About GeoHab 2022

GEOHAB is an international association of marine scientists studying and mapping geophysical, biophysical, and geomorphic indicators of benthic communities, species diversity, and distribution.


GeoHab is presently in its 21th year, the annual conference brings together over 150 biologists, geologists, environmental scientists, spatial analysts, technologists, geophysicists, and environmental advisors from around the world and provides a unique multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas that underpin sustainable ocean management. Students are encouraged to attend and grants are available.

Locations & Dates

The GeoHab 2022 annual conference will be held for the first time in Venice, Italy at Venice International University, San Servolo Island from 16th to 20th May.

The historical city of Venice in the northeastern part of Italy is built on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges within the Venice Lagoon and together are a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage site. It is one of the major touristic destinations in the world. Few cities can claim such a priceless art and history heritage as Venice. This unique city with its magical, spectacular scenery is not just beautiful, it is a real miracle of creative genius: a city built on mud, sand, and the slime of a difficult, inhospitable landscape.

Important Dates

  • January 20: Submission of abstract opens
  • March 31: Submission of abstract closes
  • April 7: Early bird on-site registration closes
  • April 26: On-site registration and early bird virtual registration closes
  • May 16: Workshop and Icebreaker party
  • May 17: Conference oral and poster session
  • May 18: Conference oral and poster session and conference dinner
  • May 19: Conference oral and poster session
  • May 20: Field trip

Conference Venue

Venice International University is something unique in the academic world – a consortium of 18 universities from all over the world with an autonomous campus on the island of San Servolo Island, Venice, Italy.

The island of San Servolo is located in the Venetian lagoon, between Venice city centre and the Lido Island. It takes 10 minutes by boat to reach Piazza San Marco, the heart of Venice. Here you can find information on how to get there.

The island was originally the home of the Venetian Calbana family who, beginning in 810, hosted the seat of a Benedictine Monastery. The buildings of the island have been developed and changed over the ages along with the people who inhabited it. San Servolo remained a monastery until the mid-eighteenth century when it was transformed into a Hospital. The island overlooks the peaceful waters of the lagoon, and covers an area of over sixteen thousand square meters that were once used for vineyards and gardens.

Conference Host

The CNR-ISMAR Institute is distributed in 6 regions of Italy (Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Lazio, Campania) involving more than 200 people in research activities. CNR-ISMAR has a long and documented experience in seafloor mapping and Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems studies with special focus on the highly emblematic cold-water coral, chemosynthetic community habitats, and very shallow water coastal and transitional environments, such a lagoons and deltas.

Session Topics

  1. Shelf and deep-sea habitats: This session will focus on deep-water methods, technological advances, and discussion of specific shelf and deep-sea habitats, as well as how their distribution
    and specific characteristics may play an important role at broader scales. Talks may include habitat mapping on the shelf and in the deep-sea for conservation and management purposes.
  2. Coastal and shallow water habitats: This session will have a particular focus on linking methodologies from terrestrial remote sensing (including data collection by aerial drones) to shallow water environments. Talks may include habitat mapping in coastal and shallow water habitats for conservation and management purposes.
  3. Submerged landscapes and cultural heritage: This session will focus on studies related to submerged landscapes and underwater cultural heritage. Underwater cultural heritage holds not
    only information about the history of humankind and the social importance of the oceans but also about the history of climate change and its impact on humanity. This session will also focus on the technical approaches employed to discover and monitor the submerged landscapes and archaeological sites.
  4. The Anthropocene and the effect of human footprint on marine habitats: This session will focus on recent approaches and technological development to map the human footprint in the Anthropocene, including benthic marine litter. Talks may include approaches to evaluate the submerged human pressures and impacts, as well as estimating long-lasting consequences on sea-floor morphology and habitat properties.
  5. New approaches from coast to deep water habitat mapping: This session will emphasize new technologies and approaches to tackle habitat mapping independently of operational spatial
    scale. Talks may include experiments, projects and practical experience enable to disclose dissimilarities in the mapping approach, explore operational and technological potentialities, recognize pitfalls, thus paving the road to find consensus solutions and prepare uniform guidelines from coast to deep sea.
  6. Habitat mapping and climate change: This session will focus on the role of habitat mapping in assessing the marine ecosystem responses to global warming and ocean acidification. Talks may include future climate scenarios highlighting how changes of benthic habitat ecosystem can be assessed through predictive models of ecosystem shifts and how potential habitat loss might influence future predictive scenarios.
  7. Habitat mapping for maritime spatial planning (MSP) within an ecosystem based approach:
    This session will focus on studies related to an ecosystem-based approach applied to a MSP aimed at maintaining the ecosystem integrity and ensuring the sustainable use of its goods and services.



Ocean mapping in the Anthropocene: new technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools
Human activities have radically changed the Earth System state and functioning to such an extent that we are now living in a new geological Epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are recognized as a geological factor radically modifying the environment.

The aim of this workshop is to provide an overview about the newest methods (including AI) to monitor and assess the impact of human activities on the seafloor in coastal and shelf environments and in deep sea areas. Case studies showing new robotic solutions, instruments and AI tools will be presented including a practical demonstration session for data processing workflow in view of Big Data Management.

