The core of the project is to educate the next generation of marine scientists by creating meeting places and opportunities to visit researchers with complementary skills. The project website present all activities in more detail, see https://filamo.w.uib.no/.
We organized the first summer school - 'Bridging Methods in Marine Science: From the Lab to Models' at Espegrend Marine Biological Station in Bergen, 11-16 August 2017 - with more than 20 participants. The first FILAMO workshop on 'Obstacles in communication between field, lab and modelling work' was held shortly after, 18 and 19 August 2017 in Bergen. A total of 30 professors, researchers and PhD students from 10 different countries (Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Norway, South Africa, Spain, UK, USA) participated. We also provided support to participants from the USA and South Africa for the 3rd meeting of the series 'Trait-based Approaches to Ocean Life' in Bergen 2017.
In December 2017, Øyvind Fiksen (project manager, UiB), Coleen Moloney (PI, UCT) and Christian Lindemann (coordinator, UiB) attended the Norway South-Africa Science Week in Pretoria, South Africa, with presentations. After this, we met the Norwegian ambassador to South Africa, who later mentioned the project in an interview on TV. Fiksen, Moloney and Lindemann met in Cape Town for further planning of the activities.
A workshop on 'Movement Ecology of Marine Organisms: linking observations, data analysis tools and models' was held 10-13 September 2018 at UCT. It was attended by 21 students and 10 senior researchers from 13 countries (Canada, Denmark, France, India, Italy, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, USA, Wales).
In December 2018, Lindemann and Jan Heuschele from the University of Oslo held a presentation at the third International Marine Science Communication Conference (COMMOcean).
In October/November 2018, Fiksen went with a delegation from KD and UiB to Pretoria and Cape Town with an invited lecture on research-based education and the FILAMO project there: Building the research-education nexus in South-Africa & Norway.
At the 4th workshop on trait-based approaches to marine life (UK, August 2019), several participants from South Africa, the US and Norway received travel support.
The FILAMO workshop 'Ecological forecasting' was organized by Titelman October 2019 in Drøbak. A total of 20 participants and 5 teachers from 6 countries participated.
Lindemann and Fiksen led a poster session on 'Training and Communication Across Disciplines and Methodological Approaches in Marine Science' at the Ocean Science 2020 Meeting 16-21 February 2020 in San Diego, USA. They also presented a poster about FILAMO at this meeting.
FILAMO supported the conference Pint of Science Norway (19th - 21st May 2021), and there Christian Lindemann arranged a day focusing on Oceans & Climate change.
FILAMO collaborates with the focus group MODIV (Modelling Different Components of Marine Plankton Biodiversity, modiv.w.uib.no) which together presented a poster at the Advances in Marine Ecosystem Modeling Research (AMEMR) conference (12.-15. July 2021) and another at the ASLO Aquatic Science Meeting (July 23-25. June 2021).
A total of 9 PhD students, 4 young researchers and 4 senior researchers have been supported by mobility support in the project. This mobility links research in seven countries (Senegal, South Africa, Norway, USA, UK, Denmark, Japan and France). The reports from the research stays are publicly available on the project page (filamo.w.uib.no/mobility-experiences).
One Ocean Expedition: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all activities and research stays were put on hold or cancelled for a period of time, but in 2021 we were again underway aboard Statsraad Lehmkuhl during One Ocean Expedition (oneoceanexpedition.com), which is part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The first activity here was 'Science and sailing' from Miami to New York, led by the Institute of Marine Research, where FILAMO contributed to the participation of 11 young researchers and students from UiB. FILAMO also provided support to 6 Honours students from Cape Town who participated in the course Ocean, climate, society, which lasted four months on the stage from Valparaiso to Palau. We also participated in the leg between Maputo and Cape Town, 10 days on board in January 2023, where we contributed support for the summer school Advance Ocean Synergy Course organized by the Nansen Center. Here 60 students and young researchers received training before, during and after the voyage. After the summer school we had a final FILAMO workshop entitled 'Teaching ocean science and SDGs in higher education: Perspectives from IAU HESD Clusters and South-African Masters programme in Ocean Science (SAMOS)'. This was in collaboration with IAU - and led to an Erasmus + application between many universities in South Africa and with UiB as a partner.
The FILAMO (https://filamo.w.uib.no/) project has supported several large and smaller events in ocean science and education. It has brought many researchers, and particularly early carreer scientists, from countries outside EU to collaborators, meetings and conferences they would otherwise not be able to go to. FILAMO certainly has created 'meeting places and opportunities to integrate and communicate across field- and laboratory- and numerical modelling approaches' - but it has also created connections between people at a level that was difficult to anticipate.
The most spectacular educational experience FILAMO gave may have been the six honors students from University of Cape Town sailing across the Pacific with Statsraad Lehmkuhl - four months including regular watches to sail the tallship, while attending a 30-ECTS course about ocean, climate and society. Later FILAMO was part of a summer school with 60 students and young researchers and a similar number of researchers from 30 different nations from Maputo to Cape Town. It is difficult to measure the impact of such experiences, but at least on a personal level, it is a lifetime experience. As a builder of international understanding and networking connections, it is difficult to think of a better arena.
FILAMO has also been important to support the 'trait-based approach' in marine science in general, a theme that has developed a bit on the side of the large oceanographic and management organizations. It has been an example of how scientific paradigms can emerge bottom up, and move from one discipline to another, and break methodological and disciplinary borders - which was a key goal for the project.
The project has strengthened ties between UiB and UCT in particular. The last part of FILAMO was a workshop in Cape Town, following a summer school integrated in the One Ocean Expedition. The meeting asked how to teach and integrate SDGs in higher education with a focus on SDG 13 and 14, and we invited the university representatives in IAUs Global Cluster on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development. This group had never before had a chance to meet physically, but with support from FILAMO this became possible. We combined this group with a South-African consortium of universities working to establish a a joint national Masters program in Ocean Sciences through a 3-year EU Erasmus+ project ‘South-African Masters program in Ocean Science’ (SAMOS). The application was submitted, with UiB as a partner, and hence hopefully bridging FILAMO network into a new form of collaboration.
The ability to communicate, collaborate and work successfully within the interdisciplinary field of marine science requires the integration of field work and laboratory experiments with numerical modelling. To achieve this, marine and maritime educational programs need to develop candidates with broader skills and competencies, including the ability to understand models and simulations which are important tools for policy development and management. The overall aim of our project is to improve the integration of field studies and laboratory experiments into marine numerical modelling activities, an ability of even greater importance for generations to come.
Connecting bioCEED, a Centre of Excellence in Higher Education at the University in Bergen, to strong research environments in South Africa, other research groups in Norway and a broad network of international collaborators, the project will allow students and young researchers in marine sciences to access a combination of cross-methodological research, training and education. We will provide scientific and educational meeting places in the form of workshops and summer schools, exchange opportunities and travel grants to facilitate capacity building, as well as a collaborative network with leading international research groups. The development of lasting structures, through of joint and co-badged degrees and new project applications, together with a flux of ideas and inspiration for sustained improvement in the educational capacities and practices for all researchers and institutions involved will ensure sustained and long lasting legacy of the project.