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Annual PORTWIMS project meeting

The 2019 annual project meeting will be held on 7-8 November in Bremen, North Germany. Organisation of the event is being led by Prof Astrid Bracher (AWI). Further details will follow in due course but please schedule these dates into your diary.

Polarstern cruise trains researchers of tomorrow

The Polarstern research vessel is key to German polar expeditions and the flagship of the Alfred Wegener institute. During June it crossed the Atlantic from Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) to Bremerhaven (Germany) as part of the expedition PS120 programme. As well as conducting key scientific research, the cruise hosted 25 young scientists from around the globe as part of a floating summer school. On the ‘South-North Atlantic Training Transect’ the students gained unique insights into the marine sciences and engaged in short projects on interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and climate.

PORTWIMS enabled Mara Gomes from Lisbon university to participate in the cruise where she conducted research on radiometric properties for validation and taught the students about phytoplankton. By sponsoring Mara to attend the cruise PORTWIMS contributed to one of the project’s key aspirations to benefit individual researchers from Lisbon University by providing this opportunity for learning, collaboration and knowledge exchange.

You can read more about the Polarstern cruise at including blogs from the students about their experiences onboard. For more information on Mara and her experience on the cruise please see our PORTWIMS people page.


Summer schools

Three summer schools will be held during the course of the project in Lisbon, Plymouth and Bremerhaven/Helgoland. They will each target a general set of skills and expertise such as: advanced scientific writing; innovation; dissemination and exploitation of results; policy relevance; communications; and research grant writing.

1st PORTWIMS Summer School at German High Sea Island Heligoland on Marine phytoplankton diversity observations: innovative methods and industrial applications

The coastal summer school 2019 was held from 28 June to 8 July 2019 to provide an interdisciplinary overview from topics related to the marine plankton diversity and methods of observation. The coastal summer school took place on Helgoland, a red sandstone rock of Helgoland which is a hotspot of biodiversity and Germany’s most offshore island. 16 young scientists from 9 nations visited Helgoland for 11 days to deepen their knowledge of coastal phytoplankton research focusing on observations and industrial applications.  Among them were seven students from the University Lisbon funded by PORTWIMS.

The summer school focused on the training of young scientists in techniques relevant to long-term in-situ and remote sensing observations of phytoplankton diversity and abundance detection as well as industrial applications of phytoplankton research related to microalgae biotechnology, aquaculture and bionics. The training will comprised a class room module at the guest scientist facilities on Heligoland and a practical module onboard the German RV Heincke in the German Bight. The school  encompassed lectures, exercises and practical work in classical microscopy, functional morphology, molecular and optical techniques and further training in long-term data analysis and archival, remote sensing data processing and knowledge on technology transfer with focus on blue economy, aquaculture and bionics for light weight constructions.

The coastal summer school was realized in cooperation with some of the leading national centers for coastal research in Germany: Leibniz Institute for Baltic Research Warnemünde, Helmholtz Centre Geesthacht, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers). In 2019 the main supporting partner was the PORTWIMS project.


EUMETSAT/PORTWIMS workshop: Copernicus Marine Data Stream for Ocean Applications, Lisbon, Portugal, June 2019

A EUMETSAT/PORTWIMS workshop was held in Lisbon, in June 2019 that focused on the use of the latest satellite data to support a wide range of marine applications. The course covered the basic principles of remote sensing, data access, and introduce open source software and transferable skills in programming and data analysis.

The purpose of the workshops was to develop skills in using data from EUMETSAT's Copernicus Data Stream for oceanographic applications, with a particular focus on the application of data from Sentinel-3.

The course was attended by 15 students, 6 within PORTWIMS team. The course philosophy is to meet the interests and needs of the students. Hence, during the week, students attend to a few lectures, but most of

For the course welcome, Vanda Brotas invited José Luís Moutinho, Chief Business Developer at Atlantic International Research Centre, who congratulated Eumetsat and Portwims for this course, gave a brief introduction of Air Centre objectives and role, and stressed the need for researchers/technicians trained in remote sensing in the near future.

The teaching team was constituted by Hayley, Ben and Lauren from PML, Carolina Sá from FCUL, and there were also two invited researchers from Argentina, (Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio IEFE), Ana Dogliotti and Juan Gossn who talked about complex estuarine waters, through a study case in Rio de La Plata. Hence, the students had an excellent Trainer/Trainee ratio.

The course took place at Faculty of Sciences, from 10 to 14 June, in spite of the fact that 10 and 13 were holidays in Lisbon. On the 13th, Saint Antony day, everybody got together to a typical barbecued sardines meal, in the city centre, in one of the many “arraiais (open air city parties)” of Lisbon.



PORTWIMS Kick-Off meeting

22nd & 23rd October 2018
FCUL, Lisbon, Portugal

Around 35 people attended each day of the PORTWIMS kick-off meeting, including 6 researchers from AWI, 4 from PML, several senior members from FCUL and many enthusiastic MSc and PhD students.

The main achievement was developing the research themes with the three partners, finding links and concrete objectives for twinning and planning for future work. Six working groups were constituted, each with a set of actions to accomplish in the near future:

  • Innovation
  • Biotechnology
  • Socioeconomics
  • Earth observation
  • Oceanographic cruises and phytoplankton diversity
  • Marine ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem responses to climate change

Participants enjoyed the pleasant weather, the social events, and meeting the students. On the last evening, a smaller party gathered to eat the traditional custard tarts, and returned to the hotel on the yellow tram.


EU banner with the words: 'Co-funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union'
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 810139.

Partner Institutes

Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (FC.ID)
Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)



Project office

Campo Grande,
Edificio C1,
Piso 3,
Lisbon 1749 016,


Prof Vanda BrotasProf Vanda Brotas
Project Coordinator


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