Katie recently attended “ECOLight” – a European Union Foresight Workshop for ‘horizon planning’ at the University of Pisa from 16th-23rd January 2020. The workshop was hosted by Dr Elena Maggi and Professor Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi (Vice Rector) in the Department of Biology. The topic of workshop was “Emergent impacts on coastal areas: adding the role of light pollution to the management and protection of ocean commons”.

The workshop began with a mini-symposium for the Department of Biology involving all of the workshop attendees. Katie presented a talk with Dr Mariana Mayer-Pinto (UNSW) entitled “Mapping the extent and potential impacts of ALAN in Sydney Harbour”. This included work from past and present students on the topic of light pollution. The symposium stimulated much discussion about how we measure and manipulate light pollution for ecological surveys and experiments. The discussion benefited greatly from having a mix of disciplines in the room from marine to freshwater ecology and astronomers to astrophysicists.

Following the symposium, we focused on 3 objectives, 1) preparing a position paper on the state of current knowledge about light pollution in coastal systems; 2) developing a global network of coastal ALAN researchers; and 3) outlining plans for a global experiment that would be done by all workshop attendees.

We formed the Global artificial Light Ocean NetWork (GLOW); a collaborative network of scientists studying the potential effects of artificial light at night (ALAN) on coastal assemblages colonizing artificial structures. GLOW is conducting surveys to quantify the intensity and quality of night lightings and their effects on the abundance of intertidal algae and invertebrates.

GLOW currently includes partners from eight countries (Australia, Chile, Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, UK):

  • University of Pisa – Italy (resp. E. Maggi / I. Bertocci)
  • SZN – Italy (resp. G. Franzitta)
  • RBI – Croatia (resp. L. Ivesa)
  • CNRS Nice – France (resp. F. Rossi)
  • Station Biologique Roscoff – France (resp. D. Davoult)
  • ULPGC – Spain (resp. F. Tuya)
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory/University of Plymouth (resp. A. Queiros / T. Davies)
  • UCD – Ireland (resp. T. Crowe)
  • UNSW Sydney/Macquarie University – Australia (resp. M. Mayer Pinto / K. Dafforn)
  • Universidad Andrés Bello – Chile (resp. C. Duarte)

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