December 2023 – We organize a modelling course to study the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems

Modelling courses to study the effects of human activities on marine ecosystems are back at the ICM!

During the week of the 11th to the 15th of December 2023, the ICM hosted, once again, an ecosystem modelling course to teach participants from different institutions around the world how to use modelling techniques to study the effects of human activities and climate change on marine ecosystems.

In total, 20 participants from 13 countries (Romania, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, Holland, Greece, Italy and France) got together to learn about the ecosystem modelling approach Ecopath with Ecosim  (EwE,). This course, organized under 7 European and National projects (Ges4Seas, ActNow, MarinePlan, FutureMares, EcoScope, Oceans+, and ProOceans), aimed to help participants with their modelling-related tasks, work packages and deliverables.

Ecosystem modelling courses were frequently taught at ICM before 2019, and starting with this course, the intention is to organize them again on annual basis. These courses are a great opportunity for the scientific community to get introduced to one of the most applied ecological modelling tools in the world, while meeting participants from all over the world and learn about the recent developments of the approach.

A three-day introductory course was followed by a two-day advanced course. The introductory course discussed basic concepts and procedures modelling aquatic ecosystems using the EwE approach. Participants were provided with the principles behind EwE, and how to design, parameterize and analyze an ecological model. Introductory concepts of the temporal module Ecosim and the spatial-temporal module Ecospace were presented.

The advanced course discussed in-depth principles of Ecospace. Special focus was paid to how to use EwE to study the impacts of cumulative stressors, including the impact of climate change, and the effects of alternative management options of marine resources to move towards adaptation and mitigation of human activities under global change.

The course was taught by a team of core scientists behind EwE: Villy Christensen (University of British Columbia, Canada), Jeroen Steenbeek (Ecopath International Initiative, Spain) and Marta Coll (Institute of Marine Science, Spain). Three teaching assistants completed the team: Elena Lloret and Dorota Szalaj, from ICM, and Riikka Puntilla-Dodd, from Åbo Akademi University (Finland).



December 2023 – PhD Day

We have celebrated a PhD day in our group with lots of interesting talks about student projects and discussions. Especial connections from Australia, Norway and USA have been a treat.

April 2023 – We participate extensively in the ECCW05 Symposium

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The 5th Symposium about the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Ocean was held Bergen, Norway, from the 17th to the 21st of April 2023, organized by ICES and PICES.

We participated extensively contributing with several oral presentations and posters. It was a very inspiring week!





March 2023 – Master students day

We hold the first Master’s student day! We had great presentations by 19 master students that have finished their work during 2021-2022 or are starting their projects in 2022-2023.


9.00-9.152022Miriam GimenoFran Ramírez / Joan GiménezClimate and human impacts on global penguin hotspots: current

assessments for future conservation.

9.20-9.352022Laia RosellFran RamírezA systematic review and meta-analysis of the pollutant exposure

(POPs and trace elements) by penguin through the Southern


9.40-9.552022Marc VezJoan Navarro / Joan GiménezEffects of the COVID-19 lockdown on the foraging ecology of an

opportunistic predator inhabiting urban environments.

10.00-10.152022Ana FernándezJoan Navarro / Joan GiménezSpatial variability of Hg values in a demersal mesopredator along

the western Mediterranean Sea.

10.20-10.352022Luca FrancotteJoan Giménez / Joan NavarroLong-term changes in the feeding habits of swordfish in the

western Mediterranean Sea.

10.40-10.552022Martín BarreirosValerio SbragagliaAnalysis of fishing in the MPAs of the Spanish Mediterranean

(comparison between recreational and professional fishing)

11.00-11.25Cofee Break
11.25-11.302023Mar PardoJoan Giménez / Marta CollFeeding ecology of age-0 bluefin tuna in the Gulf of Valencia
11.35-11.402023Laura SanzJoan Navarro / NixonCreels as a low-impact alternative to trawling to fish deep-sea

Norway lobster.

11.45-11.502023Ana BaezaFrancisco Ramírez /Joan NavarroUrban gulls as sentinels of Hg pollution in urban marine


11.55-12.002023Angela LoringJoan Navarro / Joan GiménezUnravelling the causes of mortality in razorbills wintering in

the Alborán Sea

12.05-12.102023Joana DomingoJoan NavarroDistribución y selección de lugares de nidificación de un depredador

oportunista presente en ecosistemas urbanos.

12.15-12.202023Sofía DiéguezMaria BasCanvis en la presència d’espècies marines en el registre

zooarqueològic de l’Hemisferi Sud com a mètode de validació de

models de distribució d’espècies marines en el passat.

