HKU to hold the 2nd Interdisciplinary Symposium on Ocean Acidification and Climate Change (ISOACC) — Establish new synergy to tackle climate change impacts on coastal biodiversity

Coastal areas are increasingly vulnerable to climate change (i.e. warming and ocean acidification and hypoxia). Globally this issue has become one of the most serious socio-economic concerns because majority of coasts will soon become unsuitable for shellfish farming. This is a stark warning to Asia, which is not only a center of marine biodiversity but also accounts for >90% of world’s shellfish production. A multidisciplinary team approach is required to evaluate these climate change impacts on coastal biodiversity/aquaculture and to understand the mechanisms behind these impacts.

With the funding support from the Environment and Conservation Fund, Faculty of Science of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Swire Institute of Marine Science and the School of Biological Sciences of HKU are organizing the 2nd ISOACC along with University of Glasgow from 5-9 December 2016.

Unlike conventional conferences, the 2nd ISOACC aims to bring scientists who have strong interest in multidisciplinary collaboration in marine climate change research together. This Symposium will:

  • Bring ecologists, engineers and molecular biologists to refresh ongoing collaborations and to establish new synergy to utilize new research tools from molecular biology, biomedical sciences and mechanical engineering in climate change studies;
  • Identify important research gaps that can be addressed by multidisciplinary collaborations;
  • Discuss the idea of establishing an “Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Oyster Research (ILOR)” to model the climate change impacts on oyster aquaculture, and
  • Form an international and interdisciplinary collaborative research team to provide advice and to advance the Ocean acidification -Asia network.

Members of the media are cordially invited to the Opening Ceremony on 6 December 2016 (tomorrow) and other sessions of the Symposium. Details as below:

Opening Ceremony
Date: 6 December 2016 (tomorrow)
09:00 Tea Reception
09:30 Opening Remarks
Professor Paul Tam Kwong-hang, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of HKU
09:35 Welcoming Address
Professor W. John Kao, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global) of HKU
09:40 Signing Ceremony of the MoU between SWIMS and Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Science (IOCAS)
09:45 Welcoming Remarks
Mr. Mickey Lai, Assistant Director of AFCD
09:50 Introduction to 2nd ISOACC
Dr. Rajan, Associate Professor and chairman of 2nd ISOACC
Venue:  Theatre A, Chow Yei Ching Building, Main Campus, HKU

For programme details, please visit:

Media enquiry:

Dr Vengatesen Thiyagarajan, Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences (Tel: 2299 0601; Email: rajan(at) or
Rhea Leung, Manager (Media), Communications and Public Affairs Office (Tel:2857 8555/ 9022 7446; Email: rhea.leung(at)

The University of Hong Kong, 5 December 2016. Press release.

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