Oceans Past VIII - extended CFP and funding for ECRs

Oceans Past VIII - "Historical perspectives on marine ecosystems, fisheries, and futures"

The Next Oceans Past Conference will take place May 10th to 13th, 2020, VLIZ, Ostend, Belgium

Call for Papers

Rationale: Life in the oceans is changing more rapidly in the current century than ever before. As these changes occur it is more imperative than ever to understand what came before to better frame management of those systems. Oceans Past brings together scholars and practitioners interested in documenting and understanding changes in marine systems and human maritime interactions in past centuries and millennia. The 8th Oceans Past Conference, Historical Perspectives on Marine Ecosystems, Fisheries, and Futures, will enable continued scholarly communication and international exchange towards a fuller understanding of the past, the present status, and potential trajectories of our living marine resources.

Invitation: The conference welcomes researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students of all disciplines under the unifying view of our oceans as networks of social-ecological or coupled human-nature systems. Presentations are encouraged that explore large-scale and long-term case studies highlighting dynamic changes and interactions in past marine ecosystems, the impacts and legacy effects of human activities on them, the sustainability of iterative or co-evolutionary relationships and, where possible, likely future directions and management implications. If you have an interest in the history of human interactions with life in the ocean and implications for policy and management, sign up now to attend OP VIII in 2020!

Deadline for paper submission: 15 DECEMBER 2019

Early Bird registration deadline: 15 FEBRUARY 2019


Abstract Submission

Please provide the following information (in .doc file) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Title of presentation

Full name(s) of all author(s)

Affiliation (of all authors; institute, town and country)

Abstract (max 200 words)

Preferred presentation type (oral or poster)

Preferred session (please select one from the list below):

1. Past marine ecosystem dynamics

2. Drivers of social-ecological changes

3. The significance of marine resources for human societies over time

4. Factors that have encouraged societies to exploit or leave the oceans

5. Climate, weather and living by the sea.

6. Implications of past and present human activities for coastal and marine policy development

Call for special sessions, mini-symposia or exhibitions: The conference organisers offer you the opportunity to suggest or organise a special session, mini-symposium, or exhibition of relevant artefacts, artwork, or documentary film screenings during the conference within the broad theme of the history of human impacts with life in the ocean. Send your suggestions to the convenors below.



Conference convenors: Ben Fitzhugh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Ruth Thurstan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Chair of the local organising committee: Wim de Winter (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Chair of the conference Scientific Steering Committee: Ben Fitzhugh (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Conference website:


ICES funding for ECRs

Calling all Early Career Researchers!

Thanks to the kind support of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI), the Oceans Past Initiative is delighted to advertise up to 15 travel awards for Early Career Researchers to subsidise their attendance at the Oceans Past conference. These will be available on a competitive basis and awarded based on demonstrated need and the value to the applicant of attending the conference.

To apply for a travel award, first confirm you meet the eligibility* requirements, then provide the following information (in .doc file) together with your abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Name and title of abstract

Case for support: why you require this support, what is the value to you of attending this conference (scholarly, career or otherwise)? – max. 300 words.

Other travel support you are applying for (internal/external)

Proposed travel details (where you will be travelling from, mode of transport and length of stay)

Itemised budget estimate (anticipated travel costs, accommodation costs and any other foreseen costs)

*Eligibility requirements:

**You must apply and be accepted to present your work as an oral or poster presentation at the OP conference**

To qualify as an Early Career Researcher, you must be under 35 years old OR have completed your PhD within the last 5 years. PhD candidates and postgraduate students are also eligible for travel awards.

- You must be studying or working in an ICES Member Country (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America), or be studying or working in a low- to middle- income country (as designated by the World Bank).

- You must attend the full conference, after which you will be reimbursed to the agreed amount (for those who will struggle with paying costs upfront, please contact us and we will come to an individual arrangement).

- You must provide a rationale for the requested funds (an itemised budget with expected costs).

ICES are also supporting an ECR event, to be held during the conference.

ECR-facing events at the conference will include:

A networking event pairing ECRs with potential mentors

An award for the best oral and poster presentations by ECRs

A workshop and panel on how to successfully navigate an interdisciplinary research career


News & Events