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Keynote Speakers

Prof. Carlos Duarte

Executive Director, Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform

Academic, Royal Academy of Science of  Spain

Ibn Sina Distinguished Professor of Marine Science and  Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Carlos M. Duarte is the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and Executive Director of the Global Coral R&D Accelerator Platform. He held academic positions in Spain, Australia, Norway and Denmark, and served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (2007-2010). Author of over 900 scientific papers, Duarte develops ocean-based solutions to global challenges, including climate change, and rebuild the abundance of marine life. He has been ranked as the top marine biologist and the 12th most influential climate scientist in the world.

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Prof. Jean Taylor Ellis

Professor, Department of Geography

University of South Carolina

Dr. Jean Taylor Ellis is a distinguished advocate for water and coastal issues whose impactful career has spanned academia, research, and leadership roles. Currently a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina (USC), she is revered for her contributions to the field and commitment to fostering environmental stewardship. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina (USC). Notably, Dr. Ellis previously held the position of Associate Dean at USC’s Graduate School, exemplifying her dedication to graduate education and mentoring. She is on the Board of Directors for the Coastal Education and Research Foundation and the recipient of the American Association of Geographers’ prestigious R.J. Russell Award, a testament to her scholarly achievements and leadership in the field. With a distinguished background that includes being a former NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Fellow, liaison to NASA for White House-level advisory committees, and a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Ellis has played pivotal roles in shaping national and international coastal policy. Dr. Ellis's commitment to her home state of South Carolina is evident through her service on Governor-appointed commissions and workgroups, where she advises on critical issues such as beach nourishment and coastal protection. Her expertise and guidance have been instrumental in developing effective strategies for mitigating the impacts of coastal hazards and preserving the state's natural resources for future generations. A prolific scholar, Dr. Ellis has published extensively on various topics, from the mechanics of wind-blown sand to innovative approaches to coastal management, such as dune recovery post-disaster and the implementation of living shorelines. Her groundbreaking research includes the development of specialized instruments for measuring sediment transport on beaches and proposing revisions to enhance the accuracy of hurricane scales, highlighting her commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and improving our understanding of coastal dynamics.

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Prof. Lambros Kaiktsis

Professor and Head, Department of Marine Engineering

University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST)

Lambros Kaiktsis is a Professor and Head of the Department of Marine Engineering of the University of Doha for Science and Technology (UDST). He joined the UDST faculty in August 2023. He has been a faculty member of the School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens from 2003 to 2023. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, an MSc in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and a PhD in Mechanical & Process Engineering from ETH Zurich. For a number of years, he worked as a research scientist at ETH Zurich on the simulation of complex flow and combustion applications. He has also been a consultant to the marine Diesel engine industry (Wärtsilä Switzerland). He has participated in a high number of research projects, both as coordinator and team member. His research work includes 75 peer-reviewed publications in international journals and conference proceedings; it has received about 2200 citations. He has been a reviewer of about 30 journals in the fields of fluids mechanics, heat transfer, internal combustion engines and combustion. His research interests include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling and optimization in thermofluids applications, with emphasis on marine engines, tribology, and fluid-structure interaction.

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