On 16-17 November 2020, a EuroSea public consultation event titled “European Regional Genomic Observatories: operationalizing omics & eDNA in regional ocean observation” will take place virtually, organized by Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn Napoli (SZN), Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), and European Marine Biological Resource Centre European Research Infrastructure Consortium (EMBRC).

Ocean health is inextricably linked to the integrity of its constituent ecosystems, and their potential to provide trillions of Euros in services to humankind. Recent advances in molecular methods such as genomic, transcriptomic, and related “omic” approaches show great promise in reporting on the state of, and change in, the omnipresent microbial foundations of marine ecosystems, which are intimately tied to ocean biogeochemistry.

Marine omic observation has already detected responses to both anthropogenic and natural stressors and emerging networks of long-term, omically enabled observatories are beginning to realize the full potential of omic observation by global coordination of best practices, FAIR data products, and calibration actions with existing ocean observing infrastructures.

The aim of this consultation event is to solicit international feedback on marine omics observatories, their networks and to shape international standards to the needs of marine omics observatories. The objectives of the event are to:

  1. Co-create a joint briefing on the key activities related to networks of omically augmented observatories and initiatives at the European level;
  2. Develop pathway to align activities through a Programme Action under the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UNDOS);
  3. Plan future collaboration towards a sustained network of observatories and developing the UNDOS proposal.

Each session will provide an opportunity to have an open discussion and develop content based on the feedback of participants to be included in a report on the state of the art of Biodiversity Observation Networks around the world, with a focus on propositions for future European initiatives. The contributions to this report can be made live or asynchronously – participants will have access to the draft briefing sections in advance and one week after the event.

Registration is open – register here. Programme and further information are available in this document: