Marine Biodiversity Networking Fridays

Ocean Observation: strengthening collaboration among the marine biodiversity Ocean Decade Actions

On March 11th, 2022, 1-2 PM UTC we will have presentations on Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) within the context of a Global Ocean Observation System. The objectives of this session are to provide a better understanding of marine life to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and to facilitate connections and strengthen collaboration among existing marine biodiversity-related Un Decade of the Ocean activities.

Programme (UTC):

  • 1:00 PM – Welcome remarks by Claudia C. Baron-Aguilar (University of South Florida)
  • 1:05 PM – The Global Ocean Observing System for Marine Life (GOOS Bio-Eco), Gabrielle Canonico (NOAA IOOS) and Karen Evans (CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere)
  • 1:25 PM – Ocean Decade Actions showcase
    • OceanPractices: Ocean Practices for the Decade, Cristian Muñoz Mas (Institute of Marine Research)
    • OBON: Ocean Biomolecular Observing Network, Margaret Leinen (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)
    • ABC WoRMS Above and beyond – completing the World Register of Marine Species, Leen Vandepitte (Flanders Marine Institute – VLIZ)
    • Challenger 150 – A decade to study deep-sea life, Ana Hilário (University of Aveiro)
  • 1:45 Open Discussion moderated by Claudia C. Baron-Aguilar


Gabrielle Canonico

Gabrielle Canonico

The Global Ocean Observing System for Marine Life

Gabrielle is a member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS) Program Office, housed in NOAA. Her professional interests include integration of biological observing data and capability into U.S. IOOS and the Global Ocean Observing System, development of information products to ensure wide use of biodiversity observations by resource managers and the public and advancing efforts to ensure sustained monitoring of ocean life and biodiversity. She led the development of the U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) – an interagency partnership established in 2013 – and is an active participant in the development of global MBON and other biological observing efforts. Gabrielle serves as co-lead of the Marine Life 2030 UN Decade Programme, co-chair of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Biology and Ecosystem Panel, and co-chair of the US Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology Interagency Working Group on Biodiversity.

Karen Evans

Karen Evans

The Global Ocean Observing System for Marine Life

Dr Evans is a principal research scientist and team leader with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere based in Hobart, Tasmania. She leads and contributes to research focused on progressing scientific understanding and developing options to improve marine resource management, particularly in relation to national and international fisheries and threatened, endangered and protected species. Her projects deliver strategic research to national agencies, regional programmes in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and international agencies, including the United Nations. She co-chairs a panel of experts developing a global set of measurable indicators of ocean biology and ecology for the Global Ocean Observing System and is a member of the group of experts guiding the United Nations regular World Ocean Assessment process.


Cristian Munõz Mas

OceanPractices: Ocean Practices for the Decade

Cristian Munoz is a senior engineer in the Institute of Marine Research, Norway. He is an Observational Oceanographer with 12 years of working experience with Ocean Observing Systems, Long Term Marine Monitoring Programmes, Marine Research Projects, and Marine Consultancy Services, in countries such as Spain, Australia, UK, and Norway, and with a special focus on (1) maximizing data quality through the entire Data Lifecycle and (2) enhancing the links across the Ocean Observing Value Chain. In the European and international framework, Cristian has been involved in different projects and programs such as IMOS, EAF-Nansen Programme, AtlantOS, JERICO-NEXT and ODIP-2. Last but not least, he is currently involved in the UNESCO-IOC Ocean Best Practices System Steering Group and collaborates as a consultant at the UNESCO-IOC International Oceanographic Data & Information Exchange (IODE) Project Office.


Margaret Leinen

OBON: Ocean Biomolecular Observing Networks

Prof. Margaret Leinen is the Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Vice Chancellor for Marine Science of the University of California at San Diego. She is an ocean biogeochemist and paleoceanographer whose research includes the study of ocean carbon cycling and the role of the oceans in climate. She has served as the President of the American Geophysical Union and The Oceanography Society. She served as Chair of the US Global Change Research Program and was a US Dept of State Science Envoy for the Ocean. She currently serves as a member Co-chair of the Decade Advisory Board for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.


Leen Vandepitte

ABC WoRMS Above and beyond – completing the World Register of Marine Species

Leen is trained as a marine biologist (MSc in Biology & MSc in Marine and Lacustrine Sciences) at the University of Ghent (Belgium). She is a project manager at the Data Centre division of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) (Belgium), where she is running the MarineLife+ programme. MarineLife+ groups all activities on taxonomic, biogeographic and traits databases that are developed, hosted and maintained by VLIZ. She coordinates the Aphia database infrastructure (which includes the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)), the European Ocean Biodiversity Information System (EurOBIS), the Interim Register of Marine and Non-Marine Genera (IRMNG) and the LifeWatch Species Information Backbone. She is also involved in the EMODnet Biology project, as the lead of the work package on data management and is the current chair of the Global Team of Catalogue of Life (CoL). The MarineLife+ programme focuses on the interactions between these databases, on quality control and quality assurance, on how scientists can help in making them more complete and on how scientists and the public at large can make use of these systems. In addition, there is a focus on data exchanges and active collaborations with external databases, to widen the scope of and awareness for these initiatives.


Ana Hilário

Challenger 150 – A decade to study deep-sea life

Ana Hilário is a deep-sea biologist at the Centre for Environment and Marine Studies of the University of Aveiro. Her research focuses on reproductive ecology and population connectivity, and its implications for biogeography and conservation. Currently, she co-leads “Challenger 150”, a 10-year programme of deep-sea biological science endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.


Claudia C. Baron-Aguilar

Claudia C. Baron-Aguilar

Claudia is a PhD student at the University of South Florida (USF), where she is focusing her research on indigenous communities’ networks and knowledge. She has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Colombia and a master’s degree in Marine Science from USF. She belongs to the Wayuu indigenous community located in the northernmost part of Colombia. She is the president and co-founder of the non-profit Capi Baron, established in 2015 to provide direct support to some of the most basic needs of her community. She is the Early Career Ocean Professional (ECOP) representative for the Marine life 2030 Decade program. She has always been interested in connecting the needs of her community with her knowledge in science.

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Please do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel.  Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting mornings, afternoons or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.

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