Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences_SEFS9 in Geneva

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Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences_SEFS9 in Geneva



The sparkling waters of the Rhône River in Ile Rosso in central Geneva, Switzerland.

July 10, 2015_SEFS9 Geneva Conference

I was in Switzerland at a meeting of the European Society for Freshwater Sciences ( http://www.sefs9.ch/ ) in Geneva amid the political crisis in Greece. Not true, but still worth it.

The SEF conferences are some of the best organized meetings on the state of the art of inland aquatic ecosystems. It's confusing, expensive, and overwhelming. We had 8 sessions at the same time, so we had to run between meeting rooms at the University of Geneva. I attended 51 such sessions in four days, two "technical meetings", recovery and navigation; it was stressful.

On the trip home, I've posted here some snapshots and highlights of individual conferences. These are just initial thoughts. sorry for throwing a few parents and others into my comments. This is a personal, disembodied account of a very small part of this great convention...

  • The conference was successful. a serious attempt to integrate science, policy and conservation research into the aquatic sciences, often in an ecosystem approach;
  • Fantastic French work in the river environment . I especially enjoyed working on the classification and fish. And Benjamin Berger's excellent lecture on the brown trout situation in France (probably the most Hollywood lecture I've ever heard, and very well explained). it was great to do that. Lots of great French sciences at this conference!!
  • An ad hoc discussion group on dental floss led by the stylish and scientific entrepreneur Thibault Daltrey!!! It was nice to meet Cliff Dahm from the USA. Great to hear American student Ross Vander Forest talking about light research in France. Australia is well represented with stars like Nick Bond and Kat Lee (an interesting fish character portrayed by Misha Torchwell). It's great to welcome broadcast studies friends like María Sánchez Montoya, Núria Seid and Núria Bonada, who delivered an excellent plenary session.
  • The multi-pressure stuff sounds great. I especially like this kind of work.
  • Environmental DNA . My first contact with this. well described with many good applications. I have had the pleasure of meeting Phil who has been working with Gordon Cope to use this new method to identify exotic fish in England's Lenten waters.
  • Excellent fish movement, obstacles and river system led by my good Portuguese friend Paulo Branco and his colleagues. Great to see graph theory in action and overall great work at ISA from Teresa's lab. Christian Huber demonstrates the German science behind the Lift Fish Ladder app. This is also a very interesting lecture on hydrology and temperature written by Frank Cattaneo.
  • It was great to hear experts and sages like Leroy Bove give us a very nice plenary session on hydroelectric transition and river conservation in the 21st century. I really appreciate the efforts of this great thinker on this matter of global dimensions (related environmental flow, etc.).
  • Small water business and conservation initiatives led by the very tenacious scientists Jeremy Biggs (UK - http://www.freshwaterhabitats.org.uk/ ) and the very charming Mary Kelly Quinn (from Dublin) and other major contributors such as local Professor Pete Wortley : .
  • Great to see people working on pond restoration in the UK ('cheap and easy' restoration as they say - thanks Emily Alderton and others at UCLA). An interesting urban initiative for ponds and streams. Ideal for discussing funding mechanisms and citizen science for 'small urban watersheds' with Paul Leonard.
  • Amazing urban water science. For example, John Harding's speech (Calvert stops moving box flies ...).
  • This is also an interesting topic regarding the classification of WFD streams; it is still an active field despite more than 15 years of science related to WMD. Great to hear about the concept of a 'rare river species' in Ireland.
  • Lots and lots of climate change/global change . Great to meet my Israeli friend Yaron Hershkowitz (and discuss some really interesting networking opportunities...) and many others involved in sea fishing and sea fishing (Good job at Fish Stream by Lucy Kuczynski in France...).
  • Great works on conservation policy , such as Gap-Analysis-Plus by the Great Young Mind, Virgilio Hermoso. Many great Spanish minds are at this conference.
  • It's good to know a few things about Lyman (Lake Lyman) , the birthplace of "freshwater science."
  • Restoration work on the Rhône and its tributaries (L'Aire) and meetings with teams of architects and scientists involved. Thanks to our guide Emilie (an expert on odonates and amphibians) and the architect Georges Descombe ... (who pushed me to the extreme sensitivity of revealing my "Greek" identity thanks to the solidarity of my friend ...). Also ideal for visiting the spa area on the banks of the Rhône. Please keep up the great work Swiss experts.
  • He also meets Turkish compatriots like Meriem Beklioglu and others from the Balkans, as well as a very friendly Armenian.
  • It was great to see Elizabeth Meyer again and dance and sing together. Greeks and Germans were so united in this conference... There were three other Greeks in the conference (and my wife Vaso was with me). It was great to hang out on the beach at Lake Geneva and go to the cafeteria for cheap fresh food. If you're in Geneva, don't miss summer swimming and pedestrian-watching at this gorgeous Bains des Paquis beach (http://www.bains-des-paquis.ch/Bains-d'ete/Buvette.html ).


Why are we going to this big convention? One reason is to see the "state of the art" and provide a voice to the scientific community. Build a freshwater science culture that is responsive and responsive to broader needs. For example, I talked about the experiences, pitfalls and prospects of the recovery of Greece and Cyprus. For me, it was like being a student again, a truly professional conference. Many thanks to the organizers, we hope to see you at SEFS10 in the Czech Republic.


Uni Mail website, Univ. From Geneva.
Marine scientists and conservationists are recognized in their fields.
Yaron Hershkovits.
Virgil Hermoso.
Paul Branco.
Nuria Banda.
One of our hosts, Beat Wortly.
Thibaut Daltrey.
Leroy Buff.
With Gordon Cope.

Catherine Liot.
Professor and restorer Zolt Vekernes discussed the challenges of restoring L'Aire on site.

Architectural restoration (reconstruction). George Descombes.
Descombs concept allows the river to create its own morphology of how "it" thinks and acts. (On the left is the canal, which was once river water, now meandering through a restored canal.. new road.
Plaque de Chocolat section of the rebuilt river. barely two years later it is now a "normal" channel.

Restoration success 15 years later and nearly 70 million francs in L'Aire.
Man-made mineral lake - restored in "Altermacy". performed by two local girls.

Wine tasting with Paul Leonard in the very spacious cellar while visiting the restoration.
Vasiliki Flamy with our friend Elizabeth Meyer.


in the bathroom Starting Bucks - people are dancing.
Symbol of Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva, the cradle of freshwater science. I read on Wikipedia that the name of the lake, Lemanus, comes from the ancient Greek word limanos, Limènos Limne Λιμένος Λίμνη ...., which means lake or harbor lake. It's a really great lake.
















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