The Ocean's Seafloor: One Bio-Geo System

The Meeting

Schloss Herrenhausen Image credit: Hannover Marketing und Tourismus GmbH

Welcome to the webpage for this important science meeting on the physical and organic behaviour of the seafloor.


The meeting brings together an interdisciplinary team of biologists, geologists, oceanographers, acousticians, and computer technologists to address questions about the interactions driving processes on the sea floor.

  • How to improve scientific understanding of the effects of biology on our sensing, use and protection of the seafloor ?
  • For this, what information and insights do the bio-scientists need from the geo-scientists, and vice versa: geo-scientists need from the bio-scientists ?
  • What are the most productive and exciting ways to improve our main scientific tools - observations, models, databases ?
  • What use cases and human benefits come out from the discussions ?

Dates: Arrival 11th Oct, Meeting 12-14th Oct, Post-meet 15th Oct 2016.

Prior deadlines: Book travel with MARUM by 28th Aug, Abstracts in by 28th Aug 2016.

The Conveners

4 Convening and 46 Participating Scientists

  • Prof. Dr. Achim KOPF, Head of Marine Geotechnics; MARUM, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Dr Kelly DORGAN, Senior Marine Scientist; Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Alabama, & University of South Alabama, USA
  • Dr Chris JENKINS, Research Scientist (Computing & Oceanography); CSDMS, University of Colorado Boulder, USA & University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Dr Thomas WEVER, Research Scientist, Seafloor Research Group, WTD 71 (Wehrtechnische Dienststelle für Schiffe und Marinewaffen, Maritime Technologie und Forschung), Kiel, Germany


(see Draft Agenda - New Content 10Sep2016)


  • Benthic Ecology - Essential Concepts
  • Seabed geomechanics, probing and load bearing
  • Seabed acoustics, geoacoustics and backscatter
  • Bioinformatics, taxonomic encyclopedias
  • Ecosystem trait-based modelling

Methods planning

  • Bio-Geo Models, different approaches and mathematics
  • Databases, site datasets, environmental grids
  • Observational procedures, parameters
  • Vocabularies, semantic web
  • Diversity, functional groups, 'model species'
  • The main challenging questions for a 'One Bio-Geo System'

Real Scenarios

  • Bioturbation and its effects
  • Seagrasses, canopies and frameworks
  • AUV access, underwater vision, biofouling
  • Voids, bladders, bubbles
  • Seabed erosion, transport and drag
  • Populations, taphonomy

Invited Speakers

  • Dr Kyle BECKER, Seafloor Acoustics Program, Office of Naval Research, Arlington VA, USA
  • Prof Bernard BOUDREAU, Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • Dr Nicholas CHOTIROS, Research Scientist (Underwater Acoustics), Applied Research Laboratories, University of Texas, Austin, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Steven DEGRAER, Ghent University and Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, Brussels, Belgium
  • Dr Michael DIEPENBROEK, Head of the PANGAEA group and Managing Director of WDS-PANGAEA, MARUM, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Ms Sonia PAPILI, Researcher, Ministery of Defence, Belgium
  • Dr Nina STARK, Assistant Professor, Geotechnical Engineering; Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA
  • Dr Anne THESSEN, Research Scholar (data discovery, access and integration), Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, USA
  • Dr Vera VAN LANCKER,  Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Science, Brussels and University of Ghent, Belgium
  • and the conveners

Meeting format

The meeting primarily is a place and time for intensive discussions, creation of new collaborations, seeing new research paths, sparking innovations, and reviewing present methods. Over half the time is devoted to directed discussions that will be recorded into a set of proceedings. A citeable proceedings volume and a summary publication are planned.

The meeting will be initiated with a set of very short motivational talks, and introductions. The physical layout is for efficiency and interaction in all contributions - discussions and set-piece. Participants may lodge ePosters and White Papers for discussion and incorporation into the Proceedings.

In keeping with VWS guidance, but also for a healthy scientific setting, the meeting demographics are well-balanced by people's gender and age.


At this stage new enrolment is possible only via a waiting list. If interested, please write to the contact email. Travel costs will be met only for the invitees and early enrolments. For details, please email the contact address.

Meeting sponsor

We gratefully acknowledge the VolkswagenStiftung for their generous sponsorship of this symposium.

Contact Us

Please direct application materials to @,
and all questions to either @ (EN) or @ (DE).

Project managed at MARUM, Bremen
Page created by Stephanie Higgins, Univ. Colorado Boulder, July 2016