Virtual Video Conference

The first part of Global Coral Reef Week 2020 is a virtual conference on YouTube. Over 85 research talks and workshops will be featured on a publicly accessible Global Coral Reef Week YouTube channel. During a 2-week conference window from July 1st to July 14th, conference participants can watch the videos of researchers and practitioners, ask them questions and connect with them virtually. During the 2-week conference window, participants are asked to actively respond to questions from conference participants. After those 2 weeks the channel will stay active, and participants are welcome to leave their video up so that it can continue to be viewed. Participation, both for those submitting videos and for those viewing videos, is free.  


Not sure if this conference model is for you? UC Santa Barbara has hosted two pilot conferences using this nearly carbon neutral approach and 87% of the speakers from the first event thought it “was successful”. On average, the pilot conferences’ Q&A sessions generated 3x more discussion than takes place at a traditional Q&A. A few sessions generated more than 10-15x more!

Subscribe to participate:

Program Schedule

June 8th (World Oceans Day):        Authors of accepted abstracts notified & provided instructions for

                                                                    video submission

June 26th:                                        Deadline to submit video recording of research talk / science 

                                                                    communication video for Global Coral Reef Week 2020


July 1st to July 14th:                         Official Global Coral Reef Week Virtual Conference 

                                                                    Active question/answer time window for submitted videos

July 6th - July 10th:                          Streamed plenary talks with live question / answer sessions

                                                                    Local in person meetings (if appropriate due to pandemic)



Relevance of histology in pathological investigation

Assistant Prof. Esther Peters /

Assistant Prof. Jennifer Salerno

The coral reef tourism pandemic

Dr. Phil Dustan

Monday, 6th July


3 -4 PM EST --- Coral reefs and diseases:


4:15 - 5 PM EST --- Virtual Networking

Join us for a virtual coffee break/happy hour on zoom and get to know other conference participants in small groups

Evaluating the impacts of coral reef management 

Assistant Prof. David Gill

Tuesday, 7th of July 

The impact of Sargassum brown tides on Mexican Caribbean coasts 

Dr. Brigitta van Tussenbroek

3 - 4 PM EST --- Management and conservation

1 - 3 PM EST --- Technological advances in reef studies 

The Reef Bank Project

Dr. Leandro Godoy

Integrative approach on the sustainable prospection of marine natural products

Prof. Letícia Costa-Lotufo

Using advanced technical diving for deep reef exploration

Prof. Luiz Rocha

Customized medicine for corals

Prof. Raquel Peixoto

Nassau grouper research in The Bahamas 

Dr. Krista Sherman

The Hidden Habitats in the Caribbean Depths

Dr. Diva Amon

Wednesday, 8th of July

3 - 4 PM EST --- From shallow reefs to the deep sea:

Climate Change and the Caribbean

Dr.  Neil Oculi

3 - 4 PM EST --- Local Communities: Outreach and Climate Change

Indigenous language environmental education

Robby Thigpen

Thursday, 9th of July

1 - 2 PM EST --- Cayo Arca - Campeche Reef Talks and Discussion


2:15 - 2:45 PM EST --- Virtual Networking

Join us for a virtual coffee break/happy hour on zoom and get to know other conference participants in small groups

Cayo Arcas is a complex reef system of high ecological and economic relevance in south Gulf of
Mexico, located in a very biologically productive zone at east Campeche Bay. The system is
occupied by several species of economic and ecological interest, where regional and international
relevant extractive activities occur. A particularity of this system is that it harbors the most
important oil sales-point in Mexico, and provoking significant industrial activity in this region. This
context represents a challenge for harmonizing extractive activities and ecological management in
this socioecosystem, while sustaining its ecological integrity and coexisting with human activities.

Friday, 10th of July 

Why I have hope…

Dr. Judy Lang

3 - 3:45 PM EST --- Concluding remarks

The Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) stretches along the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras connecting important ecosystems, resources and vibrant cultures. As many coral reefs and coastal areas of the world, the MAR is facing numerous and increasing threats, but, thanks to the melting pot of capacities and creativity from its communities, effective solutions are being created and implemented. This session seeks to share those locally led initiatives to inspire and scale up conservation and their impacts.

This session is organized by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People and consisist of ten

presentation focussing on healthy wathersheds, healthy fisheries and giving nature

a hand through restoration of structure and function. See the full program of this session here.

4:15 - 6:15 PM EST ---Trivia

Virtual Trivia to conclude Global Coral Reef Week. Make your own team of up to 5 people or get assigned into a team by us.

If you create your own team, please register your team in this form

Everyone has to individually register via the button below to take part (even if you registered your team in the form).

Monday, 13th of July

2 - 4 PM EST --- Collaboration kick off meeting: COVID-19 as experimental set up -                                 Effects of returning tourists on coral reefs

This is an initial meeting to start a collaboration between coral reef scientists interested in studying the effects of tourism on their coral reefs. As lock down measures are eased, tourists will return to our coral reefs, likely not immediatly to pre-COVID-19 levels but gradually. This novel circumstance is ideally suited for studying the impacts of tourism on reef ecosystems and, we would hope, to find a tourist capacity that causes least harm. Unique is also the fact that this experimental setting is present on many reefs worldwide, providing an opportunity for researchers to collaborate as part of a large worldwide study, rather than on their own. If you are interested in conducting such a study on your local reef, then we invite you to join this zoom call. If you can't make the meeting, but are interested in participating, then please email and we will put you in touch with the working group after their initial call. 


Tuesday, 14th of July

2 - 4 PM EST --- Open discussion: Outreach and Communication - how to engage                                   people outside your bubble?

Join us for a lively discussion on what works and what does not for outreach and communcations. Want to learn how to better communicate your science to lay people or how to get other people to take action for environmental problems? Or are you really good at these things and want to share your secrets with other conference participants? Then please join us for the lively discussion. Our plenary speaker Robby Thigpen, an expert code switcher, will kick off the meeting with some advice from his work experience with local and indigenous groups all over Mesoamerica.

Globally connected in-person meetings

While the near future plan for social meetings remains unclear, we’re hopeful local groups will be able to hold small, in person meetings during the week of July 6th to view live screenings of the plenary talks. These group meetings occurring at various regional locations will be interlinked through screenings of plenary talks, and locations will be connected live to the plenary speakers and other locations for a question session in real time.


In addition to hosting screenings of these plenary talks, local meeting organizers are welcome to add other in-person content to their meetings. 


Individuals who are not located near an existing meeting location are encouraged to consider organizing their own local meeting together with their local peers. Alternatively, interested individuals can stream the plenary talks and participate in the question session remotely from their computer.

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