World Seagrass Conference & International Seagrass Biology Workshop
WSC2022 & ISBW14
Signs of Success    Annapolis, MD   7 - 12 August, 2022

Pre-event Seminar Series

Since we weren't able to hold our event in 2020, and because August 2022 is still a long way away, the ISBW and WSC steering committee is working with the World Seagrass Association to present the World Seagrass Association Seagrass Seminar Series. Every other month between March 2021 and August 2022, we will offer a unique, seagrass-oriented seminar covering topics like global seagrass monitoring, communities of practice, citizen science and communication, DEIJ, and seagrass advocacy and awareness.

This seminar series will feature talks and panel discussions from experts around the world, so times will vary and hopefully everyone will be able to catch at least one or two seminars "live". If you miss one, every seminar in the series will be recorded and available to view on this website as well as the WSA website.

As planning progresses, speakers will be announced here, via email, and on social media. If you'd like to be added to our email list, please let us know at

To register your intent to participate, click the "Register" button below the speaker. Once registered, you will receive an email with the information on how to login.

Jonathan Lefcheck, PhD

Jonathan Lefcheck, PhD

Towards a global seagrass monitoring network: The past, present and future of collaboration

31 March 2021; Zoom

12:00 - 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Seminar Abstract: Global recognition of the importance of seagrass is higher than ever before, as evidenced by the increasing rate of scientific publications on the topic. Seagrass research has also recently been featured in numerous international periodicals and summarized in a UN Environmental Programme report. Importantly, this valuable and irreplaceable habitat has become the cornerstone of many local, regional, national, and international efforts to improve coastal sustainability and mitigate climate impacts. As a result, there has never been a more important or socially relevant time to monitor, understand, map, and share information related to seagrasses. This talk will review the past, present, and future of global seagrass research. It will begin by highlighting existing long-term monitoring programs and focus on the insights gained from over 100,000 SeagrassNet observations collected from 35 countries over the past twenty years. The talk will then go on to discuss mapping and monitoring programs from areas around the world, including the Indo-West Pacific, Asia, Australia, and North America. Recent efforts to synthesize the status and trends of seagrasses will be reviewed and emerging platforms to define and disseminate best practices centered around the Global Ocean Observing System’s “Essential Ocean Variables” will be discussed. Finally, the open and inclusive future of collaborative global research will be highlighted and participants will learn how they too can contribute to the next generation of seagrass science.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Jonathan Lefcheck is currently the Tennenbaum Coordinating Scientist for the MarineGEO Network at the Smithsonian Institution and is based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD, USA. He is a marine community ecologist and biodiversity scientist who has worked on a variety of coastal ecosystems from oyster and coral reefs to salt marshes, kelp forests, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents, but has a deep and enduring love for seagrasses. He also develops novel statistical tools to help understand natural systems, particularly the growing technique of “structural equation modeling.” He is currently focused on coordinating global seagrass monitoring and synthesis through MarineGEO and SeagrassNet.

Jon received his B.A. from Colby College in 2009 and his Ph.D. from the College of William and Mary in 2015, and has conducted post-doctoral research at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. His work on seagrasses has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Hakai Magazine, and on National Public Radio.

A recording of this presentation is available on the ISBW14 YouTube channel here: