Posted on March 11, 2021

Structures in the Marine Environment 2021 - Registration is OPEN

We are delighted to confirm dates for the third Structures in the Marine Environment Conference (SIME2021). To be held via the online platform Hopin, the event will take place over two successive half days - with an afternoon session on Thursday the 17th of June followed by a morning session on the 18th of June 2021.

In response to our societal need to generate energy, man-made structures (MMS) have been built into our coastal and marine environments.

The structures range from oil and gas installations, associated pipelines and seabed infrastructure, and now we also look towards a replacement for carbon-fuelled electricity via offshore wind farms. Inevitably, these structures host communities by providing habitat and shelter, and potentially serve as stepping-stones for the spread of some species (some of whom will be non-indigenous).

In addition to deliberately placed structures, shipwrecks can also serve a similar function. In turn, the biodiversity that develops on MMS can affect biological, hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes from the water column to the seafloor, either directly (e.g. scouring, organic matter export from piles) or indirectly (e.g. population dynamics or closure/displacement of fisheries) and, hence, ecosystem functioning is also affected at various spatial and temporal scales.

When flow-on effects in surrounding areas are included, the footprint of these structures is much larger than just the physical area.

Science has an important role to play in both development decision-making as well as decommissioning, and we need a robust evidence base for informed environmental management decision-making. We need to be clear about what how future MMS that are put into the marine environment will affect the marine biological ecosystems, what should happen to these structures when they have been decommissioned and what the ecological best practice is in relation to decommissioning and rigs/renewables-to-reefs.

Academics, stakeholders, industry and government representatives and interested parties are invited to come together for talks, e-posters, networking and discussion about man-made structures already within the marine ecosystem, and any new infrastructures that may be put in place over the coming decades. Let’s talk about the impacts, benefits and implications of these structures, and discuss how we can accelerate our understanding to support policy and regulatory decisions.

Within an international context, and taking MMS in its widest definition, the “Structures in the Marine Environment” (SIME2021) conference will focus on the impact that the presence or removal of these structures may have on biological marine ecosystems. We would particularly welcome abstracts in the areas of Biodiversity & MMS; Restoration & MMS; Natural vs artificial substrata; Connectivity of structures; and the social and political implications of MMS.

You are invited to submit abstracts for 7 minute presentation slots or an e-poster. Presenters are encouraged to not solely focus on past and current research but reflect on gaps of knowledge and future research directions. Talks and posters should be accessible to other disciplines, by avoiding jargon and keeping technical details simple.

Presentations will be submitted as pre-recorded videos, but presenters should expect to be present for live Q&A sessions following the talks.

Please submit your abstract on the abstract template and submit to before 16.00 on 16/4/21.

Registration is also open here.

Co-hosted with MASTS

MASTS has issued a call for abstracts for presentations, these should be submitted on the template in this article to