Early Career Ocean Professionals invited to pay tribute to Professor Mário Ruivo through their outstanding projects


UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO), Portugal and EurOcean Foundation are inviting early career ocean professionals (ECOPs) to apply to the newly launched Mario Ruivo Memorial Lecture Series.


The Memorial Lecture Series pays tribute to the legacy of Professor Mário Ruivo, former Executive Secretary of the IOC-UNESCO, and Portugal’s greatest champion of ocean science and its contribution to sustainable development.


Endorsed by the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, this initiative intends to stimulate and recognise ECOPs who are contributing in a substantive way to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 14, ‘Life below water’, and to the vision and mission  of the Ocean Decade.


20221117 - Mario Ruivo Lecture
2 February 2023

"Mário, the 5th IOC-UNESCO Executive Secretary, imprinted on the international ocean community his unparalleled professional and ethical drive. His unyielding belief in IOC came from his very early understanding of the key role of ocean science as a source of innovative solutions for societal and planetary challenges.  Mario keeps inspiring me, and he is one of those who I have in mind while repeating the quote that “IOC stands on the shoulders of giants”", said Vladimir Ryabinin, the current 9th Executive Secretary of the IOC-UNESCO.


Professor Mário Ruivo’s inspiring work and lifelong commitment to ocean science and sustainability, and his foundational contributions to the development of the IOC-UNESCO will be honored through the lecture on the winning project that will be given by the distinguished early career ocean professional during the IOC Assembly in June 2023. It will be the first lecture of this new biennial series.


According to EurOcean’s Executive Director, Sérgio Bryton, “Professor Mário Ruivo was ahead of his time and with this initiative we want to keep his legacy alive and continue to inspire the future generations”.


Empowering the new generations of early career ocean professionals and their projects is key to ensure we can co-design and co-deliver “The ocean we want” in the framework of the Ocean Decade.


Submissions of applications are open to projects developed and led by an ECOP up to 40 years of age before 9 January 2023 (submission deadline), as the principal investigator (PI) or as a co-PI.


More information on how to apply for the Mário Ruivo Memorial Lecture is available here.



Professor Mário Ruivo (1927 –  2017) 


An expert in Biological Oceanography, Mário Ruivo was one of the pioneers of marine biology in Portugal. He held high political positions (Secretary of State for Fisheries, Minister for Foreign Affairs – 1974/75), and led the Delegation of Portugal to the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (1974-79). Mário Ruivo was the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) from 1980 to 1989, and, later on, the delegate of Portugal to the IOC. His achievements at the IOC reinforced his prestige at the international level. Read more


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