ICRS 2020 Postponed to 2021

Since the beginning of March, we all have been faced with the very dynamic and global spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Based on developments in Germany and worldwide, we do not want to risk supporting the spread of COVID-19 by the symposium. We also recognize that the likelihood of travel restrictions being lifted in time for the symposium is extremely low.

Thus, together with our partners, we came to the very difficult, but necessary, decision to postpone the 14th ICRS to the week of 18 - 23 July 2021.

We are pleased that we were able to achieve this solution together with our partners, although it was a great challenge and effort to realise the postponement. The planning of conferences and events for 2021 is already quite advanced and at the same time very tense. This is due to the COVID-19 crisis, which currently affects the majority of events scheduled for 2020.

Not only conferences, but also coral reefs worldwide are currently in a very difficult situation. Developing science-based solutions for the global coral reef crisis requires a platform that brings together researchers, conservationists, reef managers, and decision makers for personal dialogue. Saving the ICRS, The global quadrennial coral reef conference, was therefore our highest priority. Now is the time to stand together and join forces to tackle the challenging future of coral reefs!

Our first aim is to maintain the sessions and workshops planned for the ICRS 2020, as they cover the wide range of related topics and disciplines well. Further, we will launch a new open Call for Abstracts (dates: 15 July – 15 September 2020). This allows on the one hand updating the current presentation program with the latest findings, and on the other hand new submissions for all sessions.

Below you will find the latest information on the ongoing process of developing the ICRS 2021 scientific program, which aims to incorporate the already planned program of the ICRS 2020.

Sessions and Workshops:

  • All sessions and workshops planned for the ICRS 2020 program will retain their acceptance status for the ICRS 2021.
  • We are very pleased to announce that 99% of all sessions and workshops planned for ICRS 2020 have been confirmed by the responsible chairs to be included in the scientific program of ICRS 2021. Please take a look at the updated Session and Workshop programs.
  • Confirmed workshops will be directly set for the ICRS 2021 program.
  • Confirmed sessions will be open for submission during the new Call for Abstracts.

Accepted and New Abstracts:

All presenters with an accepted abstract for ICRS 2020 have the opportunity to retain their acceptance and presentation assignment (oral or poster) for the ICRS 2021 by re-submitting to the new Call for Abstracts, which offers the following options:

  1. Submission of an abstract already accepted as oral presentation (provide the original abstract number during submission). Entails no re-evaluation since the abstract already scored well. Presenters are encouraged to update the content of the abstract should new data be available, but changes of the title and/or scope are not possible (this will be checked).
  2. Submission of an abstract already accepted as poster presentation (provide the original abstract number during submission). Entails no re-evaluation since the abstract already scored well. Abstract updates (as detailed above) are encouraged. Presenters preferring an oral presentation instead are welcome to submit a new or updated abstract to any of the offered sessions (without providing the original abstract number). These submissions will be evaluated in a blind mode peer-review process together with all new submissions.
  3. Submission of a new abstract. All new submissions will be evaluated by the responsible session chairs in a blind mode peer-review process and will be ranked accordingly.


Many thanks for your understanding. We hope to welcome you in Bremen in July 2021 under much better circumstances. Please stay healthy and safe!

With kind regards,

Christian Wild (Chairman 14th ICRS) and the whole Local Organising Committee