NORA 4 Conference
23rd – 25th November 2021Middelburg, The Netherlands

Photo: Stéphane Pouvreau, IFREMER.
Reconnecting across Europe


Tuesday November 23rd, 2021

Whole day Registration/Poster installation
09:30 Student session Student session (registration required)
12:00 Lunch (& NON UK-IRE network meeting; registration required)
13:30 Opening and welcome by organisers and sponsors
14:00 Keynotes Keynote speaker
14:35 Update on NORA activities
15:15 Break
15:45 The Conversation ‘Monitoring’ session
17:15 New restoration project introductions + Speed datings Speed dating
17:45 Poster session Poster session, including posters Working groups
19:00 End of day one

Wednesday November 24th, 2021

Whole day Registration continued
09:00 Opening day 2
09:15 The Conversation ‘Site selection’ session – Speed datings Plus 5min speed dating
10:45 Break
11:15 The Conversation ‘Biosecurity’ and ´Genetics´ session – Speed datings Plus 5min speed dating
12:45 Lunch
13:45 The Conversation ‘Management/Legislation´ and ´Production´ session – Speed datings Plus 5min speed dating
15:15 Break
15:45 The Conversation ‘Pilot results’ session – Speed datings Plus 5min speed dating
17:15 Break
17:30 The Conversation ‘The Conversation` session
Invited speakers give their view on issues with diverse opinions in the oyster restoration community.
18:00 End of day two
18:30 Games night Games night (registration required)

Thursday November 25th, 2021

9:00 Opening day 3
09:10 Keynotes Keynote speaker
09:45 The Conversation ´Ecosystem services´ session – Speed datings Plus 5min speed dating
10:45 Break
11:15 Summary of NORA Working Group plans
11:45 NORA Advisory Board/Secretariat Panel discussion NORA Advisory Board/Secretariat Panel discussion, with reflections on NORA organisation plans
12:45 Closing statement/excursion briefing
13:30 Excursion Excursion (fully booked), with packed lunch (for all participants)
19:00 End of conference

The NORA Conference:
Purpose and Organisation of Programme Items

The NORA 4 Organising Committee, NORA Advisory Board and NORA 4 Scientific committee look forward to welcoming you to Middelburg from 23rd – 25th November 2021. It is the active engagement and energy of the wider NORA community that we are seeking to provide a platform for during the conference. To this end, there are many elements of the conference which seek to deviate from a traditional conference focused on the sharing of scientific knowledge and achievements. Please attend prepared to participate in NORA-wide discussions, whether you are an established scientist, a non-academic project partner, or a student. We wish to create a forum where all voices can be heard. 

In order to give you a flavor of what is in store, here is a brief overview of the conference sessions.

Student Session (registration required)

At this postgraduate workshop, students at all stages of their research project will present their research plans or results, exchanging knowledge. Aiming to create a supportive environment, the workshop will be open not only to students, but to whoever is interested in joining the event as mentors or interested parties. There will, however, be a limited number of attendees to maintain a relaxed atmosphere. This session presents a great opportunity for networking and future collaborations. There will be a student-only social event held on the evening of the 22nd November. Registration and abstract submission for the student session is now open. The abstract deadline is July 15th 2021. We hope to see you there!


The NORA 4 Organising Committee and the NORA Advisory Board are delighted to be hosting two global leaders in restoration of Ostrea species from around the world. We look forward to learning about oyster restoration from long standing and fast growing projects from the Pacific coast of the USA and Australia, and in finding out what lessons can perhaps be transferred. 
Find out more about our keynote speakers Chris Gillies and Betsy Peabody.

Novel research

Abstracts are invited for each of the conferences themed sessions: site selection, monitoring, biosecurity, genetics, oyster production, restoration pilot results, ecosystem services and restoration management. The scientific committee and the organising committee will work to ensure that the sessions include a balance across all work being undertaken within the NORA network. Masters and PhD-students are encouraged to present results of their research projects: our policy is that quality goes above seniority. Each session will consist not only of presentations, but also an opportunity for the NORA community to reflect on the findings presented, and to discuss further the potential role of NORA in progressing each theme.

Speed Dating

Throughout the conference there will be the opportunity to present briefly on any topic the whole of NORA could benefit from hearing about. This could include collaborative research ideas, calls for data, call for collaborative funding bids, and anything else that you feel NORA should know about, or participants in the NORA network could contribute to if only they knew it was happening. If you have an idea or would like to present in a “speed dating” slot, please contact the NORA secretariat.

Poster session

Posters are a great way to present activities and results, especially if you would like to discuss them further with interested parties face-to-face. We encourage restoration projects and research projects alike to submit an abstract for a poster and share their progress with the NORA community.

The Conversation Session

The NORA community is bound together by the universal goal of furthering sustainable and responsible oyster habitat restoration and protection (see the NORA mission statement), yet it also encompasses a wide range of experiences and stakeholders which can give rise to different approaches to some issues. This session seeks to explore some of this diversity. If you have a topic you think it would be interesting for the NORA community to explore, please contact the Secretariat.

Games night (registration required)

Join the Outreach Group for an informal evening developing oyster-related educational outreach games. Materials will be provided but please bring ideas and a creative flair. We aim to develop games for a range of age groups which can then be shared with the NORA network through the Outreach group and on the NORA website. Attendance is free, but places are limited and advanced registration is required.

NORA Advisory Board/Secretariat Panel discussion

NORA is fortunate to have a dedicated Advisory Board, reflecting the geographic and professional diversity within the network. This session will provide an opportunity for the network to hear directly from the Advisory Board, and to pose their own questions in an open discussion.

Excursion (fully booked)

In the afternoon/early evening of November 25, we will organize an excursion to various shellfish culture institutes in the province of Zeeland. We are aiming at visiting laboratories involved in native oyster production & research, as well as a commercial grower. We expect to return to Middelburg during the evening, about 7–8pm. Participation is limited and already fully booked. If you are interested to take part, you can ask on site at the conference desk whether there are places which have become available.