitment of the event to the social rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The 6th Fortaleza Austral Spring School supports the commitment to the 2021-2030 United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Goals (IOC, 2020), which proposes disseminating information on ocean-related issues to guarantee a clean, transparent, and accessible ocean for future generations. Also, the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean (ONU, 2019). Therefore, this training will provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by tidal ecosystems in the tropics, which are vital and provide a wide range of goods and services despite being constantly threatened by different stressors related to global climate change and anthropogenic impacts.
The Spring School is a free online event that aspires to provide broad access to education worldwide, to geographically dispersed and marginalized individuals, and to gender-biased communities. Thus, the event will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., 4 – Quality Education 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, and 14 – Life below Water) based on solid scientific knowledge to face Anthropocene challenges and contribute to new generations of ocean scientists.

Organizing Committee

  • Luiz Drude de Lacerda
  • Alexander Ferreira Román
  • Emerson Alves Arruda
  • Tommaso Giarrizzo
  • Tallita C L Tavares


8:40-9:00 (BRT / UTC-3) – Opening Ceremony

  • Dr. Tallita Tavares, Chair of the 6th Fortaleza Austral Spring School
  • Prof. Lidriana Pinheiro, Director of LABOMAR
  • Prof. Regina Célia, DQOI, UFC
  • Prof. Caroline Feitosa, Coordinator of the Post-Graduation Program in Tropical Marine Science

9:00-10:00 – Opening Lecture

  • Session Chair: Prof. Luiz Drude de Lacerda
  • Conservation of Wetland Areas in Brazil: challenges and needs, Prof. Yara Schaeffer-Novelli

10:30 -12:00 – Session 1 – Ecosystem goods and services

  • Session Chair: Prof. Alexander Ferreira Román
  • Lecture 1 – Mangroves and saltmarshes, Prof. Raymond Ward
  • Lecture 2 – Ocean Citizen Project, Prof. Sergio Rossi
  • Questions and discussions

14:00-16:00 – Round Table – Urban development associated risks for coastal ecosystems

  • Chair: Prof. Marcelo Soares
  • Guests: Prof. Sergio Rossi, Prof. Samuel Façanha, and Prof. Raymond Ward

Organizing Institutions