Home / Science / Regional Programmes / CLIOTOP / Meetings and workshops / The 3rd CLIOTOP Symposium (14-18 September 2015, San Sebastián, Spain)

The 3rd CLIOTOP Symposium (14-18 September 2015, San Sebastián, Spain)

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Donostia CLIOTOP
Cliotop 3 flyer pic

Download CLIOTOP 3rd symposium flyer

Important dates for the 3rd Symposium

  1. Abstract submission opens - 1 February 2015
  2. Abstract submission closes - 31 March 2015 (12am CEST)
  3. Notification of abstract acceptance - 15 May 2015
  4. Early registration closes - 31 May 2015 (12am CEST)
  5. Final registration closes - 1 August 2015 (12am CEST)
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Overall theme

Future of oceanic animals in a changing ocean



Objectives of the 3rd symposium

  • Evaluate impacts of climate variability and change over seasonal to decadal time scales on pelagic species and dependent socio-economic and management systems
  • Identify risk assessment and evaluation tools that incorporate climate variability in order to improve sustainable resource management (conservation, fisheries, spatial planning, etc.)
  • Identify sustainable pathways for coupled socio-ecological oceanic systems
  • Position CLIOTOP science for the next 10-year phase as part of Future Earth, and build a collaborating community of scientists, managers, and policy-makers.




  1. Early life history of pelagic species – winners and losers in the future ocean
  2. Implications of potential distribution and abundance shifts in oceanic organisms for food security and species conservation
  3. Trophic pathways in open ocean ecosystems - changes in mid-trophic level community composition as a result of changes to physical, chemical and biological components of the marine environment
  4. Integrated modelling to project and explore future patterns - evaluation of model complexity vs generality, evidence of important processes to include in models, and evaluation of model results
  5. Socio-economic aspects and management strategies – what are the key needs and resulting decisions and actions that should guide oceanic resource management under climate change
  6. Influence and role of biophysical processes and feedbacks on top predators
  7. Biodiversity, conservation and adaptive management – future strategies for incorporating long term change
  8. Scenarios of large marine organisms and their fisheries in a changing world
  9. Data, analyses and tool development associated with understanding the impacts of climate variability on fisheries

In all themes, submissions that take a comparative approach across taxa, regions, or temporal periods are encouraged.



Organizing committee

  1. Alistair Hobday (Australia)
  2. Haritz Arrizabalaga (Spain)
  3. Kevin Weng (USA)
  4. Karen Evans (Australia)
  5. Joel Llopiz (USA)
  6. Lisa Maddison (Norway)
  7. Dan Costa (USA)
  8. Elliot Hazen (USA)



Scientific committee

  1. Kevin Weng (USA)
  2. Alistair Hobday (Australia)
  3. Gorka Merino (Spain)
  4. Maria Gasalla (Brazil)
  5. Bob Cowen (USA)
  6. Patrick Lehodey (France)
  7. Osamu Abe (Japan)
  8. Olivier Maury (France)



Keynote speakers

Lisa T. Ballance

Lisa T. Ballance

Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, CA, USA

Marine mammals and seabirds in a changing ocean



Predicting impacts of changes in the physical and biological environment of marine ecosystems on oceanic organisms has become a primary focus of marine ecologists. For marine mammals and seabirds, these impacts often fall into the general category of sub-lethal effects. Our ability to identify, quantify, and, when possible, mitigate these effects will be important in the context of climate change and more than ever, new technologies provide great promise for determination of indices of health and condition that are much more sensitive than traditionally-used changes in population abundance. An added layer of complexity in the context of climate influences on marine organisms is that many species that were historically commercially exploited are now protected under various statutes and international agreements. In many cases, these protections have facilitated recovery, and as marine mammals and seabirds recover, they change the ecosystems of which they are a part. Top-down forces are increasingly a factor to consider as marine ecosystems continue to change. In this talk I will provide some case studies of these concepts and suggest a framework for future research.


