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Environmental Status

DEVOTES Brief News

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Dear Colleague, 

We are here to update you on the last progress of DEVOTES, and to wish you a very relaxing summer break.
Don't forget that you can get in touch with us through a variety of channels, including email at and the DEVOTES profiles  on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.


Happy Summer!

The DEVOTES Dissemination Team     


> Congratulations Angel, Doctor of Science!

The University of Hull has awarded the prestigious degree of “Honoris Causa” to Dr Angel Borja, coordinator of the DEVOTES project.

This distinction recognises his outstanding research work into the marine environment and the international impact of his work relating to the development of marine water assessment methods and developing environmental change indicators, among many other merits. The University of Hull regards this Honorary Doctorate in Sciences as 'an outstanding example of how scientists should engage in the public debate'.
Ángel Borja has been a 'pioneer in the development of techniques for the integrated assessment of marine waters and estuaries', as mentioned in the report from the University of Hull on the Basque researcher's career. The reasons for his appointment include his work on the development of indicators in Integrated Coastal Zone Management and their application to the European directives; in addition to his work on marine spatial planning and marine water pollution monitoring. Ángel is also one of the leading scholars on the relationships between phisico-chemical and biological variables, human pressures and marine ecosystem services, which are essential for the global management of the marine environment.
Read here the full text of the press release on Cordis


8-11 June 2015, San Sebastian (Spain) 

The third DEVOTES Summer school, co-funded by EUROMARINE, was organized between 8th and 11th June 2015, coinciding with the week of the Oceans’ Day on 8th June. Ninety two participants from 22 countries attended the course.
The first day of the summer school was dedicated to the introduction to the topics of the course, the second on the methods to assess the status in marine waters. The last session, entitled "Assessing the status and measuring uncertainty", closed the summer school on the third day.
A workshop on "what do we mean by marine environmental health, how do we measure that a system is healthy and how do we communicate this to a non-specialised audience?" , chaired by Mike Elliott (UK), and other participating professors was organized on the first day. This enabled discussion of the similarities in philosophy between human and environmental health and pathologies.
Then, the attendees considered the best available techniques and approaches for determining marine individual, population, community and ecosystem quality. Finally, participants were challenged to show how they can communicate these ideas to non-specialists (e.g. politicians, managers).

> DEVOTES presents its recommendations for the implementation of the MSFD

DEVOTES has published its first report providing recommendations for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. 

This report summarises the main lessons learned from DEVOTES tasks that aim to be valuable for supporting the second cycle of the implementation of the MSFD Directive and define Good Environmental Status.
The aim of the document “DEVOTES recommendations for the implementation of the Marine Framework Directive“ is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from Science to Policy, by ensuring that the DEVOTES main scientific results are available to inform the second cycle of the implementation of the Directive, as included in the general objectives of the project.
Click here to download the report

> DEVOTES @ Ocean Sampling Day

OSD and MyOSD 2015

by M. Mea

The Micro B3 Consortium initiated the idea of an orchestrated Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) with the ambitious aim to turn this into long-term time series (Genomic Observatories). The main goal of OSD is to analyse marine microbial biodiversity and function of the World’s ocean. 
The enthusiastic reactions of all parties participating in the first OSD event on June 21st 2014 motivated the Consortium to repeat OSD in 2015. 150 sites confirmed their participation for June 2015.
Updated press information, including press releases, pictures and background information on OSD, MyOSD and Micro B3 are available here.

With the MyOSD citizen initiative the Consortium wants to involve citizens in OSD. A MyOSD Sampling Kit and Smartphone APP which people can use to collect marine microbes and important environmental data were developed. Together with the scientists, citizens will help getting a better understanding of the world’s ocean. On OSD 2014, more than 600 people from all around the world took marine water samples in order to identify the microbes in it, 20% of them were citizen scientists.
This year, more than 250 MyOSD kits were distributed by the hubs and more than 350 samples were taken by citizens and will be analysed with the OSD samples.

Some pictures from OSD and MyOSD 2015 (Credits: Micro B3)
OSD2015 involved sampling sites from all continents ranging from tropical waters around Hawaii to extremely cold environments such as the Fram Strait in the Arctic Ocean, including 6 DEVOTES partners. Here are some of their impressions!

