Welcome Messages

Welcome to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium!

This is the first time that this prestigious scientific conference is being held in Europe, and we are all the more proud that the Hanseatic City of Bremen, a city renowned for its contributions to science and research, has been chosen to host the ICRS 2020.

Bremen is an ideal location for an international symposium on the world’s coral reefs. After all, some of the leading international academic institutions focusing on marine research are based in Bremen and the nearby seaside city of Bremerhaven. These include renowned research facilities such as the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM) and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (MPI).

As you can see, in addition to major economic clusters for the aerospace, automotive and logistics sectors, the maritime economy and marine sciences represent two further core brands of our state. Together with the award-winning university and the universities of applied sciences in Bremen and Bremerhaven, there are thousands upon thousands of people active in this cluster on a daily basis, resulting in an exceptional level of expertise.

Bremen is a cosmopolitan place to live with a high quality of life close to the water and boasts a history dating back more than 1,200 years. The modern Congress Centrum Bremen is within walking distance of the historic Old Town and the city’s largest park, the Bürgerpark, founded in 1865. You will also find a range of premium hotels close to the symposium location. Nothing is far away in Bremen, and we love to cycle. Low-price rental bicycles and electric kick scooters introduced more recently can be found throughout the city and are the perfect way to discover Bremen.

The issue of environmental protection has long been important in Bremen and it is something we truly embrace. Bremen has a wealth of green areas and is a recognised organic city. As such, it is as logical as it is remarkable that the organisers in Bremen are planning to make the ICRS 2020 climate neutral. I wish them every success in this endeavour.

During your stay in Bremen from the 5th to the 10th of July 2020, perhaps we will see each other on the historic marketplace in front of our town hall, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I would look forward to it.

Best regards,

Andreas Bovenschulte
Mayor and President of the Senate
of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

Welcome to ICRS 2020!

This year's symposium promises to be very exciting. With 97 engaging sessions, 2,600 diverse oral and poster presentations, and seven amazing plenary speakers, the meeting is sure to be full of cutting-edge information and thought provoking content. This is our first European symposium. Many thanks to Dr. Christian Wild, Chair of the ICRS 2020 Organizing Committee, and all of our German colleagues for their herculean efforts. This is also our first symposium with the aim of becoming climate neutral. The Green Strategy ensures a carbon-responsible meeting and helps protect coral reefs. The Policy Side Event is another strategy for effectively informing coral reef policies with science at all levels of government. And don’t miss out on any of the 21 workshops being held throughout the symposium. Starting with the pre-symposium workshops through to the last fieldtrip, the ICRS 2020 is sure to be epic. I look forward to seeing all of you at ICRS 2020.

Kind regards,

Andréa Grottoli, PhD
President of the International Coral Reef Society

Welcome to the 14th ICRS in Bremen!

In its 50-year history, the 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2020) is the first ICRS that takes place in Europe.This is also the largest marine science conference ever held in Germany - a unique event. We expect about 2,500 participants from over 90 countries, including world-leading and early-career scientists, policy makers, and conservationists to jointly “tackle the challenging future of coral reefs” and to build essential bridges between science, conservation, policy, and the public.

We are now at a critical crossroad regarding the future functions of coral reefs. ICRS 2020 should be the turning point of the global coral reef crisis. Its main objective is to develop science-based solutions required by decision makers to build a future for coral reefs. Our goal is also that ICRS 2020 becomes the first climate neutral ICRS in history and thereby acts as a model for future ICRS events since coral reefs are early warning systems for climate change.

As chairman, I would like to thank you for your interest to participate in ICRS 2020 and your contribution to its scientific program. I wish all of us inspiring, productive, and unforgettable summer days at the 14th ICRS, and I look forward to welcoming you in Bremen this year in July.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Christian Wild
Chairman ICRS 2020