Key speakers

Thematic session “Main stressors and their impact on ecosystem health”

Prof. Mike Elliott, Chair in Estuarine & Coastal Sciences, Research Professor, Department of Biological and Marine Sciences, The University of Hull, UK; and Director, International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists Ltd (; URL:

Mike is the Director of International Estuarine & Coastal Specialists (IECS) Ltd and also the Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. He was Director of the former Institute of Estuarine & Coastal Studies (IECS) at the university from 1996-2017. He is a marine biologist with a wide experience and interests and his teaching, research, advisory and consultancy includes estuarine and marine ecology, policy, governance and management. Mike has published widely, co-authoring/co-editing 20 books/proceedings and >300 scientific publications. This includes co-authoring ‘The Estuarine Ecosystem: ecology, threats and management’ (with DS McLusky, OUP, 2004), ‘Ecology of Marine Sediments: science to management’ (with JS Gray, OUP, 2009), and ‘Estuarine Ecohydrology: an introduction’ (with E Wolanski, Elsevier, 2015). He was an editor and contributor to the ‘Coasts and Estuaries: the Future’ (Wolanski, Day, Elliott and Ramachandran; Elsevier, 2019) and the Treatise on Estuarine & Coastal Science (Eds.-In-Chief – E Wolanski & DS McLusky, Elsevier). He has advised on many environmental matters for academia, industry, government and statutory bodies worldwide. Mike is a past-President of the international Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) and is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Estuarine, Coastal & Shelf Science; he currently is or has had Adjunct Professor and Research positions at Murdoch University (Perth), Klaipeda University (Lithuania), the University of Palermo (Italy), Xiamen University (China) and the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity. He was awarded Laureate of the Honorary Winberg Medal 2014 of the Russian Hydrobiological Academic Society. He is also a member of many national and international committees linking marine science to policy.

Thematic session “Marine molecular ecology – new tools and new findings “


Prof. Joseph Hoffman, Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Germany. (Bielefeld University)

Joe Hoffman obtained a doctorate in evolutionary genetics from the University of Cambridge before moving to the British Antarctic Survey, where he held a Natural Environment Research Council Strategic Alliance Fellowship.  Afterwards, he moved to Bielefeld in Germany, where he is currently an extraordinary professor in the Department of Animal Behaviour.  He is also an Honorary Professor of the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain and an honorary fellow of the British Antarctic Survey.  His research focuses on the evolutionary genetics of marine organisms and embraces taxonomically diverse organisms, from benthic marine invertebrates to pinnipeds.  His research uses state-of-the-art population genomic approaches to investigate fundamental processes that shape the genetic diversity of marine populations, with implications for understanding responses to environmental change.

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Thematic session “Diversity and physiology of marine organisms. Is there still anything to discover?”

Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, Marine Biology/Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology, section Integrative Ecophysiology, Alfred-Wegener-Institute, Bremerhaven Germany

Hans-Otto received his PhD and habilitated in Animal Physiology at Münster and Düsseldorf Universities. As a Research and then Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Council he worked at Dalhousie and Acadia Universities, Nova Scotia, Canada and at the Lovelace Medical Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, before he became Professor and Head of Integrative Ecophysiology at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany. He has established theory and evidence on effects of climate warming, ocean acidification, and hypoxia on marine organisms and ecosystems. More generally, his efforts focus on linking organism biogeography and ecosystem functioning to molecular, biochemical and physiological mechanisms shaping organism tolerance and performance. After his earlier contributions (as Lead Author and Coordinating Lead Author) to the 4th and 5th assessment cycles of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) he was elected Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II for AR6 in October 2015. He is an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences, the German Advisory Council on Global Change and a Web of Science/Clarivate Analytics highly cited researcher (top 1% Cross-Field) 2018 onward.

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Thematic session “Marine living resources – environmental significance “

Prof. Hanna Mazur-Marzec, Head of the Division of Marine Biotechnology, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk

Hanna Mazur-Marzec is an internationally recognized expert in marine natural products, with extensive experience in mass spectrometry and peptidomics. Her scientific interests focus on biomolecules produced by cyanobacteria. Using chemical and genetic markers, her group explores the interspecies diversity and ecological significance of these microorganisms. The same tools are also applied to reconstruct the history of cyanobacteria in different ecosystems. Her current research interests extend to biological activity of cyanometabolites and their pharmaceutical application. (

Hanna Mazur-Marzec is an expert in the Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms Dynamics, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), and a member of the editorial board of the journals Oceanologia and Marine Drugs. In recognition for her scientific achievements, in 2019, she received the award of Polish Intelligent Development (Intelligent Development Forum). In 2020, she was nominated to the award Person of the Year (Economic Forum). She also received four awards of the Rector of University of Gdańsk.

General session

Prof. Marcin Węsławski, Director of Institute of Oceanology Polish Academy of Sciences, Sopot, Poland

Graduated in the first course of newly established oceanography at Gdansk University in 1975, until 1983 working at Hel Marine Laboratory Univ. Of Gdansk, later for Polish Academy of Sciences. Marine field ecologist have spent over 50 months in polar and marine expeditions to Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and Russian Arctic. Since 1992 involved in numerous European initiatives for marine biodiversity, recently as a leader of large European consortium MARBEFES under Horizon 2020. The most cited Polish marine researcher, since 2018 director of Institute of Oceanology PAN. Member of Academy committees for Polar Research and Marine Research, and State Committee for Polar Policy.

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