Diego L.Gil-Agudelo: Dia de los Océanos (Oceans Day)    

Colombia held an Oceans Day Conference on September 13 in Cartagena in 2017.  This year's conference centered on Ecosystems, Challenges, Climate Change and Man, as a “space for the discussion of relevant and urgent matters about the current state of the ocean and marine ecosystems”.  Colombia, having the largest Exclusive Economic Zone of the Caribbean (not including the Gulf of Mexico) and considered one of the countries with the highest marine biodiversity in the planet, is facing important environmental challenges that were addressed during this event.

This conference included talks by important Colombian marine scientists, including Dr. Sven Zea, a world authority in sponges, Dr. Juan Armando Sánchez, a renowned coral taxonomist, and Dr. Mauro Maza, civil engineer and marine scientist working in physical oceanography and coastal processes. Dr. Diego Gil-Agudelo, Director of Research Operations at Texas A&M University at Galveston, joined this group of experts by presenting his talk “Challenges in ocean ecosystems research, protection, recovery and management”.  Dr. Gil-Agudelo has worked for more than 20 years in diverse areas of marine conservation in Colombia and the Caribbean.   

The conference was hosted by Universidad Tecnologica de Bolivar, and sponsored by Fulbright, among other institutions. This conference is expected to be the beginning of important collaboration between TAMUG and Colombian scientists and scientific institutions. Dr. Gil-Agudelo has invited scientists from that conference to visit the campus and develop collaborations for future research, education and outreach opportunities.