2022 UN Ocean Conference in-person Side Event

Marine life observations

Integrating biology and ecology observations to enable indicators for conservation

  • Date and time
    28th June 2022 | 15:05 – 15:50
    Lisbon time | WEST | UTC+1

  • Venue
    Portugal Pavillion – secondary Stage
    Lisbon – Portugal

A sustainable blue economy is based on information and knowledge. Knowledge about marine biodiversity is fundamental to managing and conserving ecosystem services. Historically, decisions about living resources and ocean uses have often been based on physical data such as temperature, bathymetry, and perhaps chemical observations.

Emerging technologies now make it possible to incorporate biology and ecology routinely into ocean surveys and monitoring programs at local and regional scales. Advances in standardization of data formatting and storage, in open databases, will allow critical regional to global assessments about how biodiversity is changing and why. Best practices allow for measurements and other information to be interoperable, incomparable, scalable, and implementable by local groups and nations.

This session promotes the integration of biological and ecological observations into coastal and ocean observing systems and monitoring programs. An increase in coordination, capacity development, and implementation efforts is required in the standardization or at least interoperability in the collection, analysis, and delivery of biodiversity observations.

In this session, experts and stakeholders will review co-design strategies conducted under the Marine Life 2030 Programme of the Ocean Decade, including the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) and regional elements of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). It will also consider monitoring and management projects and programs in order to develop indicators and support decision-making about marine ecosystem services and nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation. The goal is to better manage ocean uses and satisfy national reporting requirements for targets of Sustainable Development Goals, the post-2020 Convention on Biological Diversity, and other national and international frameworks.

We provide a space for meaningful dialogue between stakeholders, seeking collaborations to conserve and conduct responsible use of the oceans for sustainable development (SDG14).

Registration for entry to the venue

To enter the One Sustainable Ocean it is mandatory to be registered to receive a badge with a valid QR code that allows entry for the 5 days of the event.


  • Introductions and goals
    Isabel Sousa Pinto | , CIIMAR, University of Porto
  • Marine Life in the Ocean Decade
    Talk 1

    Nicole LeBoeuf | Assistant Administrator NOAA’s National Ocean Service

    Talk 2

    Tiara Moore | Black in Marine Science/BIMS

    Talk 3

    Anya Waite | Ocean Frontier Institute, Dalhousie University

  • Open Dialogue
    moderated by

    Frank Muller-Karger | University of South Florida

  • Next Steps and Conclusions


Professor at the University of Porto and Head of the Aquatic Biodiversity and Conservation group at Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CIMAR). Her main research has been on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and services, how they are changing and why, and solutions for the biodiversity and climate crisis. She is promoting integrated Ocean Observations, being the co-chair of MBON (Marine Biodiversity Observation Network) and on the Steering committee of AtlantOS and EOOS. She is actively working on the science-policy-society interfaces, e.g., working with IPBES – the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, as the Portuguese Representative on this platform until 2018, then at the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, a panel that supervises the scientific work of the Platform, and co-chair of its Knowledge and Data task force.

Nicole R. LeBoeuf is the Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service, an organization of 1,800 staff in more than 50 locations around the country. Ms. LeBoeuf oversees all strategic and operational aspects of America’s premiere coastal and ocean agency. NOAA’s National Ocean Service provides science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our ocean, coasts, and coastal communities. Nicole brings her passion for the coasts and ocean health to her role by encouraging meaningful engagement with multiple sectors and coastal communities to serve their needs as climate change impacts are already threatening lives and livelihoods. Prior to assuming this role, Nicole worked on a wide range of issues from protected species conservation and oil spill response to international treaty negotiation. Ms. LeBoeuf served as Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Protected Resources in NOAA Fisheries, where she maintained oversight of a diverse protected species conservation and management portfolio. Before that, she spent four years as the Chief of the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Conservation Division in the Office of Protected Resources. Her work included, among numerous duties, the application of scientific information to implement the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act and is a subject matter expert in the implementation of both statutes. Ms. LeBoeuf served in the NOAA Budget Office as NOAA’s finance lead during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Her international expertise includes overseeing NOAA’s Antarctic Treaty System responsibilities, coordinating protected species bycatch reduction efforts in multiple tuna treaties, and representing NOAA at the U.N. General Assembly regarding the protection of deep sea corals. Ms. LeBoeuf holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland.

Originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, Dr. Tiara Moore completed her B.S. in Biology in 2011 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where she developed an interest in marine science during a research trip in Costa Rica. She received her M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science in 2013 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she conducted research on the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay linking sediment oxygen demand and nutrient cycling to the eutrophication of the Bay. 

