ESSO - Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services

(An Autonomous Body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India)
Home ITCOocean Biological Observations in the Indian Ocean (From Microbes to Megafauna)

Biological Observations in the Indian Ocean (From Microbes to Megafauna)
during 8-12 November 2021
Organized by
Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS)


Course overview :

The ocean plays a vital role in regulating the global ecosystem as well as providingan invaluable source of economic, social, and cultural wealth. It is predicted that the ocean will face numerous challenges especially in the next decade where climate change and ocean acidification will bring extreme impacts to the biological aspects of the sea. Maritime countries around the Indian Ocean rim rely heavily on the health of the ocean to continue driving development and to provide food security for the region. Hence, observation and monitoring of changes in the biological components of the Indian Ocean are becoming essential in order for us to safeguard and ensure the sustainability of the diverse flora and fauna in the ocean.

Currently, efforts in documenting and monitoring various flora and fauna of the Indian Ocean are being undertakenby various parties and institutions with no coordinated or centralized data collection methods. This workshop aspires to expose researchers of different countries and institutions to adopt standard methodology and data collection protocols for biological monitoring to enable comparisons and integrated data analysis across the region. These collective efforts will aim to make the data open, available, and usable for region-wide monitoring and management.

This workshop is also organized in line with the aspirations of the UN Ocean Decadeto foster joint research and strengthen international cooperation in support of ocean conservation and sustainable development. Implementation of routine and standardized biological observations in the Indian Ocean will also support one of the key challenges of the Decade, to expand the Global Ocean Observing System. This will contribute towards desired outcomes including a healthy and resilient ocean, a predicted ocean and a transparent ocean (

The workshopcontent will focus primarilyon biological essential ocean variables (EOVs) for functional groups, in particular microbes, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthicinvertebrates, but will also briefly cover fish, turtles and marine mammals, as well as habitat statessuch as hard corals, mangroves and seagrasses.

Aims and Objectives

  • Promoting the need for sustained biological observations in the Indian Ocean.
  • Promoting best practices for biological observations in the Indian Ocean.
  • Presentation of practical& affordable as well as state of the artmethods.

Learning Outcomes

  • Access to standardized methodologies for biological EOVs.
  • Enhanced regional networking, collaboration and mentorship opportunities.
  • Regional ambassadors for biological observations.
  • Identification of further training needs for the region.

Target Audience

  • Masters' students in Biological Oceanography or related fields.
  • Research Scholars in any branch of Oceanography
  • Young Scientists working in the field of Marine Biogeochemistry / Biological Oceanography / Marine Biology

Course Content:

The course content broadly covers the topics on Microbes, Phytoplankton Biomass and Biodiversity, Remote Sensing Applications, Zooplankton Biomass & Biodiversity, Molecular Analysis / Genomics (Biodiversity), Benthic invertebrate sampling / Biodiversity Assessment, Habitat categories (coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, etc.), Fish Turtles, Marine Megafauna, etc.

Application Process :  

All the applicants need to fill-in the application form
( along with the supporting documents, if any. The selection will be made based on the information provided in the application, wherein preference will be provided to the Early Career Young Professionals and students who are directly working for institutions that have relevance to biological observations.

Period for Applications:September 15, 2021 - October 15, 2021.

Course Pre-requisites :

  • Candidates should have completed their undergraduate degree with Oceanography / Marine Biology / Botany / Zoologyas optional or main subjects.
  • Good working knowledge of English
  • A Certificate of Participation will be issued to all successful students upon providing feedback form and submission of assignments (if applicable).

Course Dates :

November 8-12, 2021 from 1100 Hrs to 1600 Hrs (All timings in IST)

Last Date to recieve application :

October 15, 2021 @ 1730 Hrs of IST

Venue :

Online platform (link will be sent to all shortlisted candidates)

Faculty Members :

The Faculty are experts from International and National research institutions working in the field of Biological Oceanography, Fisheries, etc. and are from the following reputed institutes:

Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO), East Africa
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), South Africa
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS ), India
Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF)
National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), India
National Ocean and Atmosphere Association (NOAA), USA
Nelson Mandela University (NMU), South Africa
Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI), South Africa
University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa
Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), Mozambique
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa
Universiity Malaya (UM), Malaysia
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Universite de la Reunion, France
University of Queensland (UQ), Australia
University of South Florida, USF, USA
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Malaysia
University of Western Australia (UWA), Australia.


  • International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) / Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
  • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO
    • IOC Perth Regional Programme Office and
    • IOC's Sub Commission for Africa & the Adjacent Island States (IOCAFRICA)


  • Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), South Africa
  • Sustained Indian Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (SIBER)
  • Centre For Marine & Coastal Studies, UniversitiSains Malaysia, Malaysia
  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), India

For Any questions please contact:

Regional Training Centre Coordinator :

  • Dr.T V S Udaya Bhaskar (