Final conference of the EU research project MARS

»Managing multiple stress for multiple benefits in aquatic ecosystems«

15. - 18. January 2018, Brussels, Belgium

Over the last four years, the EU research project MARS investigated into multi-stress effects on European surface waters, supporting their management under the Water Framework Directive. MARS eventually comes to an end in January 2018.

At this final two-days conference the MARS key results and recommendations are presented:
The 'Scientific Event' (Tuesday, January 16) summarises and reviews the main project outcomes within the context of aquatic multi-stressor research.
The 'Management & Policy Event' (Wednesday, January 17) introduces into MARS products (guidance, tools) and discusses effective river basin management and policy under multi-stress conditions.

The conference addresses applied scientists, water managers and administrators, as well as policy-makers and executives.

The scientific conference is open to the public on January 16 +17 (Tuesday+Wednesday).
The MARS internal meeting for project partners only is on January 15 + 18 (Monday+Thursday).


Tuesday 16

Summary of MARS results

  • Complex to understand, but simple to manage: The role of multiple stressors for assessing and restoring Europe’s waters, Daniel Hering (UDE, DE)
  • Multiple stressors at water body scale: the MARS experimental studies, Erik Jeppesen (AU, DK) & Stefan Schmutz (BOKU, AT)
  • Multiple stressors at the river basin scale: the 16 case-study catchments, Teresa Ferreira (ULisboa, PT)
  • Multiple stressors at the European scale: discovering patterns across the continent, Ana Cristina Cardoso (JRC, EC) & Yiannis Panagopoulos (NTUA, GR)

Synthesis and outlook

  • Synthesis: Stressors, scenarios and water management, Bryan Spears (CEH, UK)
  • Scenarios and models: The science behind the MARS tools, Markus Venohr (IGB, DE) & Christian Feld (UDE, DE)
  • What did we learn from MARS? Key findings of the project, Sebastian Birk (UDE, DE)
  • MARS and multiple stressors: what next for freshwater research and management? Steve Ormerod (CU, UK)
  • Multiple stressors: the need for generality in a context-dependent world, Ian Donohue (TCD, IE)
  • Plenary discussion: Applied aquatic multi-stressor research: What can we recommend to river basin management?

Evening (18:00 onwards): Joint dinner on the museum’s balcony

Wednesday 17

The operational level – MARS outcomes relevant for river basin management

  • The results of MARS and its implications for the water management and research agendas, Daniel Hering (UDE, DE)
  • The MARS Guidance: how to deal with multi-stressors in river basin management? Anne Lyche Solheim (NIVA, NO) & Rafaela Schinegger (BOKU, AT)
  • The suite of MARS tools in support of river basin management, Markus Venohr (IGB, DE) & Tom Buijse (DELTARES, NL)
  • Diagnosing the causes of ecological status degradation in the face of multiple stressors, Christian Feld (UDE, DE)
  • Integrating ecosystem services into river basin management, Bruna Grizzetti (JRC, IT)
  • Key-recommendations for river basin management under water scarcity and toxic stressors (contributions of the projects GLOBAQUA and SOLUTIONS), Damia Barcelo (ES) & N.N.

The policy level – implementing the WFD

  • Reflections on the 2nd river basin management cycle, Lourdes Alvarellos (EC) [tbc]
  • The Future of Water Management in Europe: Outcomes of the MARS e-Conference reviewing WFD implementation, Laurence Carvalho (CEH, UK)
  • Options for improved WFD implementation using instruments of the current and future CAP, N.N. [tbc]
  • Understanding multiple pressures and effects on environmental status to support management under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Angel Borja (AZTI, ES)
  • How to improve River Basin Management using synergies of various policies?, Kristy Blackstock (JHI, UK)
  • Towards an integrative water resource management in a bio-economy context, Per Stålnacke (NIBIO, NO)
  • Plenary discussion: Managing multiple stress for multiple benefits in aquatic ecosystems within the food-energy-water nexus
download/open pdf

Please download the circular for full details on time and speakers.


Museum of Natural Sciences
Vautierstreet, 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

Find more information on the website of the museum

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Registration & Fees

The registration for the conference is closed.

There will be no fee charged for the conference.

If you have any questions please contact the MARS team at

Please note: The scientific confenference open to the public is on January 16 +17 (Tuesday+Wednesday).
The MARS internal meeting for project partners only is on January 15 + 18 (Monday+Thursday).