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

2nd International Aquatic Mesocosm Research Symposium – From local processes to cross-domain interactions

12/04/2021 - 16/04/2021

*The platform is open and everyone can register now (for free) and watch all lectures.


The aim of this symposium is to exchange ideas and experiences in aquatic mesocosm research and to map future research directions in a broader context. We, therefore, welcome contributions ranging from local process studies to regional-international scales and cross-domain interactions. Mesocosms are a well-established technique filling in the gradient in approaches from strictly controlled laboratory experiments to observational studies of natural ecosystems. Mesocosm studies have yielded a critical understanding of local ecosystem-processes. However, increased coordination across geographical distances as well as domains (terrestrial, atmosphere, etc.) presents challenges and opportunities. This symposium, therefore, covers a range of aspects related to the technique itself, its use to understand the structure and function of various aquatic ecosystems, and to study their response to perturbations and hazards, both natural and anthropogenic. Networking with other related RIs and networks is also a scope of this symposium.

Session Themes

a.  Methodology and technology in mesocosm research

Talks are invited that address:

  • mesocosm hardware design
  • experimental design and statistics
  • measurement techniques and/or instrumentation of particular relevance to mesocosm research

b.  Understanding ecosystem functioning through mesocosm research

Talks are invited that address fundamental aspects of the ecosystem or its components, including:

  • food web dynamics, structure, and function, top-down vs bottom-up control
  • diversity, community composition, and resource partitioning
  • evolutionary and adaptation processes
  • experimental work, mathematical models, and the combination of these
  • Cross-domain studies, such as aquatic-terrestrial process studies

c.  Climate change / Hazards and nature-based solutions

Talks are invited on the use of mesocosms to study the effects of:

  • extreme events
  • organic and inorganic environmental pollutants
  • agri- and aqua-culture
  • oil drilling and transportation
  • dust, acidification, warming, and other climatic drivers
  • and the use of nature-based solutions to mitigate the negative impact

Invited speakers

Title: Studies across scales to understand impacts of environmental change.

Speaker: Shelley Arnott, Queen’s University, Canada

Title: A mesocosm experiment to question foundational concepts in marine microbiology

Speaker: Flora Vincent, Weizman Institute of Science, Israel 

Title: Mesocosm research on carbon dioxide removal approaches.

Speaker: Ulf Riebesell, GEOMAR, Germany

Title: Understanding microbial population dynamics in mesocosms.  Applying simple principles to a complex system.

Speaker: Frede Thingstad, University of Bergen, Norway

Title: Fostering the human mesocosm: lessons learned from the grassroots Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON)

Speaker: Kathleen Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, USA

Virtual Symposium Platform

  • The Symposium will be fully virtual via a dedicated Virtual Conference Platform. The Platform is online and accessible by all web browsers – no app installation is needed.
  • All presentations will be oral (3-10 min). Presenters will pre-record their presentations and send them to the organising committee by early April (in mp4 form – detailed “How-To guidelines” will be available to all presenters by mid-March).
  • Each pre-recorded presentation will be streamed followed by a live discussion.
  • All presentations will be available to watch on the platform for up to a month. A public “Discussion Forum” module for each Session will be available to allow discussions for the same period.
  • Each presentation will have its own “page” on the “Presentation Gallery” module in which attendees will be able to watch it anytime for up to a month. A public “Discussion Forum” module will be also available for each presentation.
  • A “Meeting Hub” module will allow private small group (up to 6-people) and private p2p discussions via messages or video-calls between all attendees.
  • Detailed Guidelines for the use of the Platform will be available by mid-March and all Symposium participants will have access to it some days before the live Symposium in order to familiarise themselves with it.

Important dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: 28th February 2021

Authors will be notified by 14th March about the acceptance of their abstracts 

Registration fee

Presenters: 40 euros

Presenters (students): 20 euros

Non-presenters: 10 euros.

You can claim the registration fee back via email to: with subject: “SYMPOSIUM – FINANCIAL SUPPORT in which you will explain your motivation to attend the symposium”.

*The platform is open and everyone can register now (for free) and watch all lectures.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our full Terms and Conditions and Code of Conduct prior to attending the symposium.

Further Information

For enquiries regarding abstract submission and scientific sessions, please contact the organising committee:

Scientific Committee: 

Beatrix Beisner, University of Quebec, Canada
Meryem Beklioglu, METU, Turkey
Stella Berger, IGB, Germany
Lisette de Senerpont Domis, NIOO/KNAW, The Netherlands
Behzad Mostajir, CNRS-MARBEC, France
Jens Nejstgaar, IGB, Germany
Paraskevi Pitta, HCMR, Greece
Ulf Riebesell, GEOMAR, Germany
Frede Thingstad, University of Bergen, Norway

Local Organizing Committee:

Parackevi Pitta, HCMR, Greece
Iordanis Magiopoulos, HCMR, Greece
Katerina Symiakaki, HCMR, Greece
Anastasia Tsiola, HCMR, Greece
Aristomenis Karageorgis, HCMR, Greece

Virtual Event
Map Unavailable