Student support

The organizing committee of the GeoHab conference awards a small number of travel grants to selected students to attend and present at the conference. The Ron McDowell Bursary scheme is available to PhD, MSc and BSc students and will comprise an amount towards costs of travel, accommodation plus a waiver of the conference and workshop fees. Submit your application to Dr. Peter T. Harris (email: Peter.Harris@grida.no). The closing date for applying for this scheme is the 31st March.

Field trip

The field trip “To the origins of Venice” will take place in the Venice Lagoon on Friday 20th May:

  • 09:00 Start from San Servolo Island
  • 09:30 Lido Inlet: The MOSE system
  • 10:00 Treporti channel: A roman road under the water?
  • 10:15 San Felice salt marshes
  • 10:30 Scanello channel
  • 11:00 Torcello island: Guided tour to the basilica and museum
  • 13:00 Lunch break
  • 15:00 Guided tour in the Lazzaretto Nuovo island
  • 17:00 Travel back to San Servolo
  • 18:00 Arrical to San Servolo



Cancellation Policy

  • Registration fees will only be refunded if the notice of cancellation is received by CNR-ISMAR before 31 March 2022. The cancellation fee is €50.
  • Cancellations after 31 March 2022 and no-shows are not eligible for a refund.


Delegates are generally responsible for making their own lodging reservation. We have pre-booked about 30 rooms in San Servolo within the conference centre till 5th March. Find here the booking form and please make your reservation as soon as possible.
The Local Organizing Committee also recommends the Saturnia Hotel near S. Mark’s square and the Ca’ Pisani Hotel in Dorsoduro where a special 10% discount is foreseen for the Geohab2022’s participants. Also more modestly priced accomodation is available at the Salesiani where there are 10 single rooms reserved at a lower rate for conference participants till 15th April.
Below are listed other possible alternatives for economical accommodation:
Ostello Santa-Fosca
Generator (Hostel in Giudecca)
Collegio Gesuiti


COVID-19 up-to-date information

Please note: The information below has been researched with the utmost care and is kept up to date as much as possible. However, we can provide no guarantee of accuracy. We strongly recommend visiting the sites mentioned below regularly if you intend to participate in-person in GEOHAB22.

Detailed updated information is available at the links

In collaboration with the competent authorities, the GEOHAB 2022 local organizing committee has developed the Anti-Covid 19 / Green Pass measures summarised below, which will be implemented for the GEOHAB 2022 Conference, with the purpose of guaranteeing the safety of all participants.

To have access to the Conference premises at the San Servolo Island, all on-site attendees are obliged to fulfil the Italian requirements for the large event participation including, but not limited to, evidence of a low epidemiological risk (e.g. vaccination status of EMA-approved vaccine), FFP-2 masks that will be also provided on-site if needed, distance measure, usage of disinfectants, etc. These regulations might be adjusted from now until the GEOHAB2022 starts.

During the process to verify the Green Pass, conference participants will be asked to show a valid document of identity. If the above conditions are not met, the GEOHAB 2022 Local Organizing Committee will refuse admission to the GEOHAB 2022 Conference and no refunds of the registration fees will be allowed. All conference participants are asked to please always carry with them a copy of their Green Pass or equivalent certification. The Local Organizing Committee will make sure that all the necessary measures are taken to ensure the safety of the on-site participants:

  • The number of participants is set to maximum 120 so that the conference room will be only half full to ensure social distancing. The room will be properly ventilated.
  • Poster sessions will be in a room opened to a garden with fresh air and poster boards spaced out for safety.

Special Issues

Organizing Committees

Scientific committee

    • Vaughn Barrie (Geological Survey of Canada, Pacific)
    • Craig Brown (Nova Scotia Community College, Canada)
    • Guy Cochrane (U.S. Geological Survey)
    • Margaret Dolan (Geological Survey of Norway, Norway)
    • Andrea Fiorentino (Geological Survey of Italy-ISPRA, Italy)
    • Gary Greene (Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, USA)
    • Daniel Ierodiaconou (Deakin University, Australia)
    • Aarno Kotilainen (Geological Survey of Finland, Finland)
    • Geoffroy Lamarche (NIWA, University of Aukland, New Zealand)
    • Tim Le Bas (National Oceanography Centre, UK)
    • Kim Picard (GeoScience Australia)
    • Donna Schroeder (U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
    • Heather Stewart (British Geological Survey, UK)
    • Brian Todd (Geological Survey of Canada, Atlantic)
    • Federica Foglini (CNR-Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy)
    • Fantina Madricardo (CNR-Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy)


  • Federica Foglini (CNR-Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy)
  • Fantina Madricardo (CNR-Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy)

Local Organizing Committee

Federica Foglini, Fantina Madricardo, Irene Guarneri, Michol Ghezzo, Marco Sigovini, Lorenzo Angeletti, Mariacristina Prampolini, Valentina Grande, Alessandra Mercorella, Daphnie Galvez, Giorgio Castellan, William McKiver (CNR-Instutute of Marine Sciences, Italy)


federica.foglini@ismar.cnr.it: +39 0516398872

fantina.madricardo@ismar.cnr.it: +39 0412407986






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