CEFAS (by S. Pitois)

Cefas has again joined forces with marine scientists across the world, to take part in the ambitious global research project Ocean Sampling Day (OSD). This initiative was coordinated by Sophie Pitois and Veronique Creach in 2014 and again this year. On Sunday 21st June, Kate Collingridge , took samples from the English Channel while on board Cefas Endeavour, while Will Le Quesne took samples from Kuwait beach, teaming up with more than 150 international research organisations, to contribute to the biggest marine research initiative that has ever taken place on a single day.

IO-BAS (by N. Dzhembekova)

On 21.06.2015 for the second year Institute of Oceanology - BAS took part in worldwide Ocean Sampling Day campaign. Sampling investigators were Nina Dzhembekova – Ph.D. student and Prof. Snejana Moncheva. The sampling event started at 10.45 on board of the research vessel “Akademik” (ID OSD13, Varna Bay; location 43.185000°N 27.936667°E). This year following the general initiative of the OSD campaign IO-BAS served as a national hub coordinating sampling of both researchers and citizen science in the framework of MyOSD project. Researchers from Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research - BAS (Sofia, Bulgaria) participated for a second year, students from the Elementary School “Kiril and Metodii” (Varna, Bulgaria) and The Black Sea NGO Network members to whom the sampling kits were distributed in advance were involved in the initiative. Samples were collected from 4 sites along the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal area. 

CoNISMa (by R. Danovaro, L. Carugati)

CONISMA, participated to Ocean Sampling Day (OSD) 2015, and collected water samples and data on the environmental conditions (temperature, salinity and pH) to be associated to the analyses of microbial diversity. Sampling site selected by CONISMA is located along the italian coasts of the Central Adriatic Sea. On the 22nd of June, at 12:30, three members of the CONISMA team, including the coordinator of the OSD site, Prof. Roberto Danovaro, collected 30 L of surface seawater in front of Portonovo (43.570 N, 13.595 E). Once in the laboratory, water samples were filtered using Sterivex filters, as detailed in the OSD sampling protocol for the analysis of prokaryotes. 
This activity either in the past and in 2015 was realised also thanks to the Master and PhD students of the Marine Biology Laboratory. Their enthusiasm and participation are the best premises for a successful completion of this large-scale project.
The samples taken by the DEVOTES teams were, along with all others from all around the world, sent to the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen, Germany) for DNA extraction and sequencing. Samples will be then sent to the Smithsonian's Institution Natural History Museum in Washington DC. The Museum will keep up to 10000 samples in a time-capsule.
For more information please visit

> DEVOTES releases a new version of the Catalogue of Monitoring Networks

DEVOTES has produced an in-depth analysis of marine monitoring networks in Europe aiming to assess the status of marine biodiversity monitoring.

The new version of the catalogue includes over 295 monitoring programmes reported by 16 EU MS and 14 countries that share European Regional Sea boundaries. Patrício et al. (2014) analysed the gaps in monitoring related to pressures and assessed the fit-for-purpose of the monitoring by Regional Sea using. A brief overview of the main results from the most recent version of the catalogue can be seen here.
The catalogue includes details on key contacts, data sources and timescales for data collection associated with each monitoring activity.
This information should enable Member States to optimise their sampling scheme by collating details on the spatial coverage, measured parameters and sampling frequency associated with other monitoring programmes, thus producing an optimal sampling design to complement (rather than duplicate) existing monitoring efforts.
This resource can help Member States, through the Regional Sea Conventions, to coordinate their monitoring in terms of timing of their sampling, the parameters/data being collected and the geographical location, resulting in large, coordinated datasets for the (sub)regions of each Regional Sea.
Click here to download the Catalogue

> DEVOTES Open Access papers

Click here and discover all the DEVOTES papers published so far!
Copyright © 2015 DEVOTES Dissemination Team - Ecoreach srl, All rights reserved.
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The sole responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the authors. The information on this newsletter does not necessarily represent the view of the European Commission (EC). This newsletter reflects the views only of the DEVOTES partnership and cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.