AMSA 2019 Conference pre and post conference workshops

Please note that all workshops are only available for conference delegates. If you have already registered to attend the conference and would like to include workshops, please contact the event organisers at

If you are registering for the first time, you will be able to select the workshops during this process.

Science from Subsea Fibres

Australians love the ocean – we live on or near the coast, venture out in boats and marvel at undersea images. The ocean gives us much of our food and is a significant contributor to the Australian economy.  Perhaps most importantly, it connects Australia to the rest of the world, through shipping networks at the surface and oil and gas pipelines and data and telecommunication cables on the seafloor.

The existing global network of submarine cables that circumscribes the world’s oceans can be a backbone for a series of ocean ‘observatories’ that open up entirely new worlds of opportunity for deeper ocean observation and research, industry applications and expanded community opportunities.

By exploring ways in which telecommunication cables of the future can be ‘sensorised’ to collect crucial information about climate and ecosystem health, Science for Subsea Fibres (SF2) aims to maximise the potential of Australia’s public infrastructure to connect not just to other countries, but also to our environment. The SF2 vision is to bring the southern hemisphere’s first cabled ocean observatory to Australia, leveraging partnerships between science, academia and industry.  This forum will outline the vision and seek interest in further developing and promoting SF2.

Length: 1 hour
Charge to participants: $0
Venue: Rottnest Room, 1330 – 1400 Wednesday 10 July during the conference program.

Phillip Watson, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, University of Western Australia (
Lyndon Llewellyn, Science Strategy, Australian Institute of Marine Science (
Robert Pemberton, Oceans Institute, University of Western Australia (

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
Important Information:
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
Contact: Ralph Talbot Smith;, Iain Parnum;, Kim Picard;, Aero Leplastrier;

Pilbara Coastal and Marine Science Symposium

The Geological Society of Australia Inc. (GSA) and partners invite abstracts for oral and/or poster presentations for the Pilbara Coastal and Marine Science Symposium (PCMSS) on Friday 12 July 2019 at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle. This Symposium is linked to the Australian Marine Science Association Conference (AMSA 2019) Fremantle 7th- 11th July “Marine Science for a Blue Economy”.  In this context, the PCMSS provides a region-specific exposé of this theme.

The scope of the Symposium will be the natural region of the Pilbara Coast – shown in the upper right illustration, extending from Giralia Bay in south-eastern Exmouth Gulf, through the Dampier Archipelago, to as far north as Pardoo Creek, the eastern distributary of the De Grey River delta, and includes the corridor of near-coastal islands such as the Mangrove Islands, Weld Is., Regnard Is., Dixon Is., and Depuch Is.

Themes of the Symposium will include (1) coastal geology and nearshore, geomorphology, and physical features of the Pilbara Coast, (2) coastal, nearshore, and hinterland ecology (including coastal habitats, mangroves, rocky shore, saltmarsh, seagrass, coral reefs, fish, amongst others), (3) link between geodiversity and biodiversity along the Pilbara Coast, (4) Indigenous, archaeological, and rock art aspects, (5) European colonisation and industry, and (6) conservation and management.

Objectives: The aim of the Symposium is to bring together 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.

For more information and important dates, click here.

Date: Friday 12th July
$150 for AMSA delegates
$120 for AMSA members
$90 for students
Venue: WA Maritime Museum
Full day: Times TBA
Post Symposium Sundowner

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: $15
Venue: Notre Dame University, Fremantle (room number TBA)
Contact: Dr Delphine Chabanne, Murdoch University;
Mike Bossley (Dolphin Sanctuary, Adelaide)

Optimizing Coastal Measurements- An Instrumentation Workshop

Date: Friday 12 July 9-12:00pm
Venue: Notre Dame University
Cost: $10
Contact: Stefan Stimson  –

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 application

Project Management Foundations Workshop

Description: While seldom a core consideration, all scientific investigations require some degree of administrative organisation.  At the simplest level this is to ensure scientific outputs, reports or publications, are met in timeframes that are agreed and within expected budgets. However, as accountability and the complexity of programs increase, systematic approaches are required to ensure all aspects of a scientific investigation can remain on track, which in turn is important to attract new projects, maintain sufficient flow of funds to keep first-rate scientists, and to obtain and maintain the required facilities and equipment that underpin the science.

If applied correctly, effective project management offers skills, tools and techniques to meet the full range of project requirements – not just the scientific outputs. Moreover, it also allows managing project teams, including people who don’t usually work together; sometimes from different organisations and across multiple geographies. Effective project management  also enables project risks to be identified and managed. Risk is the possibility that you may not achieve your scientific output, schedule, or budget targets because something unexpected occurs or something planned doesn’t occur. This workshop covers project management foundations to ensure scientists are left with a basic understanding of the principles of effective project management, as well as providing useful tools for everyday application to project managing scientific research. This workshop would also suit researchers who are transitioning between academia and industry.

Date: Friday 12th July 9:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Notre Dame University
Cost: $10
Contact: Adam Gartner ; Sarah Scott ; Adelaide Bevilaqua

What do you think should be included in Australia’s priorities for marine biodiversity research in the next decade?

In 2014, the Australian marine science community came together to identify marine research priorities for Australia which were summarised in the National Marine Science Plan. Five years later it is time to review the issues and priorities identified for marine biodiversity and provide an update that can be referred to when designing and prioritising future research.

This workshop provides an opportunity for the scientific community to contribute to this update, including the identification of new priorities.

Summary conclusions from the 2014 white papers will be presented as a starting point for the update, and workshop participants will be invited through a facilitated process to contribute to the updated white paper that will be presented at the National Marine Science Committee and made available through the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub website.

Objectives: Provide researchers the opportunity to contribute to identifying marine biodiversity research priorities for the next decade.

Requirements (i.e. software, laptop): Original white papers will be made available for reading before the workshop. At least 20 participants are required to register for this workshop to proceed.

Length: Full Day
When: Friday 12th July, 8.30am – 12pm
Cost: FREE
Venue: Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, University of Western Australia
Contact: Paul Hedge;;

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

Mid - April 2019
Abstract Outcomes

30 April 2019
Early Bird Registration closes

7 – 11 July 2019