President’s Letter, June 2019

Dear Deep-Sea Biology Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure I write to you now in the northern hemisphere summer of 2019 with an update on news from the Deep-Sea Biology Society. Our membership now stands at a record number of 491, including 141 students, following an equally record-breaking Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in 2018, where 405 delegates attended a fantastic symposium in Monterey, USA. Despite the challenges of obtaining science funding, and the ever-increasing costs of doing science, our discipline is thriving. Part of this reflects the increasing applied aspects of deep-sea science. This has come from the rapid growth in the discussion of deep-sea conservation, for example in the context of the United Nations Intergovernmental Conferences on a proposed high seas treaty to protect marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction that are meeting this year and next. It has also come from the rapidly-growing interest in seabed mining, and continuing industrial activity in hydrocarbon extraction. But there is also a strong argument that as we better organise our discipline, and find new ways of networking and communicating with each other, more deep-sea biology proposals are being submitted.

Facilitating networking and communicating as means to develop our science ideas is a core area of work for the Society. The Society was founded to ensure the long-running Deep-Sea Biology Symposia continued in a regular and fair manner.  We were all delighted with the success of the 15th Deep-Sea Biology Symposium in Monterey and look forward to the next one, to be held for the first time in Asia in 2021. But alongside our triennial meeting, we have also formalised the way the Society works in conjunction with the International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals and the International Symposium on Chemosynthesis-Based Ecosystems. These now all occur, with Society support, in consecutive years and we are thus able to host the Annual General Meeting’s (AGM) of the Society – to which all members are invited – at each of these symposia. We held our first AGM at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, USA, in 2017, and we are now planning to continue this format of a Wednesday mid-week evening AGM, with a free social and networking event for all. The next one will be held on Wednesday 31st July at 6.30pm in the InterContinental Hotel, Cartagena, Columbia during the 7th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals (ISDSC7).

The AGM is an important legal requirement for the Society in which the principal business item is the transparent reporting of our finances to all members. But it is also an opportunity to hear from the Society officers on their work, and receive input from members on what they want from the Society in the future. We have also started the excellent tradition of combining this business with a social event.

The 7th ISDSC meeting also marks a step-change in the role of the Society, as for the first time we are the official hosting institution, underwriting the meeting, contracting the venue and arranging the finances. This brings major advantages to our community in that we are able to return any surplus income from the event back to the community. In the case of ISDSC7 we have so far been able to sponsor a remarkable 20 scientists to attend who otherwise would have struggled to find the necessary finance. It is important for me to point out that none of this would have been possible without the amazing organisation and support from the local organising committee, led by Santiago Herrera, who is also our Membership Secretary. We should also thank the tireless support from our Treasurer, Chris Yesson, in arranging the contracts and financial transactions needed. All members can learn more about how this worked at the AGM, but one important point is that it opens the possibility to run future meetings in this manner.

Below you can read more from our officers on forthcoming meetings, student events, early-career support and most importantly news on Society Awards. We are currently seeking nominations for our Paper of the Year award, so please send your nominations in now! The deadline is 1st July, and details are available on the website awards section.

Adrian Glover, President

Deep-Sea Biology Society Meetings

The Society holds its Annual General Meeting at each of the three main conferences that it supports, currently the triennial Deep-Sea Biology Symposium (DSBS) (next one in 2021), the International Symposium on Chemosynthesis-Based Ecosystems (CBE, next one in 2020) and the International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals (ISDSC, next one in 2019).

Notice of the Deep-Sea Biology Society 2019 Annual General Meeting

Notification of the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Deep-Sea Biology Society. The 2019 AGM will be held at 6.30pm on 31st July 2019 during the 7thInternational Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals at the InterContinental Hotel, Carrera 1 No 5-01, Bocagrande, Cartagena, Colombia. An agenda will be circulated to all members by the Society Secretary prior to the meeting.

The AGM will include our financial report, reports from the Officers, open discussion for all members, and a free social event. All are welcome, and non-members can join at the event!

7th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals

The International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals is the premier meeting for scientists, explorers, managers, policymakers, industry specialists and students to exchange ideas and share knowledge of deep-sea and cold-water corals and their ecosystems. The 7th edition of the symposium (ISDSC7), is organized by Santiago Herrera (Lehigh University), Juan Sanchez (Universidad de los Andes) and Luisa Dueñas (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), and will take place in Cartagena, Colombia. This is the first time the symposium will take place in Latin America, and the second time in the southern hemisphere. This is the first time that the symposium is organized with support from the Society.

