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

Task 3.2

Task 3.1 Standardization and harmonization of Mesocosm RIs
Task 3.2 Training new generation of scientists to strengthen the Mesocosm RI community
Task 3.3 Strengthening the mesocosm based experimental research community beyond AQUACOSM- plus

Training new generation of scientists to strengthen the Mesocosm RI community 

Partners: Lead METU, co-lead IGB & HCMR, contributors all TA providers

Duration: Month 1-48

The primary mission of this task is to prepare a new global generation of scientists to effectively conceptualize, build up, conduct and publish results and data from large scale coordinated ecosystem scale experiments, using state-of-the-art approaches and a wide international network. This task will also help foster a culture of cooperation to convert persisting scientific, technical and cultural barriers into cross-disciplinary fertilization. This networking task provides a platform for generation of ideas and provision of training in mesocosm-based research activities including improved internal communication and co-ordination, support of researchers, students, and facility users (Transnational Access) by creating space for dialog, discussion, and experience exchange. In order to educate and train the new generation of researchers with all essential knowledge and tools ranging from ecological principles to theoretical backgrounds relating to GCs problems and provide hands on experiences on experimenting, data analyses for aquatic environments as well as science communication will be picked up by two summer schools (M1 & 19) and ad hoc workshops at AQUACOSM-plus meetings will be organised in combination with each TA activity (the latter in cooperation with WP8.5). Both summer schools will train attendees on use of mesocosm experiments together with modelling/theoretical exercises for understanding aquatic food web as well as general ecological principles together with methods and approaches in contemporary mesocosm research. Participants will learn how to design and maintain experiments, collect and analyse material, and evaluate and explain results. Furthermore, both summer schools will also train the participants on how to communicate science effectively through expert lectures on the topic as well as having a hands-on training on “Video filming as an effective and fun way for science communication”. Thus, training of young scientist and TA users is a priority for ensuring effective knowledge transfer enabling high quality scientific results through standardization and harmonization procedures. To achieve an on-going active communication within the AQUACOSM-plus community: (1) discussion groups will be created on various social media platforms, most prominent a Project Tracker (WP5) will be used to foster focused discussion on mesocosm science, activities, TA progress, mentoring and partner search. The aim is to make it an international social media hub for mesocosm research; (2) webinars including lightening talks as well as journal clubs on important and relevant topics to be identified in WP6.1 (Symposium on GCs) will be organized quarterly by inclusion of facility providers, students/post- docs, TA-users, the associated community (mesocosm.eu) and the outside community (in cooperation with WP5, WP6 and WP9). To enhance success in these goals, young scientists and students will be encouraged to take the lead in each of the facilities as a bottom-up initiative for enabling long-lasting sustainable knowledge transfer. This task will result in an AQUACOSM-plus community that is well-informed, well- trained, well-connected, and feels strongly linked with the mission, research activities and infrastructures of AQUACOSM-plus and for the future.