Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - METAOCEANS (Elucidating the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems through synthesis and comparative analysis)

As stated in the Technical Annex, 12 PhD projects were carried out covering a wide range of subjects concerning the functioning of the marine ecosystem, such as microbial food-webs, ecosystem metabolism, planktonic processes, trophic links and human Impacts. Seven of the early stage researchers (ESRs) had already defended their thesis successfully by the time of the project completion and five were anticipated to present before the end of 2010.

In these PhDs, existing databases were explored in order to find general patterns that ruled processes in the ocean ecosystem by means of meta-analysis techniques. Given that the ESRs lacked the necessary training in these statistical and modelling tools, METAOCEANS activities focussed on providing an array of specialised training actions, including workshops, courses, seminars, short stays in hosting institutions, etc.

Seven ESRs spent some time outside their hosting institution. These short stays were done whenever appropriate or feasible. Not all ESRs were able to take up short stays because the three years' time frame for the completion of the PhD programme, including the training, data analysis, writing manuscripts, attending network activities, etc. was quite tight.

METAOCEANS organised:

1. seven training courses covering both statistical aspects, e.g. advanced meta-analysis techniques, R language, modelling, etc., and topics about the marine ecosystem, including the carbon cycle, fisheries dynamics and ecology, physical and biological interaction of plankton, phytoplankton blooms, pelagic community metabolism, environmental forcing, species interactions, etc.
2. four annual project workshops, in which ESRs gave presentations on the progress of their work and supervisors gave talks on topics relevant to METAOCEANS, and
3. one special session at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) international conference.

The ESRs published their work in peer reviewed journals or books. By the end of the reporting period 26 papers were published while 14 were submitted and 13 were in preparation. ESRs also presented their work in 20 international conferences, five workshops and two working groups of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Finally, a wiki page was created, accessible via, at the beginning of the project so that ESRs could interact remotely and share documents and ideas. The wiki remained active for six months after the project completion.

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