Lisa T. Ballance is the Director of the Marine Mammal and Turtle Research Division at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center of NOAA. In this role, she is responsible for setting the research priorities in accordance with division mandates for seven science programs and some 70 individuals.Lisa has been with NOAA Fisheries since 1988, when she joined the agency as a Graduate Research Associate working on her Ph.D. Her research focused on community and physiological ecology of seabirds associated with yellowfin tuna and spotted and spinner dolphin schools in the eastern tropical Pacific. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of California Los Angeles in 1993, and accepted a post-doctoral position the same year with the National Research Council, The National Academies, conducting research on comparative cetacean ecology in the eastern tropical Pacific and tropical Indian oceans. She became a marine ecologist with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in 1996, Chief Scientist of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Cetacean and Ecosystem Research Program in 1999, and Leader of the Ecosystem Studies Program in 2001. In addition to her doctorate, she holds a Master of Science degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (1987) and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California San Diego (1981). Her research has always included a strong ecological component and is heavily focused on cetaceans and seabird ecology in oceanic systems, ecological trends in space and time (at interannual to regime-shift scales), and ecosystem-based approaches to management.Lisa is also a Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Research Adviser with the National Academies, and Affiliate Professor at the University of San Diego. She is an editorial board member of Marine Ornithology, Past Chair of the Pacific Seabird Group, Elective Member of the American Ornithologists' Union, recipient of the Department of Commerce Silver and Bronze Medals and NOAA Fisheries Supervisor of the Year awards, and has been featured on the cover of the "Association for Women in Science" magazine. Her research has been supported by grants from NOAA, the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Emanuele Di Lorenzo

Emanuele Di Lorenzo

School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Forecasting North Pacific climate and ecosystem changes: advances and challenges


Forecasting changes in marine ecosystem of the North Pacific is a critical goal of the PICES FUTURE program. An important fraction of the observed changes in the structure and function of the marine ecosystem are driven by external pressures such as fishing and climate. Over the last decades important advances have been made in understanding different aspects of Pacific climate variability and change. These include the recognition that (1) the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is characterized by different tropical expressions and extra-tropical teleconnections, which have distinct impacts on North Pacific marine ecosystems, (2) new modes of North Pacific decadal variability, such as the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO), explain a larger fraction of the observed ecosystem variability over the last two decades, and (3) multiple physical mechanisms connect the North Pacific eastern and western coastal boundaries on decadal timescales, and impact coastal marine ecosystem both through surface (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish) and subsurface processes (e.g. hypoxia and acidification). In this talk we provide a synthesis of the progress made on understanding the impacts of these climate mechanisms on North Pacific marine ecosystems, and discuss the challenges of using these advances in North Pacific climate research to generate marine ecosystem forecasts.


Emanuele Di Lorenzo is a professor of ocean and climate sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Trained as a coastal physical oceanographer and modeler, Di Lorenzo's work now focuses on developing observationally-constrained theories and models to explain large-scale ocean and climate changes. He conducts interdisciplinary research on diagnosing the climate impacts on regional and coastal marine ecosystems, particularly in the Pacific Ocean (e.g. www.pobex.org<http://www.pobex.org>).  Di Lorenzo is active in international organizations such as CLIVAR, PICES and ICES. In PICES, he is co-chair of WG27 on North Pacific climate variability and change. He is also a member of the Phenomena, Observations and Synthesis panel in US CLIVAR. More recently, Di Lorenzo has expanded his interdisciplinary research interests and is coordinating an international study group on modelling social-ecological-environmental systems.

Molly Lutcavage

Molly Lutcavage

Large Pelagics Research Center, UMass, USA 

Large Pelagics Research in the US: Two steps forward, One step back, Future unknown



Over the past 20+ years, ocean research adopting new technologies and fishery independent techniques helped reveal the hidden habits of wide-ranging tunas, billfish, sharks and sea turtles. Electronic tagging,  bio-sampling, oceanographic analyses, and direct assessment were successfully leveraged with fishermen partnerships.  In the U.S., congressional appropriations supported much of this work through university-based, Pacific and Atlantic fisheries research Centers (PFRP and LPRC), with funding timelines of ~20 and 5 years, respectively, and combined budgets of  ~$37 million USD. The centers functioned independently, but in collaboration with federal agencies, and funded competitive projects that were timely and of proven worth to fisheries science and management. Outcomes also demonstrated that some key biological assumptions used in stock assessment needed course correction. But due to lack of federal support, these research centers were less resilient than the resources they investigated, and went extinct. Consequently, and despite measurable scientific progress, baseline studies needed to understand how humans and climate change impacts complex, long-lived species have not been completed. On the other hand, technological barriers are falling, and ocean research in the upcoming decade can be done better, faster, and more cheaply. Tunas and billfish are vital to the economic and food security of communities worldwide. Inclusive scientific networks such as CLIOTOP, paired with leadership and long term funding commitments, are needed not only to sustain ocean resources but to rebuild comprehensive research capability.


Dr. Molly Lutcavage is the founder and Director of the Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC), and Research Professor, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, UMass Amherst. Her laboratory conducts oceanographic studies on the movements, behavior and physiological ecology of tunas, billfish and marine turtles. Lutcavage’s research program is known for its partnerships with commercial and recreational fishermen in the US and Canada, and collaborations with international science teams and students. Her long term study of Atlantic bluefin tuna and pioneering use of electronic tags resulted in new understanding of their migration routes and life history. Prof. Lutcavage served on the first CLIOTOP Scientific Steering Committee, on the US Scientific Advisory Committee for ICCAT (1994-2012), and has been a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Management Council SSC since 2008.

Dale Squires

Dale Squires

NOAA Fisheries, La Jolla, California, USA


A broader-based approach to bycatch reduction, and more broadly, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem based fisheries management, incorporates a broader range of policy instruments, applied over all life stages and geographical ranges of bycatch species, in addition to traditional at-sea approaches. Such a holistic approach better achieves cost- and ecological effectiveness and provides methods that help move in the direction of ecosystem-based fisheries management. Attention has largely focused upon harvest strategies for ecosystem management and direct regulation through time-area-closures, quotas, and gear restrictions rather than the a broader suite of policy instruments.

Incentive-based bycatch reduction practices such as use rights, credit schemes, offsets, conservation easements, or payments for ecosystem services may more directly and cost-effectively reduce bycatch across its geographic range and life history than traditional at-sea direct approaches, such as time-and-area closures or gear modifications. Choices of policy instruments and research strategies that create dynamic incentives to induce bycatch reducing technological change play a critical part. Incentives, which increasingly arise out of consumer markets and standards and eco-certification in the supply chain, address market failure due to limited and imperfect information and are increasingly important.


Dale Squires is Senior Scientist at NOAA Fisheries, La Jolla, California, Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of California San Diego, and member of the Scientific Advisory Committees of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and the International Pole-and-Line Foundation and CLIOTOP social science working group. His current research focuses upon bycatch reduction, biodiversity conservation, and technological change, with a focus upon large pelagic ecosystems.

Einar Svendsen

Einar Svenson

IMBER/Institute of Marine Research

Future information-needs to meet the ecosystem approach to marine research and management



A major issue in marine ecology is how food webs are controlled or regulated by their environment and human interference. This obviously has important implications for the management of marine resources, whether the issue is harvesting these resources or protection of species. Globally, second and third trophic level carnivorous fish such as cod are over-fished, forcing fisheries in many parts of world to harvest at lower trophic levels. Moreover, the extreme variation in physical factors/ climate in northern waters, especially light, temperature, and ice cover, that occur over seasonal, inter-annual and longer time-scales, cause major fluctuations at all trophic levels of the food web. Thus there is no such thing as an “ecological balance” on these time-scales.  A fundamental challenge in this context is to determine the interaction between large natural climate variations and expected change, and the impact of man, even if ecosystem processes still are rarely included in tactical fisheries management. Due to the complexity of this challenge, it can only be explored by an extensive use of mathematical models in combination with observations and laboratory studies, as also put forward in the new science plan of IMBER, including CLIOTOP and the new links to Future Earth.


