In acknowledgment of the significant ecological role of marine viruses and their impact on global biogeochemical cycles, the proposed REVEALING Foresight Workshop strives to revolutionize marine virology. Spearheaded by experts in viral ecology, modeling, and oceanography, the workshop seeks to transcend existing associations in marine virology towards a predictive understanding of this field. The peculiar nature of the marine coastal zone, driven concomitantly by natural and anthropogenic forces, and more specifically the Mediterranean Sea, a highly vulnerable ecosystem to global climate changes, will be targeted and used for testing hypotheses, given that our knowledge of how viral communities will respond to the projected oceanic physicochemical alterations in the coastlines is rather limited.

Key Objectives

The objective of the hereby-proposed REVEALING Foresight Workshop is to come up with strategies and guidelines to advance the field of marine virology to go beyond identifying “associations” that are currently ongoing, towards a mechanistic and predictive understanding of the topic. The goal is to summarize the state-of-the-art in the field of viral ecology and -omics, highlight the important of accounting for viruses in ecological models, and then to identify the mechanisms and advantages but also the limitations and obstacles to do so. More specifically the workshop aims at:

  • Summarize the current knowledge in marine virology, introducing ecologists to this field and emphasizing the importance of integrating viruses into ecological models.
  • Explore how marine viruses contribute to mitigating or exacerbating climate change impacts and identify the mechanisms behind these roles.
  • Generate a roadmap for future research priorities in viral ecology to address longstanding questions and gaps in understanding.
  • Propose guidelines for consistent generation and sharing of datasets for integration into climate change models.
  • Inspire and motivate the next generation of researchers to delve into marine viral ecology.

Expected Outcomes

Some major outcomes of the workshop include:

  • A scientific synthesis paper for open-access publication in a peer-reviewed journal about A) the ways to incorporate viral -omics in marine ecology and modelling; the difficulties, the easiness, the practicalities (e.g. the cost, human power needed), the bioinformatics and modelling obstacles, and most importantly, the natural complexity of oceanic dynamics and community ecology, and the gaps in understanding of biogeochemistry (basic metabolic pathways and the repertoire of genes involved).
  • A focus point within this paper, giving advice about B) the application of viral -omics in highly disturbed coastal systems and C) the Mediterranean Sea specifically.
  • The underlying datasets used in this review will be highlighted and any potential new code that will arise will be published in Open Research Software journals.
  • A network of people sharing similar background and same interests concerning the oceans (health, wellbeing, sustainability, provision of goods and services) will be created and will hopefully work on future projects and proposals in this direction.

Expected Impact

We hope that our REVEALING workshop will set the floor to larger-scale EuroMarine projects and proposals, targeting the viral activities (but not exclusively) and their interactions with the whole oceanic system. EuroMarine will thus be further visualised as the “setting-floor agency” in EU that enabled this activity to become true. The workshop will be open to key participants inside and outside EuroMarine (not only in the in-person workshop, but even from the first months of the activity), with the ultimate goal to boost collaboration and create a network of members and organizations that will advance the synthesis of the paper and the marine virology in general.


Interested participants can apply by contacting Anastasia Tsiola atsiola@hcmr.gr.