ESSAC is the Science Committee of ECORD, the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling. The complete name of ESSAC is ECORD Science Support and Advisory Committee.
ESSAC is funded by the ECORD Council via the ECORD Managing Agency (EMA). ESSAC provides science advice to ECORD and coordinates ECORD’s scientific activities in IODP (the International Ocean Discovery Program).
ESSAC consists of a national delegate and alternate from each participating country (i.e. 14 European countries plus Canada). Each country has equal voting representation.

ESSAC Office

ESSAC is managed via the ESSAC Office, which resides with the Chair of the committee and rotates every two years. The current office (2018-2019) is located at Plymouth University, United Kingdom.
Antony Morris is the Chair and Hanno Kinkel the Science Coordinator – Contact:
Jan Behrmann (Germany) is the Vice-Chair from January to December 2018.

Past ESSAC offices:

  • 2016-2017 – GEOMAR, Germany – Jan Behrmann and Hanno Kinkel
  • 2015-2014 – ETH, Switzerland – Gretchen Fruh-Green and Julia Gutierrez Pastor
  • 2013-2012 – IACT, Spain – Carlota Escutia Dotti and Julia Gutierrez Pastor
  • 2011-2010 – AWI, Germany –Rudiger Stein and Jeannette Lezius
  • 2009-2008 – CEREGE, France – Gilbert Camoin and Bonnie Wolff-Boenisch
  • 2007 – University of Cardiff, UK – Julian Pearce (ESSAC acting chair) and Federica Lenci
    2006 – University of Cardiff, UK – Chris MacLeod and Elspeth Urquhart
  • 2005-2003 – University of Amsterdam, Netherlands – Jeroen Kenter and Valentina Zampetti


  • ECORD diagram_ESSACthe scientific planning and coordination of ECORD’s contribution to and participating in IODP (see Get involved);
  • the optimal scientific staffing, i.e. the nomination of ECORD scientists for IODP expeditions;
  • the nomination of representatives on IODP science panels (Advisory Panels) and committees;
  • the guidance in the establishment of proposal preparation and funding strategies;
  • the promotion of ocean drilling to a wider audience (see Education).


Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of European and other funding organisations on membership and operation of ECORD in the International Ocean Discovering Program (IODP).
ESSAC structure and tasks are determined in the Terms of Reference (Revised June 2015) - pdf .

ECORD Member at SEP (Science)


Maria Angela Bassetti France
Adélie Delacour France
Jens Kallmeyer Germany
Andrew McCaig United Kingdom
Lisa McNeill (Co-Chair) United Kingdom
Kevin Pickering United Kingdom
Werner Piller Austria
Julie Prytulak United Kingdom
Henrich Villinger Germany


ECORD Member at SEP (Site)


Rebecca Bell United Kingdom
Calvin Campbell Canada
Louis Géli France
Michael Riedel Germany
Michele Rebesco Italy

ECORD Member at EPSP


Martin Hovland Norway
Philippe Lapointe France
David Long United Kingdom
Dieter Strack Germany


ESSAC delegates meet twice a year in spring and fall. Since 2013, ESSAC delegates meet for one day before joining Council delegates at the Council-ESSAC  annual meeting (>> reports).
Before every meeting an Agenda Book including background information related to the agenda items and abstracts of the scheduled presentations is prepared.

After each meeting the ESSAC minutes are sent to every country delegate for review and approval. The minutes also contain action items, arising during discussions. They are identified whenever actions are needed and summarised in a task list. It is the task of the ESSAC Office to carry out these actions or to monitor that tasks assigned to other persons are executed and report back to ESSAC delegates (and other ECORD partners) on the results. As coordination and communication are very complex between the ECORD member countries on the one hand and between ECORD and the other IODP partners (The United States, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand (ANZIC), India and Brasil) on the other hand, arising action items are quite diverse.

Motions proposed by the ESSAC delegates are also included in the minutes. Decisions related to the motions are taken via consensus or vote. Each ESSAC delegate has equal voting rights and weights.

Recent ESSAC  meetings:

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