The International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea) is a joint master's program organized by eight leading European universities in the field of marine sciences; University of Ghent (BE), University of Pierre and Marie Curie (FR), University of the Algarve (PT), University of Oviedo (ES), Technological Institute of Galway-Mayo, University of the Basque Country, The Polytechnic University of Marche (IT ) and the University of Bergen (NO), with the support of fourteen Marine Research Institutes belonging to the European Center for Marine Biological Resources (EMBRC). Building on the goals of the EMBRC consortium, IMBRSea encompasses a broad, but coherent, range of topics related to the sustainable use of marine biological resources. With an emphasis on marine biological and ecological processes, the program links marine organism biology and environmental studies with issues of marine policy and planning.Access requirementsA prerequisite for admission is that candidates have a Bachelor's, Bachelor's or Master's degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, marine science, geography, geology, or equivalent. The number of students that can be registered will depend on the logistical possibilities of the Consortium's member universities, and can be updated annually. The students with the best scores will be the first to be admitted. The preferences of the students regarding the place of their studies will be taken into account as far as possible.
Knowledge of the English language is an essential requirement. A proof of sufficient English proficiency corresponding to a B2 level on the European reference scale for language skills is required. The IMBRSea Management Board can dispense with the language test if the student has completed and passed in English at least one year of previous studies in higher education. Additional admission criteria may apply according to local regulations of the student's host University which, when necessary, will have to be met by applicants.Professional outingsThe aim of this Master is to prepare students for the rapidly evolving demands of the blue bioeconomy, and for research on the sustainable use of marine biological resources. The international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral nature of these challenges requires an integrated approach, which this Master employs comprehensively. Its quality is justified from this evaluation at European level, and its academic, scientific and applied interest is evident, since the marine environment is a precious asset. Oceans and seas provide 99% of the available living space on the planet, covering 71% of the earth's surface and containing 90% of the biosphere (and a huge proportion of global biological diversity). Each year, the ocean absorbs approximately 26% of total CO2 emissions, which have increased by 30% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750 according to the IOARUG (International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group). In recent years, awareness of these threats has led to a series of strategic decisions in the European and global context (non-exclusive list):A European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research: Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, dated September 3, 2008, proposed a series of actions to:Increase capacities in terms of infrastructure (eg data collection and monitoring facilities, ocean observatories, underwater technology and specialized research ships), innovation and education.
Develop the integration between knowledge and observational data, as well as the promotion of interdisciplinary research activities on cross-cutting issues (for example, the impact of human activity on marine and coastal ecosystems, or the protection and exploitation of marine biodiversity) , including technology transfer.
Promote synergies through combinations of different private, regional, national and community funds. Due to the global dimension of the problems that affect the oceans, the development of international cooperation is essential.
The Strategic Marine Framework Directive, adopted by the EU in 2008, aims to achieve healthier marine waters by 2020.
The EU's Revised Sustainable Development Strategy states that measures must be taken to ensure that the use of the marine environment (oceans, seas and coasts) is genuinely sustainable.
The stated mission of the European Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries focuses on sustainable fisheries and healthy seas, and wants to implement it by promoting an integrated approach to all maritime policies.
Within Horizon 2020, the current European framework for Research and Innovation, the JPI-Oceans platform has been launched as a proposal for long-term coordination and integration, open to all Member States of the European Union and associated countries that invest in the marine and maritime research.
