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Q-MARE workshop: Detecting, describing and disentangling pre-industrial climate and human impacts on marine ecosystems

Crete, Greece
Contact person
Konstantina Agiadi
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category


Date: 2-6 September 2024
Location: Crete, Greece and online
Venue: MareMundi Station, Plakias


Our literature review has revealed that the study of pre-industrial climate and human impacts on marine ecosystems has thus far been fragmentary. Previous attempts to devise indicators and apply food web model techniques in this framework (e.g. Dunne et al. 2008; Lotze et al. 2011; Coll and Lotze 2016), although successful, were spatially limited, and have yet to be transferred to a scale that is greater than regional or even to different parts of the world. The main problem is the apparent incompatibility of the data deriving from vastly different approaches (often just qualitative) that range from History and Archaeology to Ecology and Geology.

The aim of this workshop is to provide clear guidelines on how to combine such diverse data, in a way that can be useful as inputs for ecosystem models. In order to achieve these objectives, our objectives are to: a) gather specialists in historical, archaeological, geological, paleontological, genetic, geochemical and ecological methods (particularly early-career as much as possible) and exchange training specifically focused on the assumptions, advantages and limitations of each method; b) chart the complementarity of the methods and compatibility of the data derived from them; and c) draft a methodological paper on how to combine these methods to disentangle climate and preindustrial human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Objectives of the workshop

This will be the last workshop (synthesis) in the working group plan, and it will address the third objective of Q-MARE: How can data from different sources be combined to inform environmental conservation targets and model marine ecosystems?

Building on this experience, past studies, and the expertise of the participants, we will identify methodological issues and provide clear guidelines for accessing, processing, and analyzing data derived from different sources (paleontological, archaeological and historical) and integrating them into dynamic ecosystem models (such as dynamic food-web models) for disentangling human and climate impacts.

Confirmed speakers

Konstantina Agiadi, University of Vienna, Austria (field of expertise: Geology, Paleontology)
Bryony Caswell, University of Hull, UK (Paleontology)
Felicitas Ten Brink, University of Hull, UK, ECR (Q-MARE data steward)
Katerina Douka, University of Vienna, Austria (Radiocarbon dating, Paleoproteomics)
Jessica Lueders-Dumont, Princeton University, USA, ECR (Oceanography, Biogeochemistry)
Martina Holzknecht, Plakias diving school, Greece, ECR (Marine Conservation)
Ruth Thurstan, University of Exeter, UK (Historical Ecology)
Tatiana Theodoropoulou, CNRS Nice, France (Zooarchaeology)
Marta Coll, ICM-CSIC, Spain (Ecology, Modelling)
Maria Bas, ICM-CSIC, Spain, ECR (Ecology)
Aaron O’Dea, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (Paleobiology)

Preliminary Program

Day 1
09:00–10:00 Meeting aims, structure, logistics, round of introductions
10:00–11:00 Paleontological methods: assemblage analysis (Bryony Caswell)
11:00–11:15 Coffee break
11:15–12:30 Paleontological methods: taphonomy (Konstantina Agiadi)
12:30–14:30 Lunch break
14:30–16:00 Geochemistry: isotopes, elements, sclerochronology (Jessica Lueders-Dumont)
16:00–17:00 Break to prepare for field training
17:00–20:00 Field activity at Plakias — Posidonia meadows (Martina Holzknecht)

Day 2
09:00–11:00 Geochemistry: radiocarbon dating (Katerina Douka)
11:00–11:15 Coffee break
11:15–12:30 Historical methods (Ruth Thurstan)
12:30–14:30 Lunch break
14:30–15:15 Archeological methods (Tatiana Theodoropoulou)
15:15–17:00 Transfer to Matala
17:00–18:30 Matala — ancient fish tanks (Tatiana Theodoropoulou)
18:30–20:00 Free time at Matala
20:00–22:00 Dinner at Matala
22:00–23:30 Transfer to Plakias

Day 3
09:00–10:00 Genetics: aDNA (tbd);
10:00–11:00 Genetics: paleoproteomics (Katerina Douka)
11:00–11:15 Coffee break
11:15–12:30 Species-distribution models (Maria Bas López)
12:30–14:30 Lunch break
14:30–15:30 Food-web models (Marta Coll)
15:30–16:00 Data management (Felicitas Ten Brink)
16:00–18:00 Poster session (hybrid)

Day 4
09:00–10:00 Review results of expert survey
10:00–10:15 Coffee break
10:15–12:00 Draft structure of the methodological outputs
12:00–12:30 Assign sections
12:30–14:30 Lunch break
14:30–18:00 Individual work
18:00–20:00 Free time
20:00–23:00 Joint dinner at local tavern

Day 5
09:00–11:00 Individual work
11:00–11:15 Coffee break
11:15–12:30 Work in groups
12:30–14:30 Lunch break
14:30–16:00 Come-together: discussion, planning
16:00–18:00 Outreach activity

> Download the preliminary program

Financial assistance

There are funds available for early-career researchers and/or researchers from low- and middle-income countries. If you wish to apply, please send a short CV and motivation to

The deadline for applications for financial assistance is 31 March 2024. 


The meeting will be hybrid to allow greater participation without increasing travel. We have planned for a poster session: to avoid the printing of posters, we will instead ask the participants to produce the digital version, which we can put online and they will be available to the other participants before the meeting and on site using their phones and QR codes.

Further information

Please contact Konstantina Agiadi: for further information. 


> Download Flyer