The ocean is vast and despite centuries of exploration, we’ve only examined about five per cent of what lies beneath the surface. This conference will examine the ocean of opportunity that OFI research is helping to discover in the North Atlantic.

Schedule (sessions are subject to change)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

04:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Conference registration

06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Welcome reception

Day One

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

08:00 am - 09:00 am


09:00 am - 10:00 am

Keynote Speaker: Megan Leslie, President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada

“The shocking scale and scope of wildlife loss in Canada, revealed in WWF’s Living Planet Report Canada, is a wakeup call. I’m going to work to bring us all together — communities, Indigenous organizations, governments, industry, scientists, cultural groups and beyond — to address the reasons that half of the wildlife species we studied are in decline.”


10:30 am - 12:30 pm

OFI Research Showcase: Our Changing Ocean

OFI research examines the changes that are occurring in the North Atlantic and how these changes are impacting our environment, our society and our economy. In this session, delegates will hear from principal investigators, who will provide a broad overview of their work and the expected benefits it could create: 

Atmosphere-ocean interactions

•       Marine atmospheric composition & visibility 

•       Auditing the Northwest Atlantic carbon sink 

Shifting ecosystems

•       Dynamic response of microbial communities to change 

•       Spatial dynamics of valued Atlantic groundfish

•       Ecosystem indicators 

•       Cooperative biogeochemical & physical model framework 

Ocean data & technology

•       Transforming ocean observations

•       Research data management

12:30 pm - 01:30 pm


01:30 pm - 03:30 pm

Breakout sessions

  • How to turn good science into great policy
  • Engaging Indigenous communities and coastal stakeholders to find effective solutions for cooperative ocean management and development
  • Ocean data and technology, how the IT world is changing how research gets done, and reported
  • Looking toward the Labrador Sea; why science is essential 
  • The message box: effectively communicating about science

04:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Research "Show & Tell"'

Join OFI researchers, students and postdoctoral fellows as they use interactive experiences to describe their projects 

Day Two

Thursday, October 11, 2018

08:00 am - 09:00 am


09:00 am - 10:00 am

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Louis Fortier, Professor at Laval University

Louis Fortier will discuss “Trans-sectoral studies of the changing Arctic: shifts in ecosystems and ecosystem services”. A professor at Université Laval, Louis is a specialist of the ecology of marine zooplankton and fish. He holds the Canada Research Chair on the response of arctic marine ecosystems to climate warming.


10:30 am - 12:30 pm

OFI Research Showcase: Identifying Solutions

OFI research doesn't just identify problems, it recommends solutions. In this session, delegates will hear from principal investigators, who will provide a broad overview of their work and the effective approaches to resource development that it will identify:

Sustainable fisheries

•       Future-proofing marine protected areas 

•       Sustainable capture fisheries & ecosystems 

•       Informing governance responses 

Sustainable aquaculture

•       Improving sustainability & mitigating challenges 

•       Novel sensors for fish health and welfare 

•       New models of salmon health management 

•       Social license, planning in coastal communities 

Marine safety

•       Safe navigation & environmental protection 

12:30 pm - 01:30 pm


01:30 pm - 03:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • Communicating science in a 'post truth' world. Expert panel discusses how current events are influencing science journalism and society's conversation
  • Industry & academia: working together to identify commercially viable and environmentally responsible solutions
  • Ocean literacy: why it's essential to enhance education about the sea
  • Accessing ship time; a 'how to' primer
  • Partnerships with benefits: a panel discussion with OFI's international partners 

04:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Student and Postdoctoral Fellow researchers "pitch pit" 

06:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Newfoundland Kitchen Party & Screech In 

What's a kitchen party?

St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador is a city of traditions, and some of the best of its customs (and parties!) start in the kitchen. The kitchen party is an iconic component the Province's lifestyle, with music, dancing and good times.  


What's a screech in?

The "screech-in" is a ceremony performed on non-Newfoundlanders (known to Newfoundlanders as those who "come from away"). It involves the consumption of screech (a type of rum), a short recitation and the kissing of a cod (yes, a cod fish!)

Day Three

Friday, October 12, 2018

08:30 am - 09:30 am


09:30 am - 11:00 am

Keynote Speaker: A perspective from industry 

  • Conference close and final remarks 

11:30 am - 04:00 pm

OFI future funding for research; gathering input on the possibilities (working lunch)  

Session led by Anya Waite, OFI's Scientific Director