Rio + 20 deals with seven major themes, one of which is "the oceans" and is focused on the relationship of the oceans with food, energy, cities, water and disasters. On March 6, 2012, the European Parliament declared during the Symposium "Blue Footprint for Oceans and Coasts at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20)", that the oceans will be a priority for the UN.Marine biological resources face serious local threats - overexploitation, pollution, loss of habitat - and global - climate change. In response to these threats, local, national and supranational administrations are devoting an increasing effort to the establishment of measures for the management and conservation of marine resources and biodiversity, which requires a high degree of conceptual, methodological and administrative specialization. Postgraduate studies on Marine Biological Resources are widely established throughout the world (eg, at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Stockholm, Barcelona), as well as programs related to marine biology and ecology and oceanography (eg Florida State University). However, there is a void in terms of graduate programs oriented to the study and conservation of marine biodiversity, which enable students to face the aforementioned challenges. An example of a related European program is the Erasmus Mundus MSc in Marine Environment and Resources (http://merconsortium.eu), whose coordinating University (University of the Basque Country UPV / EHU) also participates in IMBRSea as a member of the Consortium. The new Erasmus + IMBRSea program has a more biological and less environmental approach, placing the emphasis on resource management - of course taking into account the environment on which living resources depend. IMBRSea has chosen to adopt a system based on specialization itineraries, each of which combines different approaches according to the eight Universities that teach it, after a first semester of general training given in four Consortium Universities with the same subjects and contents . This ensures that students have sufficient options to design their own curriculum and guarantee diversity as well as the necessary equality in the acquisition of skills and competencies.
To this end, the specific competences of the Master converge towards these objectives:Possess the necessary knowledge to calculate and interpret the biodiversity of organisms, their morphological adaptations and their functions in the marine ecosystem
Know at an advanced level the marine aquatic biogeochemical cycles, the relationships between them and the consequences of their interactions and temporal alterations in the biodiversity of biological resources
Understand the biology of populations of marine organisms with different life histories, relating this life history to their population dynamics and to intra- and inter-specific interactions
Possess the necessary knowledge to understand the key processes that structure marine communities and guide their dynamics
Being able to produce, represent and interpret cartography and graphs of physical-chemical and biological variables in the sea
Be able to design and analyze marine science experiments, with an emphasis on a deep understanding of the most important statistical methods
Being able to choose the appropriate statistical models for different sets of variables related to the marine environment with complex interactions between them, using the appropriate statistical analysis software
Being able to find, manage, integrate, elaborate and produce information and data from different sources and databases on the marine environment, integrating it into new analyzes with their own data, and generating reports for managers and other scientists
Being able to design sampling plans in different marine environments that face different scales of spatial and temporal variability
Manage programs for the representation of geographic data in marine and coastal areas, including searching, filtering and critical analysis of the data itself
Understand the concepts of ocean governance, marine spatial planning and sustainability oriented to the management of marine resources
Possess the necessary knowledge to understand, interpret, apply, design and implement environmental impact assessments in the marine environment, including alternative proposals for execution and, where appropriate, restoration if applicable
Being able to design biomonitoring programs and systematic observation of the marine environment and transfer these programs to the agencies and organizations in charge of managing the natural environment.
Be able to identify problems in the populations and stocks of marine organisms, estimate their viability and propose corrective measures that allow their proper management. • Be able to plan, structure and write a scientific article as well as manage the process of submission and review in specialized journals
Being able to work with a variety of graphic tools and prepare different types of presentations of one's own work on marine biological resources and media to address different audiences
Efficiently apply different monitoring methods in benthic, pelagic or aquaculture marine environments, understanding the limitations of each method
Possess the necessary knowledge to understand and interpret the biology, ecology and reproduction of marine organisms for their potential application to their production in sustainable aquaculture
Use the English language as a vehicle for communicating knowledge related to the marine environment
Use the language and local expressions as a communication vehicle for the dissemination of scientific knowledge about the marine environment to society in general, as well as to relevant local managers and actorsCurriculumOne of the greatest strengths of IMBRSea is the high proportion of field and laboratory work, active integration within research teams and rotation between laboratories, between universities and partner centers. This practical training requires small groups of students. Therefore, Curriculum Foundations courses are offered at four colleges, rather than concentrating students in one center. The specialization itinerary system is another strength. It is designed with the participation of at least two universities per semester in each of the five pathways, providing enough flexibility for students to choose a university within their special fields of interest. The offer of itineraries has been distributed among the eight participating universities according to their previous specialization, the number of professors and experts available in each of them and their scientific profile.