14th International Coral Reef Symposium

05.07 - 10.07.2020  
Bremen, Germany
Contact person:
Dr. Malik Naumann, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS 2020) will be held from 5-10 July 2020 in Bremen, Germany.

The overarching theme of ICRS 2020 is "Tackling the Challenging Future of Coral Reefs".


ICRS 2020 is the primary international conference on coral reef science, conservation and management, bringing together leading scientists, early-career researchers, conservationists, ocean experts, policy makers, managers, and the public.

ICRS 2020 will be the key event to develop science-based solutions addressing the present and future challenges of coral reefs, which are globally exposed to unprecedented anthropogenic pressures.

The five-day program will present the latest scientific findings and ideas, provide a platform to build the essential bridges between coral reef science, conservation, politics, management and the public, and will promote public and political outreach.


ICRS 2020 aims to address key scientific questions, such as:

- What can we learn from the past in order to understand future reefs and their functioning?
- Which are the underlying processes driving present changes including coral bleaching, diseases, resilience, and community shift patterns in reefs?
- With increasing dominance of other functional groups, how do we renew our understanding of reef systems?
- Which novel data and observations must we capture from reefs at a wide-scale to improve our predictive understanding?
- What kinds of adaptive management, conservation, and restoration measures need to be developed for future reefs?

Abstract submission

Abstract submission closes 1 September 2019:


Registration opens 1 December 2019:

Further information

Go to the official website:

PAGES session

CoralHydro2k: Theme 1: Can large-scale ocean and climate reconstructions from corals improve our understanding of past, present, and future extremes?
Convenors: Kristine DeLong, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA; Diane Thompson, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA; Thomas Felis, MARUM, University of Bremen, Germany; and Hali Kilbourne, University of Maryland, College Park, USA

The tropical oceans are uniquely positioned to serve as the pulse of climate change and climate variability since they contain warm pools that feed vast amounts of evaporation to the atmosphere driving the climate system. The lack of instrumental observations in the tropical oceans, both spatially and temporally, is a major hindrance to understanding climate variability and resolving climate model biases in the tropics. Long-lived massive corals contain records of past ocean conditions in their skeletons that can be used to understand climate variability in the recent past and in other warm periods, such as the Last Interglacial (125 ka) and Mid-Holocene (5-6 ka).

One of the largest sources of climate variability is El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that occurs in the Tropical Pacific Ocean and impacts far flung regions. El Niño events during past 30 years have also driven higher reef temperatures leading to coral bleaching for large number of coral reefs. The Inter-American Seas (Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea) is another prominent HotSpot for future climate change impacts including more intense tropical cyclones and droughts. Therefore, it is of foremost importance to expand our observational record, using corals as climate archives, to understand climate variability and extreme events so we can better predict future impacts of climate extremes on coral reefs. There is a strong need for a more comprehensive, end-to-end approach for climate assessments at a basin scale including better integration of paleoclimatic evidence, atmospheric and oceanic observations, physical understanding, model evaluation, and future projections. This session seeks contributions to increase our understanding of tropical climate variability in the past, present, and future using observations, coral and other marine paleoclimate proxies, and model simulations.