Preview of Scientific Theme and Program

Coral reefs are at a critical junction with regards to the unprecedented anthropogenic pressures facing them in the 21st century. It is becoming increasingly clear that by the end of the century, the structure and function of most coral reefs will have changed significantly from what they were in the 20th century. An increasing amount of research over the past few decades has been dedicated to developing predictive models of reefs and their environments, and to study the responses of coral reefs, from the microbial to the ecosystem level and even including societal systems, to projected changes. We believe it is time to systematically take stock of the accumulated knowledge for an outlook on coral reef composition and functioning at the end of the 21st century, and the socio‐economic and governance implications these have.

Thus, the title and thematic umbrella of the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium will be:

“Tackling the challenging future of coral reefs”

Key questions to be addressed under this thematic umbrella include:

  • How will future reefs look like and function?
  • What can we learn from the past in order to understand future reefs?
  • Which are the underlying processes driving present changes in reefs?
  • What kind of adaptive management, conservation, and restoration measures need to be developed for future reefs?

The ICRS 2020 scientific program will cover a wide range of subject areas and disciplines concerned with work on coral reefs of the past, the present and the future. ICRS 2020 will showcase contributions extending from geological, paleontological, and geobiological subjects to contemporary descriptions of reef status, processes and changes, as well as contributions concerned with the understanding of future reef functions, predictive models, conservation, restoration, and management of novel reef communities.

The first opportunity to contribute to ICRS 2020 will be to respond to the official call for session and workshop proposals opening on 1 November 2018 (closes on 31 January 2019). All submitted proposals will be assessed and discussed by the ICRS 2020 organising committee. Besides ensuring scientific quality, selection of session proposals will assure that the width of coral reef science is well represented.

Besides its general scientific program, ICRS 2020 will feature a range of popular scientific admission-free events in its accompanying program. These will provide numerous opportunities to involve public audiences in the dissemination of the latest scientific findings by local outreach and education activities.

Stay in the loop for any updates on the scientific program and ICRS 2020 outreach activities!