From 13th-16th of September 2022, SEA-UNICORN Working Group 2 held a training workshop on the Modelling of Marine Connectivity in Montpellier, France.
This initiative, organized by Audrey Darnaude (MARBEC, Montpellier - France) supported by WG2 co-leaders Lucia Lopez (IEO, CSIC, Santander - Spain) and Manuel Hidalgo (IEO, CSIC, Palma de Majorca - Spain), gathered 29 participants from 13 different countries. The aim was to train both established and early career researchers who work in marine functional connectivity (MFC) with specific taxa and/or systems, in the construction and functioning principles of theoretical meta-populations, meta-community and meta-ecosystem models, which incorporate the particularities of the marine realm. This interdisciplinary knowledge transfer intended to facilitate MFC data integration in meta-models and innovation in this field. The three trainers were Isabelle Gounand (IEES, Paris, France), Scott burgess (Florida State University, USA) and Emanuel Fronhofer (ISEM, Montpellier - France).
During the first 3 days participants learned about the historical development of meta-models and how they can be used for specific research questions, with particular attention to model assumptions and parametrisation in regards to connectivity. Participants were also taught about the particular challenges of the marine environment for applying meta-models and how 3 dimensionality and oceanographic currents can be incorporated into these forecasting models. The training also involved screening meta-models scripts on R and playing with data to tackle specific research questions.The last day of the training workshop consisted in a brainstorming session aimed at exchanging knowledge and suggesting improvements of MFC descriptors to allow including MFC knowledge into these forecasting models.
Thank you to all trainers, coordinators and participants for such a stimulating, productive and enjoyable week!