The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy of France to Canada, in partnership with Dalhousie University, are pleased to present a panel discussion:

Ocean and Plastic: Save the Water or the Bottle

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 
Atrium, 2nd Floor, Steele Ocean Sciences Building, Dalhousie University
1355 Oxford Street 


5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.: Ocean School demonstration by Dr. Boris Worm
5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Ocean and Plastic: Save the water or the bottle panel discussion
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 pm.: Reception

Dr. Boris Worm, Dalhousie University


John Hanus, German Marine Research Consortium and JPI Oceans


John Hanus is currently working as a science-policy officer in the European Union office of the German Marine Research Consortium, the national association of marine, coastal and polar research institutes. In this capacity, John has helped to develop the international travelling exhibition the Ocean Plastics Lab, which showcases the efforts of scientists from around the world to understand and tackle plastics in the ocean. 

The exhibition was initiated on the basis of a decision of the G7 Science and Technology Ministers to raise public awareness about marine litter. John is also an advisor to the intergovernmental organisation JPI Oceans which funds transnational marine and maritime research. He has been in charge of organising two international calls for research projects studying the sources, quantities, distribution and impact of microplastics in the marine environment. 

John has a background in political science from the University of Manchester, UK.

Dr. Richard Sempere, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography, Aix Marseille University


Richard Sempéré, PhD, is oceanographer, marine and atmospheric geochemist and director of research at CNRS.

Currently, he is director of the Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography (M I O: 250 people), belonging to Aix Marseille University, CNRS, IRD and Toulon University.

His research interests concern exploration of sources and sinks of natural organic matter in aquatic environments, the intersection of the carbon cycle and microbial communities under global change conditions. He is currently studying microplastic distribution and degradation as well as organic contaminants in atmospheric and aquatic systems. He is also studying dissolved organic matter including sugars, dicarboxylic acids, phthalates, bacterial and UV impacts (photo-oxydation) distribution and decomposition.

Richard Sempere has been student in French Universities and post-doctoral fellow in Tokyo, Japan. He has been a member of several CNRS, IRD national committees including CNRS national committee and IRD national committee.

Richard Sempere is currently French national pivot for the coordination and support action (CSA) of the strategic European agenda Blue Med for the Mediterranean. He has been associate editor of Marine Chemistry journal and PI/Co-PI of several projects such as UVECO, MERMEX, MEDPOP, Blue Pollut and CareMed. He is author or co-author of 100 scientific publications in peer review journals and supervised studies of 12 PhD students, 8 post-doctoral fellows and more than 50 engineers or Master course students.

Dr. Susanna Fuller, Oceans North


Susanna’s commitment to marine conservation was born during her final year of high school when she spent six months on a tall ship during the same period when Northern cod stocks collapsed in Atlantic Canada.

Her work now focuses on achieving tangible conservation outcomes in sustainable fisheries and spatial protections in Atlantic Canada and the Arctic, as well as initiatives to protect high seas biodiversity. She completed her Ph.D. at Dalhousie University, including research on North Atlantic marine sponge populations, and has worked for the past decade and a half on the science-policy interface for national and international fisheries and ocean conservation.

Before joining Oceans North, she led the marine team at Ecology Action Centre in Halifax where she lives.

Aaron Stevenson, CEO, Ashored Innovations


Aaron is currently pursuing a Master of Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation (MTEI) at the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University and brings a wide range of leadership and senior management experience to the team.

His diverse background in start-ups, entrepreneurship, non-profits, and information technology, along with previous experience in aquaculture and marine mechanics has earned him a master, jack-of-all-trades reputation that contributes to his well-rounded leadership style.

For Ashored Innovations, Aaron is responsible for developing and growing the business, facilitating and prioritizing business activities, and building relations with investors, suppliers, and market influencers.

This event is part of the Ottawa Climate Talks series initiated by the German Embassy.