After completing her M.S., she spent 2 months in Bali, Indonesia identifying the diversity and abundance of meiofauna in marine sediments across the coral triangle. Dr. Moore earned her PhD in Biology from UCLA, where she conducted research in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, Carpinteria Salt Marsh, and Upper Newport Bay. In Mo’orea, she observed the effects sedimentation and nutrient pollution have on the proliferation of coral reef macroalgae. In Carpinteria and Newport, she explored the effects of macroalgal decomposition on sediment biogeochemistry and the microbial community using environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess the biodiversity of entire ecosystems with only a soil sample. Dr. Moore completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy where she used soil eDNA to develop a biodiversity census of Ellsworth Forest comparing species diversity across management treatments over the past 10 years.

Dr. Moore earned her PhD in Biology from UCLA, where she conducted research in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, Carpinteria Salt Marsh, and Upper Newport Bay. In Mo’orea, she observed the effects sedimentation and nutrient pollution have on the proliferation of coral reef macroalgae. In Carpinteria and Newport, she explored the effects of macroalgal decomposition on sediment biogeochemistry and the microbial community using environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess the biodiversity of entire ecosystems with only a soil sample.

Currently, Dr. Moore is the Black In Marine Science Program Lead at The Nature Conservancy. Inside and outside of the lab, Dr. Moore hopes her research in biodiversity will translate to increasing the overall diversity in science. She dedicates her time to mentoring minority women in the lab and in after-school programs. Founder of A WOC SPACE, Dr. Moore aspires to make a safe and inclusive workplace for women of color (WOC) through WOCShops, individual personal training, and community outreach. To round things off Dr. Moore combines her experiences as a WOC Scientist with her upbeat personality in her Academic Standup Shows, both communicating science and the struggles of being a minority in STEM.​

Anya M. Waite is CEO and Scientific Director of the Ocean Frontier Institute, and Associate Vice-President of Research (Ocean), Dalhousie University. Prior to this she was Section Head of Polar Biological Oceanography at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, and Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Biology at the University of Bremen.

She chaired AWI´s Scientific Council, championing interdisciplinary scientific discussions, and gender equity. Prof. Waite’s research career spans thirty-five years of education, service and international scholarship, with scientific research publications in areas as diverse as aquaculture, rock lobster fisheries, conservation genetics, physical oceanography, and the impacts of climate change. Her most recent work includes innovations in oceanographic technologies and sensors.

After completing a BSc Hons. in 1985 at Dalhousie University, she obtained her PhD in 1992 in oceanography at the University of British Columbia. She was appointed Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) in 1992. In 1997 she took a professorship at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth and was there for 17 years as an oceanography research group leader while teaching in the undergraduate and graduate Environmental Engineering programs at UWA. She won teaching excellence awards both in Australia and Germany.

Prof. Waite’s international service includes membership on numerous Boards and committees including co-chair of the prestigious Global Ocean Observation System steering committee – the first woman at the head of this body since its creation in 2011. She also serves on a wide range of technical, scientific and policy advisory panels, in the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Canada.

Frank Muller-Karger is a biological oceanographer who researches the diversity of life in the sea, factors that drive diversity and production, and its relevance to people. He combines traditional oceanographic methods and satellite remote sensing to study patterns of variation of phytoplankton and coastal wetlands. He is involved in several international working groups including the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON, as co-chair) of GEO BON, the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission’s (IOC) Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Bio-Eco panel, the UNESCO IOC’s Ocean Best Practices Steering Committee, and leads the OceanObs Research Coordination Network (RCN).

Organizing partners



Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research

Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões
Av. General Norton de Matos s/n
4450-208 Matosinhos
(+351) 22 340 18 27

Isabel Sousa Pinto ispinto@ciimar.up.pt
Susana Moreira smmoreira@ciimar.up.pt

AIR Centre

Atlantic International Research Centre

Palácio das Laranjeiras, Estrada das Laranjeiras 205
1649-018 Lisboa, Portugal
(+351) 911 985 924

José Luiz Moutinho jose.moutinho@aircentre.org
Joana Soares joana.soares@aircentre.org


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration US Integrated Ocean Observation System
United States

1315 East-West Highway 2nd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(240) 533-9452

Gabrielle Canonico gabrielle.canonico@noaa.gov

Ocean KAN

Ocean Knowledge-Action Network


University of South Florida
United States

College of Marine Science
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA

Frank Muller-Karger carib@usf.edu