Posted on May 04, 2022

Structures in the Marine Environment Conference 2022 - 7th June

In response to our societal need to generate energy, artificial structures have been placed into our coastal and marine environments. The structures range from oil and gas installations, associated pipelines and seabed infrastructure, and now with the Government’s new Energy Strategy 2022 we also look towards a massive increase in renewable energy 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.

In addition to deliberately placed structures, shipwrecks can also serve a similar function. In turn, the biodiversity that develops on these structures can affect biological, hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes from the water column to the seafloor, either directly (e.g. scouring) or indirectly (e.g. displacement of fisheries) and, hence, ecosystem functioning is also affected at various spatial and temporal scales. ​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 artificial structures 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, posters, networking and discussion about artificial structures already within the marine ecosystem, and new infrastructures that will 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 decisions for the benefit of the environment and society.

Within an international context, the “Structures in the Marine Environment” (SIME2022) conference will focus on the impact that the presence or removal of these structures may have on biological marine ecosystems.

You are invited to submit abstracts for 15 minute presentation slots or a paper 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.

Please submit your abstract on the abstract template and submit to before 1200 on Friday 6th May 2022.