MiCO: Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean Twitter

Project Structure

MiCO is a growing consortium of more than 50 organizations led by the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland and Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab (MGEL) of Duke University. Its development is part of a larger grant to the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) from the German International Climate Initiative (IKI), and has also been supported by the Global Environment Facility through the UN Environment – World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Drs. Daniel Dunn and Patrick Halpin are the project Co-PIs, with lab members participating in both analyses of area use and connectivity, and infrastructure development. Each of the four taxa (fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles) have individual leadership, supported by research staff and student participation. Our system developers, who have extensive experience with large geospatial repository portals (including OBIS-SEAMAP, BirdLife’s Seabird Tracking Database, SERDP, and others), are responsible for infrastructure development.

Additional guidance over the course of MiCO’s initial development is provided by a steering committee made up of three advisory panels, including a strategic advisory panel, a policy advisory panel, and a technical advisory panel. Members of each advisory panel serve a two-year term.  The initial term is primarily focused on defining the (ecological and technical) scope of MiCO, partnership strategies and policy goals, and will carry us through the MiCO prototype launch in 2019.

Strategic advisory panel

These members contribute feedback and guidance on MiCO’s overall mission, purpose and direction. In addition to advocating for MiCO, within their professional capacity, the following members provide increased visibility both internally (within their organizations) and externally (to the broader community):

  • Dr. Helen Bailey, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science      
  • Dr. Lisa Ballance, NOAA Fisheries
  • Dr. Barbara Block, Stanford University
  • Dr. Peter Corkeron, NOAA Fisheries
  • Dr. Daniel Costa, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Dr. Graeme Hays, Deakin University
  • Dr. Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Tethys Research Institute/MMPA Task Force
  • Dr. Dave Secor, University of Maryland Center for Marine Science
  • Dr. Henri Weimerskirch, The National Center for Scientific Research
  • Mr. Bill Woodward, Animal Telemetry Network, Integrated Ocean Observing System

Policy advisory panel

These members provide specific input to the MiCO development team, regarding the data/knowledge needs of various intergovernmental organizations and how MiCO can be applied in existing and future area-based planning and management of the high seas. The panel also offers a forum for policymakers to share their thoughts and expertise with MiCO developers and coordinate services. Additionally, the following members also act as advocates for MiCO within their organizations and externally to the broader policy fora:

  • Mr. Ward Appeltans, Ocean Biogeographic Information System
  • Dr. Jorge Brenner, The Nature Conservancy 
  • Dr. Fanny Douvere, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre 
  • Mr. David Freestone, Sargasso Sea Commission
  • Ms. Heidrun Frisch-Nwakanma, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
  • Ms. Kristina Gjerde, International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Mr. Lyle Glowka, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
  • Ms. Carolina Hazen, BirdLife International
  • Dr. Jorge Jimenez, MarViva Foundation
  • Ms. Andrea Pauly, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals
  • Mr. Mark Spalding, The Ocean Foundation
  • Ms. Melanie Virtue, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals


Technical advisory panel

These members assist the MiCO development team in solving day-to-day issues or questions regarding species-specific knowledge, overall marine animal migration knowledge, technical spatial and statistical method questions and the like, on an as-needed basis:

  • Dr. Andre Boustany, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Dr. Maria Dias, BirdLife International
  • Dr. Tammy Davies, BirdLife International
  • Dr. Francesco Ferretti, Stanford University
  • Dr. Brendan Godley, University of Exeter
  • Dr. Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
  • Dr. Sara Maxwell, University of Washington
  • Dr. Daniel Palacios, Oregon State University
  • Dr. Sofie Van Parijs, NOAA Fisheries
  • Dr. Bryan Wallace, Conservation Science Partners / State of the World’s Sea Turtles