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University of Gibraltar hosts first virtual INCISE conference

3rd June 2021
University of Gibraltar hosts first virtual INCISE conference from 14th-18th June, including free public engagement event with world experts on submarine canyons.
The University of Gibraltar will be hosting INCISE 2021 virtually later this month. INCISE is a five-day conference all about submarine canyons that brings together deep-sea researchers from across the world.
Submarine canyons act as a link between shallow water environments and the deep sea. They are extremely important for biodiversity since they act as nursery habitats and hotspots for sea life.
“Canyons are biodiversity hotspots harbouring many vulnerable species such as deep-sea corals, which can be thousands of years old. These vulnerable habitats are experiencing the effects of human-induced impacts such as from destructive fishing practices, as well as climate change.”

Dr Jaime Davies, INCISE co-founder.

The event takes place online and and includes a talk by University of Gibraltar alumni, Ivan Hernandez. Mr Hernandez will be presenting on his Masters Dissertation topic, marine litter in submarine canyons, both during the main conference and during the public engagement event as well.
Dr Awantha Dissanayake, Head of the University of Gibraltar’s School of Marine Science said, “Ivan is the first Gibraltarian to go beyond 1800 m (albeit virtually). For his Master’s dissertation he evaluated the abundance of marine litter in deep water canyons off the UK continental shelf – this involved reviewing hours of footage taken by remote underwater video.”
“The University of Gibraltar is proud to host INCISE 2021 conference bringing together deep sea scientists across the world. The Bay of Gibraltar has a submarine canyon system and is as deep as the top of the Rock is as high and is yet unstudied. Through this network we will collaborate with scientists to find out more about important deep water habitats such as that found on our own doorstep.”
The public engagement event is open to everyone and takes place on Wednesday 16th June (1pm-2pm CEST). It will be an interesting virtual talk from various world-leading experts and will be of interest to both academics and non-academics. It would also be a great way to get teenagers interested in marine science.
The public engagement event will cover important topics of the sea, such as ghost nets from fishing and microplastics. This will be of interest to anyone with a passion for the environment as well as those in the marine science field. Around the world, the marine environment is exploited for many resources such as oil, gas and fisheries to name but a few and it will be possible for people to learn more about the situation and what we can do to protect the marine environment against threats such as these.
For the future, the MSc programme has been instrumental in being able to change direction back into scientific research which I had wanted to do for a long time. I have been awarded a fully funded PhD from the Univeristat Politecnica de Catalunya from the prestigious “Formación de Profesorado Universitario (FPU)” funding call, studying dispersion and distribution of marine litter on the seabed with a view to include deep-sea research in this area, and will hopefully begin in October 2021.
To find out more about INCISE 2021 and the Public Engagement Event being hosted here at the University of Gibraltar.