General Information


Timetable of events

GEOHAB (Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping) is an international association of marine scientists studying and mapping biophysical (i.e. geologic and oceanographic) indicators of benthic communities, species diversity and distribution.

The GeoHab 2016 conference will be held in Winchester, England, the ancient capital of Wessex, from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th May 2016.

This annual conference brings together over 120 biologists, geologists, environmental scientists, spatial analysts, technologists, acousticians and environmental advisors from around the world and provides a unique multidisciplinary forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas that underpin sustain-able ocean management. The conference also houses an exhibition of industry technology and products used in the marine environmental community. Because of the relatively small number of delegates and focused topics, GeoHab conferences are organised as an informal, single-stream session, which encourages dialogue between delegates and exhibitors.

Students are encouraged to attend and grants are available.

GeoHab is now in its 15th year and has several publications ( see ) based on work contributed by members, coordinated through annual meetings.



The 2016 GeoHab conference will take place in the Winchester Guildhall and will be hosted by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton and the Marine Environmental Mapping Programme MAREMAP partners. Winchester is 60 miles south west of London and has good road and rail connections. The conference venue is in the centre of Winchester. The city is relatively small and walking is recommended as parking is very limited. Much of the present form of the city dates to the late 9th century when King Alfred the Great held court. The city has many historic locations, not least Winchester Cathedral founded in 642 but rebuilt in 1079.



Monday 2nd May 2016: Registration opens. Pre conference Workshop: “Interpretation of Marine Environments using Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA)”. Ice Breaker Party.
Tuesday 3rd May 2016: Conference Oral and Poster Presentations.
Wednesday 4th May 2016: Conference Oral, Poster Presentations and Conference dinner.
Thursday 5th May 2016: Conference Oral and GeoHab annual general meeting.
Friday 6th May 2016: Field Trip: "Exploration of the world heritage sites of Stonehenge, and the Jurrasic Coast, together with the New Forest National Park"

For a preliminary program please see the Abstract Tab



This event will take place on board the HMS Warrior, a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate built in 1859–61.  In Portsmouth harbour, a sumptuous meal will be served on the gundeck between the cannons.



GeoHab 2016 offers unique sponsorship opportunities that can be tailored for you. If you would like to discuss a package best suited to your requirements, or trade/exhibition booth, please contact any of the co-conveners of GeoHab 2016. Your input is welcomed and will ensure the ongoing success of this international forum. Funds obtained from sponsorships are also used to support students wishing to attend the GeoHab conference.



  • Development of standards for classification, confidence and assessment of habitat maps: This session will focus on how repeat surveys should be carried out for monitoring, how map uncertainty should be conveyed to the end user and how best ground truthing approaches should be determined. 
  • National mapping program management and data-sharing: This session will discuss big datasets, from their collection to their handling and most significantly their processing and dissemination; including the use of automated approaches and crowd-sourcing options.

  • Technological advances in habitat mapping: This session will be a showcase of new approaches for both the collection and processing of acoustic or biological data, and their incorporation into habitat maps.

  • Shelf and deep-sea habitats: This session is going to include discussion of specific deep-sea habitats as well as how their fine-scale heterogeneity and specific characteristics may play an important role at broader scale.

  • Coastal and shallow water habitats: This session will have a particular focus on linking methodologies from terrestrial remote sensing to shallow water environments as well as address vulnerable coastal ecosystems.

  • Anthropogenic and natural disturbance effects on marine habitats: This session will address the response of marine ecosystems to disturbances, in order to better understand the processes structuring species distribution patterns and ecosystem recovery.

  • Role of oceanography in habitat mapping: This session will attempt to bring together the fields of oceanographic modelling and habitat mapping, by considering the role of water masses in shaping species spatial patterns.




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