12.25-12.302023Aleix FerrerFran RamírezUso de hábitat y ecología trófica de la gaviota de Audouin

en el mediterráneo occidental. Màster en Teledeccion y GIS

12.35-12.402023Núria BoschFran Ramírez / Joan GiménezFacing a warming Antarctic Ocean: Penguin population responses

to increasing water temperatures and sea ice retreat.

12.45-12.502023Estella CarbonellMarta Coll / Miquel OrtegaHistorical analysis of the socio-ecological system associated with

the Ebro Delta purse seine fishery

12.55-13.002023María Begoña CoboOdei García-Garin / Marta CollMicroplastic modelling through the food web: The Delta de

l’Ebre as a study case.

13.05-13.102023Andrés MoreiraOdei García-Garin / Diego PáezAssessing the presence of microplastics in Galapagos Sea Lions’

scats as a bioindicator of pollution in the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

13.15-13.202023Núria GonzálezOdei García-Garin / Manel GazoPresència de microplàstics en els continguts estomacals d’una

espècie de tauró bentònic en zones de canyons submarins

del Golf de Lleó: la moixina (Galeus melastomus) com a cas d’estudi.

13.25-13.302023Lara FazzariValerio SbragagliaPublic attention to invasive alien species in the Mediterranean Sea






November 2022 – Large participation at the Small Pelagic Fish ICES/PICES conference

Our group participated intensively at the Small Pelagic Fish ICES/PICES conference in Lisbon. We participating giving a keynote, an invited talk, several regular talks and presented various posters.

The conference was exciting and was great to meet in person several friends and colleagues. Looking forward to future events!


October 2022 – MarinePlan starts

The new project MarinePlan just started. Three 3 exciting years are waiting for us!

The main aim is to develop improved transdisciplinary science for effective ecosystem-based maritime spatial planning and conservation in European Seas.


September 2022 – Ges4Seas starts

The new project Ges4Seas just started. We have 4 exciting years in front of us!

Coastal and marine waters are vital for the natural balance of our planet and for Human societies.  All coastal and marine ecosystem goods and services heavily depend on the level of human and environmental pressures,​ and their cumulative effects.

GES4SEAS will bring together relevant actors and stakeholders, to develop an innovative, compliant, and flexible toolbox in the context of adaptive Ecosystem-Based Management. Stakeholders and key competent authorities will be integrated in a Practitioner Advisory Board to co-create and validate the toolbox.

11 Learning Sites will be used to test, validate, demonstrate and upscale the toolbox in four European regional seas (Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic and Black) as well as in the Caribbean Sea.

Through these tools, GES4SEAS will ensure that Good Environmental Status is achieved and support policies at national, European and global levels.

June 2022 – SEINE-ETP project starts!

We started our new research project SEINE-ETPAssessment of potential interactions between the purse SEINErs fishery of Castellón and Endangered, Threatened, Protected species” with some field work in the purse seine fleet.

June 2022 – 1st meeting of ProOceans

The first meeting of the Spanish project ProOceans was organized in San Pedro del Pinatar (in Murcia), in front of the fascinating Mar Menor.

We reviewed the first activities of the project and came up with a good plan for the second year. Many interesting studies will come up!


May 2022 – Begins the IPBES assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (the ‘Nexus Assessment’)

From the 16th to the 20th of May 2022 the first author meeting of the Nexus Assessment, the thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health (nexus assessments) of IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,, was held in Frankfurt, Germany.

More than 150 leading international experts, from every region of the world, are contributing as authors to the assessment. They met for the first time during five intense days to achieve an agreement on the content that the assessment will hold, and on the working process to achieve the final goal in 2024.

The Nexus Assessment will examine the interlinkages among the sustainable development goals related to food and water security, health for all, protecting biodiversity on land and in the oceans and combating climate change.

The researcher Marta Coll, from the Department of Marine Renewal Resources of the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC), is one of the three Spanish experts participating in the Nexus Assessment as a lead author of Chapter 4 about sustainable futures.

Dr. Coll states the importance of this assessment: “This is a challenging and very timely process, where we will analyse scientific evidence and local ecological knowledge to synthesise the essential links that are established between key ecological and socioeconomic processes to inform local, regional and international policy and management in the need to ensure a sustainable and livable planet for the future”.

The participation of Dr. Coll to this initiative is funded by the Spanish project ProOceans (RETOS-PID2020-118097RB-I00).

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