EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration.

Newsletter 1

EU network of mesocosms facilities for research on marine and freshwater ecosystems open for global collaboration
Newsletter 01

Dear AQUACOSM friends, 

Welcome to our AQUACOSM Newsletter 01! You will be informed about our project news and latest achievements (January to August 2017). Enjoy the reading!

The AQUACOSM Coordination team
Jens Nejstgaard, Stella Berger and Carla Pinho

Introducing AQUACOSM
From Arctic to the Mediterranean:
International network connects experimental research in European waters

Lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans are closely connected. Despite this, aquatic research is still divided in marine and freshwater sciences. Scientists from 19 leading research institutes and universities and two enterprises from 12 countries across Europe aim to change this and have joined forces in the project “AQUACOSM – Network of Leading European AQUAtic MesoCOSM Facilities Connecting Mountains to Oceans from the Arctic to the Mediterranean”. The network will perform the first systematic large-scale experiments in both freshwater and marine ecosystems. The project is coordinated and lead at Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany.


First Call for Transnational Access to European Aquatic Mesocosm Facilities in 2018 is OPEN UNTIL 6 October 2017
Stella Berger

AQUACOSM Transnational Access program (WP6) offers a wide range of opportunities to participate in mesocosm experiments all over Europe in 2018. This is the first collaborative international project representing a full cross section of aquatic ecosystems ranging from freshwater to estuarine and marine systems, covering the Sub-Arctic to the Mediterranean and beyond, from mountains to lowlands, and spanning from ultra-oligotrophic to hyper-eutrophic conditions.

Proposals for Transnational Access in 2018 should be sent in before the application deadline: 
6 October 2017, 23:50 CET. – Please note the extended deadline!

Visit our AQUACOSM website for further information on the application process including guidelines, application form and CV templates. 



Integrated science strategy and governance from local to European scale
Dominique Durand

AQUACOSM within its WP2 (Integrated science strategy and governance from local to European scales) is presently reviewing the capabilities and limitations of aquatic mesocosm facilities world-wide, both in terms of ability to conduct fundamental science to test present predictions and models, as well as investigating to what extent present mesocosm science interact with potential stakeholders outside the traditional scientific world. This task is conducted in collaboration with WP3 (see next section). One important milestone will be a review workshop in University of Evora, Portugal, in December this year. The plan is to publish these outcomes in freely available best practice information materials, and a book at the end of the project.
In parallel, we are starting the mapping of industrial stakeholders, especially SMEs, which will help to identify and unleash the innovation potential of the RI.

Transnational network of best practices, harmonization and international training – Worshop “Optimising mesocosm design and operational procedures”
Tatiana Tsagaraki

WP3 (Transnational network of best practices, harmonisation and international training) has been preparing for the first workshop on best practices entitled: Optimising mesocosm design and operational procedures. In collaboration with WP2 (Integrated science strategy and governance from local to European scales), the workshop will incorporate a review meeting on the present conceptual state capabilities and limitations of mesocosm facilities.
The workshop is internal to AQUACOSM partners with invited experts from within and outside the consortium, to introduce pioneering and provocative discussion topics. This workshop will be hosted by the University of Evora in Portugal and take place between the 5th and 8th of December, 2017.



First results of the workshop “Present status data collection and processing”
Lisette Senerpont Domis

WP4 (Data collection, standardisation and sharing) organised a two-day workshop June 1 and 2, 2017 in Wageningen, the Netherlands with the aim to analyse the results of an online survey conducted on several topics (such as data availability and sharing in the mesocoms facilities of the consortium, site documentation) setting the base for the Deliverable 4.2  Data Management Plan, and preparing a first draft of Deliverable 4.1 Standartised Protocols (SOP) on data collection and processing.

D4.2 is available on our website and here


The first AQUACOSM prototype
Johan Wikner

WP7 in AQUACOSM has the task to develop standardised ice- and wave resistant Aquacosm systems. A concept for the Aquacosms has been developed in several meetings, drawings according to this produced and some procurement of material initiated. The concept and drawings are currently under review in the project. It has been decided to test two Aquacosm prototypes during the period November -17 to July -18. Picture is from a meeting at the KOSMOS and KOB facilities at GEOMAR in Kiel, June this year (from Left to right, Jens Nestgaard, Henrik Larsson and Ulf Riebesell, foto: Johan Wikner).

Read more >>  details about the prototype


Workshop “Lamp Sensor System” held
Bezhad Mostajir

In the framework of WP8 (Autonomous Measurements), a workshop (WS) entitled « Lamp Sensor System » was organized by partner CNRS-MARBEC at MEDIMEER facilities in Sète (France, 20-21 June 2017).  Twelve scientists of partners CNRS-MARBEC (France), WCL (Austria), SYKE (Finland) and RF Sense (Turkey) have participated in this workshop. During the WS, all aspects of the Lamp Sensor System were explained and discussed.



Vivi Pitta

 A generation of the potential 21st-century scientists will be reached by the development of an educational application for Android devises. The “AQUACOSM” App, which is a simulation of a mesocosm experiment, is in its pre-production phase and will be available as a final product on Google Play Store by mid-September 2017.



AQUACOSM meeting the Swedish mesocosm facility network SITES-AquaNet
Jens Nejstgaard

 At the well renown Erken Laboratory, north of Uppsala in Sweden, representatives of AQUACOSM (Jens Nejstgaard, Johan Wikner and Henrik Larsson) was well received by the SITES-AquaNet hosts Silke Langenheder, Helmut Hillebrand, Pablo Urrutia Cordero and others, for a meeting 30 Aug – 1 Sep 2017 (Picture). The group had a good exchange on mesocosm and sensor solutions, and agreed on several ways to develop scientific collaboration and exchange of know-how between the complimentary networks.

AQUACOSM-CELLDEX collaboration invitation to include your mesocosm facility in a worldwide experiment
Jay Piggott & Jens Nejstgaard

Dr Jeremy (Jay) Piggott and colleagues invites mesocosm facility providers to participate in a distributed experiment to include a cotton-strip decay assay as a standardised measure of ecosystem function in planned/future experiments.  This proposed study compliments the past efforts of the CELLDEX (CELLulose Decomposution EXperiment) project led by project partner Scott Tiegs (Oakland University, USA) that engaged >132 crowd-sourced researchers to characterise cellulose decomposition using cotton-strips in >500 streams across 40 countries. The assay is simple to use, requiring less than 5 minutes to introduce into and remove from each mesocosm.

Read more >> 


“AQUACOSM” website and outreach

AQUACOSM main communication portal is the website of the project ( The website navigation has been streamlined to provide easy access to project information (WPs, Deliverables), media section where you can find our leaflet and logo and news on the project as well as Aquacosm related events.



Save the date 12-16 March 2018

The 2nd AQUACOSM General Assembly (GA) will be held 12-16 March 2018, in Montpellier, France.

More information will follow here

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