NORA Moving Forward
NORA 3rd Conference3rd – 5th November 2020The Netherlands, Rotterdam

Photo: Bureau Waardenburg Ecology & Landscape, Floor Driessen



Tuesday November 3rd, 2020

Whole day Registration/Poster installation
09:30 Student session PHD Student session (registration required)
10:30 Working groups joint meeting Working groups joint meeting (registration required)
12:00 Lunch (UK-IRE network; 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 Themed conference sessions ‘Monitoring’ session
17:15 New restoration project introductions 
17:45 Poster session Poster session
19:00 Games night Games night (registration during conference)

Wednesday November 4th, 2020

Whole day Registration continued
09:00 Opening day 2 
09:15 Themed conference sessions ‘Site selection’ session (Speed datingsPlus 5min speed dating)
10:45 Break
11:15 Themed conference sessions ‘Biosecurity’ session (Speed datingsPlus 5min speed dating)
12:45 Lunch
13:45 Themed conference sessions ‘Production’ session (Speed datingsPlus 5min speed dating)
15:15 Break
15:45 Themed conference sessions ‘Pilot results’ session (Speed datingsPlus 5min speed dating
17:15 Break
17:30 Points of view session ‘Points of view’ session
(Invited speakers give their view on issues with diverse opinions
in the oyster restoration community.)
19:00 Conference reception
21:30 End of day two

Thursday November 5th, 2020

09:00 Opening day 3
09:10 Keynotes Keynote speaker
09:45 Themed conference sessions ‘Project management/legislation’ session (Speed datingsPlus 5min speed dating)
10:45 Break 
11:00 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 (registration required), with packed lunch (for all participants)
19:00 End of conference

The NORA conference:
purpose and organisation of program items

The NORA 3 Organising Committee, NORA Advisory Board and NORA 3 Scientific committee look forward to welcoming you to Rotterdam from 3-5th November 2020. 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.


The NORA 3 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.

Themed conference sessions

Abstracts are invited for each of the conferences themed plenary sessions: site selection, monitoring, biosecurity, oyster production, restoration pilot results, and restoration management issues. 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 extended 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.

Points of view 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 view point you would like considered for this session, please contact the Secretariat.

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.

Working Group session (registration required)

We invite all NORA participants to consider participating in a joint session of the NORA Working Groups; monitoring, biosecurity, site selection and production. This session will take place before the official start of the conference, and will briefly review the work undertaken to date, and develop as far as possible further research ideas, synergies and work plans for the Working Groups. This is a unique opportunity to get involved in ongoing and planned projects, and to ensure that the Working Groups identify collaborative tasks that benefit the whole community. Participation is limited to 100 persons.

Student session (registration required)

Following the success of the student meetings co-hosted at the first two NORA conferences, we seek here to once again provide a forum for students to present and discuss their planned activities in a friendly meeting of their peers. We encourage students to contact the student session organizer Luke ( and Monica ( if they wish to present. Please note that any students who wish to present results (as opposed to research plans etc.) are encouraged to submit abstracts to the main plenary sessions of the NORA conference.
There will also be an opportunity for a student social gathering the evening before (2nd November). If you are interested in attending please make sure you register for the student session to ensure that you receive all relevant mailings. Participation is limited to 50 persons.

Excursion (registration required)

At the end of the conference, we will organize an excursion to Yerseke, the hub of Dutch shellfish culture. We are still developing the programme, but are aiming at visiting various laboratories involved in native oyster production & research, as well as a commercial grower. Participation is limited to 75 persons.  We expect to return to Rotterdam during the evening, about 7–8pm.

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. There will be a small cost for registration to cover an informal meal and beverages to keep participants going. 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. Registration will take place at the reception during the conference.