AMSA 2019 Conference pre and post conference workshops

Please note that all workshops are only available for conference delegates. Venues, dates and cost are still to be confirmed and will be announced shortly.

Should you wish to be added to the mailing list for any of the below workshop updates, please click on the below link to be added. If you are already on our mailing list, information will be sent as it becomes available.

How to access and use IMOS data for your research

Since 2006, IMOS has been routinely operating a wide range of observing equipment throughout Australia’s coastal and open oceans, making all of its data accessible to the marine and climate science community, other stakeholders and users, and international collaborators.

This workshop is to assist the scientific community to discover, access, download, use and understand the potential of the data.

Presentations will be made by key leaders responsible for the collection and dissemination of the data with examples of how they have used the data sets to further their research. Hands on guided tutorials will be show how the AODN portal can be used and a summary of tools that are available to analyse the data

Objectives: Enable researchers to easily discover, access, download and use IMOS data.

Requirements (i.e. software, laptop): Participants to BYO laptop

Length: Full Day
When: Sunday 7th 10:00 – 17:00 pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Notre Dame University, Fremantle (room number to be confirmed)
Contact: Paul Thomson;; Craig Steinberg;,
Charitha Pattiaratchi;

National AusSeabed Workshop

The AusSeabed program is a national collaborative initiative operated by Commonwealth, State and Territory entities, universities and industry. The program aims to improve the awareness, coverage, quality, discoverability and accessibility of seabed mapping data through coordination and collaboration in the Australian region.  In the spirit of “collect once, use many times”, AusSeabed provides an open collaboration space where data creators and users can better connect to develop initiatives and products that will improve the quality, discoverability and accessibility of seabed mapping data.

Since 2016, AusSeabed has produced the Australian Multibeam Guidelines, a website and data discovery portal, an upcoming survey register system, a national government bathymetry priorities map, and a plan to guide the contributions of the Australian seafloor mapping community to international initiatives.

This workshop will include the AusSeabed AGM and a workshop session to finalise the AusSeabed Strategic Plan, including the program theme roadmaps. We will also discuss and finalise the user requirements and considerations for the Data Hub and continue discussions on how Australia might best contribute to international initiatives such as Seabed 2030 and mobilise bathymetry data from the Australian region.

We encourage all users and collectors of seabed mapping data to attend and join our community. We will announce and distribute the workshop agenda closer to the event and have made previous workshop minutes available here.

Length: Full Day
When: Friday 12th July 9:00-16:00
Cost: $15
Venue: The Fremantle Ports Conference room (room number to be confirmed)
Contact: Ralph Talbot Smith;, Iain Parnum;, Kim Picard;, Aero Leplastrier;

AMSA WA Annual Student Workshop

Every year in June, the AMSA WA branch holds the Annual Rottnest Student Workshop. Typically, student members would go to Rottnest Island for two days where they give a presentation on their research in an informal, stress free setting (no supervisors etc.) and then hear from invited speakers on career pathways. For 2019, the AMSA WA branch have decided to hold the workshop in conjunction with the national AMSA conference. The workshop will be held at a venue close to Fremantle, will be opened up to all AMSA student members and non-members, and will have a change in presentation style (shortened snapchats) to accommodate a larger group.

The purpose of holding the student workshop every year is to give students a chance to practice presenting ahead of the AMSA conference and to become more comfortable in doing so. This is still the intent of the 2019 workshop but with an added bonus of students being able to meet and greet other students from around Australia and form a network ready to head into the conference with.

Objectives: To provide an informal environment for students to practice their talks in preparation for the conference.

Requirements (i.e. software, laptop): Presentation on a USB

Length: Full day
When: Sunday 7th July 9:00-17:00
Cost: $5 for AMSA members, $10 for non-members
Venue: Notre Dame University, Fremantle (room number to be confirmed)
Contact: Alicia Sutton

Conservation issues of dolphin populations in urban areas

Dolphin populations inhabiting urban areas are impacted by various anthropogenic factors.  Coastal development, habitat loss, prey depletion, fisheries interaction, disturbance acoustic and vessel traffic, vessel collisions, harassment through tourism, as well as illegal feeding are among many other factors that have had effects on dolphin populations. Although impacts to individuals can readily be observed (e.g., fishing line entanglement, boat strike), how these affect a population is less apparent and can include lower reproduction rates, higher mortality from indirect causes (e.g. stress related immune suppression) and avoidance all of which may lead to a declining population. The workshop will be organised into two sections. First, we would like to discuss how researchers, policy makers and managers work (or do not work) together to achieve the objective of ensuring protection of the population using three locations where the demographic parameters for dolphin populations are reasonably well understood. Secondly, we would want to have small group discussions to facilitate effective brainstorming of solutions for improving the effectiveness of conservation of dolphin populations as well as other marine megafauna.

Objectives: With the help of a facilitator, we aim to bring together researchers, managers, NGOs and policy makers to discuss conservation issues that are recognised for marine mammal populations inhabiting urban areas; what solutions have been implemented so far and the results if any; and what else can be done to minimise those issues. A report will be written to summarise the outcome of the discussions and to provide a set of resolutions designed to specify some short- and long-term goals to help researchers, stakeholders, managers and policy makers with management strategies and decision-making.