There are approximately 170 registered participants to the symposium, 20 of which received travel awards granted by the organizers and the Society. The Society will hold events for students and early career scientists, as well as the Annual General Meeting during the symposium. The Society will also sponsor awards for the best talks and posters. For more information visit

Deep-Sea Biology Society Students

The Deep-Sea Society have appointed a new student representative, Zoleka Filander, whose role it is to represent the student members’ interest, the processing of awards for student achievements at respective meetings or symposiums and  facilitating efficient communication of student opportunities within the field. Activities under development include the profiling of student research across various communication platforms and to ensure student needs are represented within the ongoing mentorship scheme. Ms Filander also plans to host a student mixer side-event at the upcoming Deep-Sea Coral symposium this July in Colombia. As it currently stands Zoleka will be representing the 141 student members from 27 different countries, but will have a mandate to grow the community, particularly in those areas that are currently under represented.

Zoleka welcomes your input on ideas to support students, please get in touch at the new #students channel (if not already a member, you can join with this link) or directly with Zoleka at

Deep-Sea Biology Society Early-Career Support

Dr Andrea Quattrini is the new Early Career (EC) Officer for the society. The goal of this position is to promote the professional development of early career researchers (<10 years post-PhD) to help foster their success as deep-sea scientists.

This year, Andrea has plans to host four webinars geared toward EC researchers, but these are open to everyone. The first webinar was conducted in March and it was focused on work-life balance and time management. Guest speakers included Amy Baco-Taylor (FSU) and Heather Bracken-Grissom (FIU). We had 10 people in attendance.

The next webinar will be focused on Effective Science Outreach. This webinar will be on June 12 at 10am EST. The guest speaker will be Liz Baird, Chief of the School and Lifelong Education Center for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  Liz has served as the coordinator of education and outreach for many deep-sea research expeditions over the past fifteen years. She participates in cruises, leads development of interactive classrooms, and is engaged in museum exhibit design. If you plan on joining us, please contact Andrea for additional details in a separate email (and post them on slack):

Other events that will happen this year include: 1) an EC mixer at the 7th ISDSC Meeting, 2) a webinar focused on Academic Job Prep, and 3) a webinar focused on Proposal writing. There is also an active mentoring network through the society for students and EC researchers. If you would like more information, please contact Rachel Jeffreys –

Andrea polled EC scientists earlier this year to see what interested them, and the results of that poll can be found on our #early-career slack channel.  Please note that Andrea will also be posting updates and opportunities to our public DSBS slack on a regular basis. If you haven’t joined, please consider doing so at

One outcome of the poll was that EC scientists need more at-sea opportunities. So, if any of you need to fill a cruise berth, please post that opportunity on slack. We are looking at our budget, with the hopes of helping to defray costs of travel for these unique cruise opportunities.

Andrea looks forward to seeing some of you at the 7th ISDSC meeting in Cartagena.

Deep-Sea Biology Society Awards and Prizes

Report on 2019 Calls to date

The Society is pleased to announce that in conjunction with the local organising committee we have awarded 20 travel awards (1000 USD each) to support attendance at the 7th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals, to be held in Cartagena, Colombia, July 29 – August 2, 2019.  These have been awarded to: Salome Ursula Buglass (Charles Darwin Foundation), Daniel Lauretta (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, Argentina), Nicholas Hitt (Victoria University Of Wellington, New Zealand), Giovanni Chimienti (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy), Bárbara de Moura Neves (Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada), Antonella Lavorato (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur, Mexico), Phil Alderslade (CSIRO, Australia), Janina Vanessa Büscher (GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Germany), Nissa Kreidler (NOAA & Humboldt State University, USA), Ulrike Hanz (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Netherlands), Danielle De Leo (Florida International University, USA), Candice Untiedt (CSIRO & University of Tasmania, Australia), Guillem Corbera Pascual (University of Southamtpon, UK), Krista Greeley (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada), Luke McCartin (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA), Tabitha Pearman (National Oceanography Centre Southampton, UK), David Price (University of Southampton, UK), Beatriz Mejia-Mercado (Florida State University, USA), Íris Sampaio (University of the Azores, Portugal), Leslie Wickes (Thrive Blue LLC, USA).

The Society is currently in the process of judging and awarding two Dive Deeper bursaries, and the Lounsbery workshop award. Thank you to those that applied and please keep an eye on the website and Twitter for announcements concerning the recipients!

Calls open for 2019

We currently have one award still open in 2019 for excellence in scientific publishing, the Paper of the Year award. For terms and conditions please see here.

We really value your input to these awards and they should be driven by the community so please send in your nominations for this award!

We will also be awarding prizes for best oral and poster presentation at the 7th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals, to be held in Cartagena, Colombia, July 29 – August 2, 2019.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *