Call for Papers: Industrial Ecology for the Oceans

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Call for Papers:


Industrial Ecology for the Oceans


Deadline for extended abstract submission (optional): 16 April 2020 (Full submissions also welcome at this time)

Deadline for full paper submissions: 31 October 2020


The Journal of Industrial Ecology invites submissions for a special issue on Industrial Ecology for the Oceans.

Society is placing ever-increasing pressure on the resources and services provided by the world's oceans due to continued economic and population growth. Research on the environmental health and resource use of oceans is long-standing, diverse, and extensive in fields such as physical and biological oceanography, marine engineering, and marine ecology. While the focus of oceans-based research has historically been narrowly focused, researchers today recognize the value of a wider systems-based perspective which links industrial uses and the environmental and resource impacts that they engender.  In this context, the field of industrial ecology is well-suited to fill that gap, as it is interdisciplinary in nature, rapidly growing, and has systems analysis at its core. 

This special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology seeks to catalyze, compile and disseminate cutting edge research on industrial ecology and the oceans. Included articles will apply a systems perspective to topics including aquaculture and fisheries, coastal and energy development, seabed mining, shipping, marine plastics and nutrient flows. The goal of the special issue is twofold:

  • To increase scientific understanding of the impacts of human activities on the oceans through the employment of industrial ecology concepts and methods. 

  • To catalyze increased development and application of those concepts and methods.

Papers in the special issue will be published open access through a grant provided by the Lounsbery Foundation.

Suggested Topics for the Special Issue

The special issue targets interdisciplinary systems level research on the oceans which may 1) provide multi-attribute impact assessment through the consideration of a range of environmental impacts, e.g. biodiversity loss, ecosystem service degradation, global warming or resource depletion; 2) take a supply-chain perspective in order to consider multiple actors in finding solutions; and/or 3) consider the scalability of problems and solutions up to the macro-level.

Papers engaging industrial ecology’s various subfields such as life cycle assessment, environmentally-extended input-output analysis, data envelopment analysis, material flow analysis, socio-economic metabolism, industrial symbiosis, sustainable consumption, and the circular economy are especially welcome.  A paper’s scope may target specific substances/materials (e.g., nutrients, biomass and plastics), end-user applications (e.g. energy production, food, products), industries (e.g. aquaculture, fisheries and shipping, ship breaking), methodological advances, and/or geographical regions. 


We encourage, but do not require, authors to submit an extended abstract by April 16, 2020 in order to receive feedback about potential submissions. (In case of limited space, preference will be given to those who submitted abstracts). Extended abstracts should be in English and be no more than 1,000 words in length not including a figure or table. The editorial team will review the extended abstracts and respond  approximately one month later as to the suitability of the proposed submission. If it is not possible to submit an extended abstract, authors are encouraged to still signal their intention to submit to the email address below as early as possible. 

Submissions should be written with a diverse audience in mind. Articles from technical specialists should make the implications of their research accessible to non-specialists. Ancillary data and information relevant to articles can be posted on the journal’s web site in the form of supporting information or in data repositories. Please consider also that the Journal is committed to transparency in science. Reviews of relevant recent books and reports, including policy studies, are also sought to enrich the special issue.


Special Issue Timeline

  • Call for papers: February 2020

  • Optional extended abstract submission deadline: 16 April 2020

  • Full papers invited by editorial team: 15 May 2020

  • Full manuscript submission deadline: 31 October 2020

  • Papers posted online when accepted

  • Issue publication expected by the beginning of 2021

Special Issue Editorial Team

Helen Ann Hamilton, PhD, BioMar, Norway

Ian Vázquez-Rowe, PhD, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

James Corbett, PhD, University of Delaware, USA

Robert Parker, PhD, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada


How to Submit

Authors submitting an (optional) extended abstract should send it as a text file (pdf, Word, txt) to

Submission of completed manuscripts (31st October) should follow JIE author guidelines. Authors should submit manuscripts through the JIE’s manuscript management website and indicate that their contribution is intended for the Special Issue on Industrial Ecology for the Oceans in the submission system. We strongly encourage all authors to consider sharing their data and methods and applying for the JIE’s data transparency badge:

Submission implies that the manuscript has not been submitted for publication elsewhere and that it will not be submitted elsewhere while the review process is underway.

For further information and abstract submission, please contact the following mailing list:

The Journal of Industrial Ecology is an international peer-reviewed bimonthly, owned by Yale University, headquartered at the Center for Industrial Ecology of the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and published by Wiley. It is the official journal of the International Society for Industrial Ecology.



Appendix: Examples suitable for submission

Aquaculture has expanded rapidly in recent decades and provides an alternative protein source to traditional wild-caught fish and shellfish and land-based protein sources. It is expected to be a major contributor to filling world nutrition gaps. However, current aquaculture production technologies stress marine ecosystems due to i) inputs of fish meal and fish oil sourced from limited wild fish stocks; ii) high levels of pollution in water bodies from nutrient and chemical releases; and iii) interactions with local fish populations and habitats. While local pollution and disease effects are well studied, there is a need for research on improving feed efficiency ratios and fostering the integration of agriculture-aquaculture or multi-trophic aquaculture systems. Supply-chain analyses are needed that focus on global-scale interventions to improve resource recycling and reuse whilst not leading to increases in other environmental pressures.Contextualizing the potential impacts of large-scale aquaculture expansion, and how those impacts vary between systems, will be necessary as industry grows to meet expected nutrition demands.

Shipping - As industries and consumers seek to shift production and consumption of goods to greener pathways, the need for an accurate and more comprehensive understanding of the environmental impacts of ocean shipping grows in importance. Current field-specific research is advancing quickly on the understanding of atmospheric emissions from shipping and the opening up of new trade routes (e.g., through the Arctic), and the potential for efficiency improvements within the fleet. This research should be complemented by systems-level life cycle assessments (LCAs) of shipping and traded goods, considering trade-offs across stages in supply chains (material choice in manufacture vs. cleaner fuels), types of impacts (air quality vs. carbon emissions), and region of production.

Marine plastics - Research on the impacts of plastics mainly focuses on marine life, polymer degradation, and waste management. What is lacking is a quantitative understanding of the material flows and environmental impacts across the entire plastic’s life cycle that integrates emerging knowledge from narrower investigations. Preliminary research of this sort is occurring using industrial ecology methods. Particularly with regard to marine plastics, we seek to stimulate more systems-level knowledge that can help avoid interventions that are ineffective or counter productive. More specifically, there is a need to better capture the fate and effect of plastics in the marine environment in current LCA methods.

Nutrient loading - Nutrient-rich pollution, such as untreated wastewater and agricultural runoff, is released in large amounts to the world’s oceans. High nutrient loads increase the risk of eutrophication events, which result in vast areas of low dissolved oxygen - dead zones - in which marine aquatic life struggles to survive. Local management systems to reduce emissions often employ end-of-pipe solutions; however, research shows they are i) inefficient compared to upstream supply-chain interventions that target production technologies and ii) disconnected from global drivers. Research on this area would be welcome.

Additional examples that could be considered in this special issue include energy development, coastal development and seabed mining.