Length: Full day
When: Sunday 7th July 9:00-17:00
Cost: $30
Venue: Notre Dame University, Fremantle (room number TBA)
Contact: Dr Delphine Chabanne, Murdoch University;
Mike Bossley (Dolphin Sanctuary, Adelaide)

Australian mesophotic ecosystems: Developing a coordinated approach to a metadata and community structure analysis, and future research

Research of mesophotic reefs has been growing strongly in Australia. In recent years there has been large rise in the number of papers published from many parts of Australia, including tropical and temperate ecosystems. It is now likely that there is sufficient data across multiple agencies to allow for comparisons of community structure across depth and latitudinal gradients. This would include data on sessile benthic invertebrates, algae, benthic fishes and pelagic fishes. This workshop aims to bring researchers together to brainstorm the idea of an Australia wide metadata analysis to scope a series of papers covering several aspects of mesophotic ecosystems across Australia. We will take advantage of existing databases such as GlobalArchive, BenthoBox and Squidle+ to identify existing data, data gaps and requirements to fill data gaps. Understanding wide-scale variations and overlaps would greatly increase the ability to make effective conservation and management actions nationally.

We invite all researchers that are interested and have access to physical, biological, geological, social or economic data from 30-150 m depths to come along and participate in this workshop. This will provide the ideal opportunity to meet and chat with other researchers working in the mesophotic zone.


  • Develop nationwide working group (leaders and helpers)
  • Brainstorm ideas for a series of papers (aims, hypothesis, research questions)
  • Establish available data and begin metadata collation
  • Establish timeframe
  • Discuss coordinated approach to future research

Length: 2 hours

Further details coming soon.

Use of Control Charts to monitor long-term changes of key aquatic life in Marine Protected Areas

Control Charts are a cost-effective way to track long-term changes in say fish and benthos with the minimum number of sampling sites. Will show how to set up a Control Chart with the long-term baseline changes over time determined by using the initial baseline data + three background sites in adjacent unprotected area. The statistics used are described e.g.: (i) sampling frequency depends of variability of the baseline data, (ii) MPA exceed baseline ±1sd is warning of potential changes that may happen in near future, (iii) consistent exceedance of ±1sd for two time periods initiates examine of the causes, (iv) significant change from baseline indicated by ±25% initiates study into how to correct, if decided to be an undesirable result, (v) examination of MPA change ± relative to baseline is considered good, bad or uncertain is discussed by the group.

Objectives: Set up a Control Chart with (i) initial baseline data inside protected area but collected before area protection begins, (ii) select three sites inside protected area, including the one used for the pre-area protection baseline (iii) select three background sites in adjacent unprotected area.

Length: 4 hours

Further details coming soon.

Pilbara Coast and Marine Science

The Pilbara Coast in north-western Australia, between Exmouth Gulf and the DeGrey Delta, is one of only a few arid coasts around the World and the most arid coast in Australia. The Pilbara Coast stands uniquely as the most geologically/geomorphologically diverse arid coast globally and is of high heritage value. In its coastal and shallow marine environments it has complex coastal forms and habitats and a correspondingly rich biodiversity. The Pilbara Coast, bordering a mineral-rich geological province, with hydrocarbon resources offshore, and of sufficient aridity for solar salt production, has also been utilised for industry – along the coast there is export of iron ore and other minerals, extraction and liquefaction of natural gas, and production of solar salt. Additionally, there is a rich archaeological heritage manifest as shell middens and as rock art. This symposium is timely in that it will bring together for discussion and exchange of information and ideas people from different walks of life bridging the extremes of the utilisation of the coast – from industrialisation, to conservation, to cultural heritage.

Content of Symposium – themes of the Session:

  • Coastal geology, geomorphology, sedimentology, and geoheritage
  • Nearshore marine geology, geomorphology, sedimentology, and geoheritage
  • The link between geodiversity and biodiversity along the Pilbara Coast
  • Coastal and hinterland ecology
  • Nearshore marine ecology (corals, mangroves, tidal flats, sand flats, rocky shores)
  • Indigenous history of the Pilbara Coast
  • Archaeology and Rock Art of the Pilbara Coast
  • Natural values of the Pilbara Coast
  • Developmental history, Industry, an Economic Value of Industry of the Pilbara Coast
  • Conservation and management of the Pilbara Coast

Objectives: To bring together and collate the up-to-the-present and state-of-the art science of universities, government agencies, researchers, and industry in a symposium to share information and exchange ideas towards the understanding and better management of the Pilbara Coast. The objective also is to produce a quality refereed publication as an outcome.

Length: Full day

Further details coming soon.

Optimizing Coastal Measurements- An Instrumentation Workshop

Coastal ocean observations, as fundamental and exciting as they are, can also be quite the daunting task. As an instrumentation provider, RBR has recognized that those who take the time to become familiar with, care for, and understand the limitations and strengths of their equipment often have the greatest successes in the field.

This workshop is a forum to spark interest in understanding oceanographic sensor measurement methods, improving the quality of field data, increasing deployment success rates, and improving the safety of those conducting the observations. We will focus on best practices, practical maintenance, deployment considerations, and a few tips and tricks to help get the most from your ocean observing equipment. The material covered is applicable to a wide variety of common instrumentation.

The workshop will cover:

  • Sensor technology
    • Inductive conductivity measurements
    • Pressure measurements
    • Temperature measurements
    • Optical measurements
  • Technical considerations when selecting a sensor
  • Configuring instruments for deployment
  • Mounting & deployment considerations
  • Data processing
  • Sensor maintenance
  • Software and mobile applications

Further details coming soon.

Key Dates

August 2018
Call for Symposia Opens

September 2018
Call for Symposia Closes

December 2018 
Early Bird Registration opens

22 February 2019 
Call for Abstracts Closes

March 2019
Abstract Outcomes

April 2019
Early Bird Registration closes

7 – 11 July 2019