IMECaN – Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network

Background and aim

In 2016, the IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee endorsed the establishment of a network for early career researchers working on topics related to the IMBeR Grand Challenges, and soon after the Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network (IMECaN) was created by some of the IMBeR ClimEco summer school alumni.

IMECaN aims to:

  • Provide a networking platform for early career marine researchers to develop collaborations;
  • Provide training and development in areas not traditionally provided through formal education and training programmes; and
  • Provide leadership opportunities for ECR marine researchers, particularly from developing nations.

Who can be an IMECaNer?

IMECaN is open to marine science students (Masters and PhDs), and early career researchers (less than eight years post-PhD, and less than six years since their first research appointment). The network currently has 698 members from 88 countries. Click here to join us!


Organising Committee

IMECaN is overseen by the Organising Committee, and the Chair of the Committee serves as an ex-officio member of the IMBeR Scientific Steering Committee. Stephanie Brodie is the current Chair  (since 1 January 2020). 

IMECaN activities

Even before it was officially launched, members of the newly formed IMECaN Organising Committee undertook two very successful early career events.

In June 2018, a workshop was convened in Losinj, Croatia, to teach EU-based ECRs how to work efficiently at the Science-Policy-Society interface. Thirty students and early career researchers participated in the workshop.

The IMBeR ClimEco6 summer school was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and brought together 50 transdisciplinary ECRs to consider Transdisciplinary Approaches towards Sustainable Oceans.

Unfortunately, planning for the ClimEco7 summer school had to be paused due to COVID-19. Hopefully, it will go ahead next year in Vancouver, Canada from 9-13 August 2021.

A very successful virtual workshop on Marine Spatial Planning was convened from 17-21 August 2020. Almost 700 people from around the world participated.

Submissions for a Frontiers in Marine Science Research Topic on Solving Complex Ocean Challenges Through Interdisciplinary Research: Advances from Early Career Marine Scientists have been pouring in. Articles are published as soon as they are accepted.

And more will come……

IMECaN Frontiers Research Topic


About this Research Topic

Anthropogenic impacts on the world’s oceans are accelerating at an unprecedented rate, threatening the sustainability of the goods and services the oceans provide, with downstream impacts on societal well-being and livelihoods. Embedded within complex social-ecological systems, oceans show uncertain, unpredictable, and interconnected challenges that cannot be solved through traditional single disciplinary approaches. To this end, there has been growing recognition for the need of interdisciplinary marine science to push towards sustainable, productive, and healthy oceans at a time of global change. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are at the forefront of this new research agenda. This special issue is designed to showcase the diversity of research undertaken by early career marine scientists.

This Research Topic invites Original Research articles and Perspective pieces focused on interdisciplinary marine science by early career researchers. We encourage submissions that relate to:
• Understanding and quantifying the state and variability of marine ecosystems;
• Improving scenarios, predictions and projections of future ocean-human systems at multiple scales;
• Improving and achieving sustainable ocean governance; and
• Perspectives on the role of early career researchers in solving ocean challenges

Criteria: The first author must be an early career researcher – considered to be a student or within 8 years of completing a PhD or Masters degree. This cut-off is flexible in that it allows for career breaks (e.g. family leave; health reasons; dramatic shifts in research area) and submissions should provide a brief explanation if they request an exception.

The Topic Editors Stephanie Brodie, Christopher Cvitanovic, Maria Grazia Pennino, Jon Lopez and André Frainer declare that they are members of the IMBeR (Integrated Marine Biosphere Research) network and IMECaN (Interdisciplinary Marine Early Career Network) and are collaborating with the IMBeR research community.

Keywords: early career research, interdisciplinary, marine science, sustainability, social-ecological, ocean governance

Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.