Einar Svendsen has 32 years research experience in physical oceanography, remote sensing and marine ecology in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. He is particularly interested in the development and use of numerical ecosystem models to study the links between physics (climate) and lower trophic level biology and fish recruitment. He has published about 50 scientific peer-reviewed articles and taken part in 17 research cruises (several as chief scientist) in the Arctic, Antarctic and the northern seas. He recently finished a 6-year term as Research Director at the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR). For many years, he has been active in the scientific leadership of ICES (International Council of the Exploration of the Seas), particularly in activities related to the North Atlantic.

Jock Young

Jock Young

CSIRO Marine Labs, 
Hobart, Australia

Trophodynamics of marine top predators: advances and challenges



The inaugural CLIOTOP meeting in Sete, France, in 2003 established 5 working groups, one of which was Working Group 3 (Trophodynamics of Ocean Top Predators). The problem that I and my co-chairs, Robert Olson and Frederic Menard, faced was that most “feeding studies” were regionally based. Broader comparisons within and between oceans relied mainly on subjective interpretations of the literature. Direct data comparisons, particularly between oceans, were to our knowledge, unavailable. Closer perusal of the literature showed also that there were different analytical and statistical methods in use. Our task was to engage with the researchers in this field to explore the potential of combining these data in a data set from which broader questions could be asked. For example, what were the effects of predicted global warming on the feeding ecology and more broadly, the food webs of top marine predators, particularly the tunas and billfish.  With the support of CLIOTOP and the national agencies of the researchers involved, a series of workshops were run where we attempted to pool these data, both from direct feeding studies, and from biochemical approaches such as stable isotope analysis and more recently signature fatty acids. We then needed to apply statistical analyses that could account for the spatial and temporal variability of the resulting data. Our goal was to add a predictive component, so that we could provide, within measurable bounds, what the effects of warming waters was on the feeding ecology of these species. Here I summarize the advances made by the broader Working Group 3 community and suggest where future research could lead.


Jock is a marine ecologist specializing in the food web relationships of top ocean predators and the biological oceanography of the waters they inhabit. He was part of the inaugural CLIOTOP meeting in Sete in 2004 and together with Bob Olson and Frederic Menard, has co-chaired CLIOTOP Working Group 3 (trophodynamics of  marine top predators) till now. He is presently an Honorary Fellow at CSIRO Marine Labs in Hobart. 



New!   Complete program - Oral presentation listing & Poster presentation listing 


Click here to download the general structure below.


Conference venue


The Symposium will be held at the Palacio Miramar on Concha Bay in the city of Donostia-San Sebastián, in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. This mansion was built by the royal family as a summer holiday home in about 1887. It has impressive views of the bay and Santa Clara Island. Miramar Palace is now owned by the city of Donostia-San Sebastián. 

The city enjoys a privileged position in Europe. It is only 20km from the French border and less than 100km from the other Basque capitals, aristocratic Biarritz and Bilbao, with the famous Guggenheim Museum.

Getting to Donostia-San Sebastián:

By train: there are national and international rail connections.

By plane: The San Sebastián Airport (20 minutes from the city centre) has connections to Madrid and Barcelona. Bilbao Airport (100km from the city,) has connections to all of Europe, and Biarritz Airport (40km away) is served by French and international low-cost companies.


Registration and payment

Registration is now open: https://www.imr.no/conferences/CLIOTOP/

Registration fee:    
  Early registration
(Before 31 May 2015 ) 
Regular registration
(After 1 June 2015) 
Scientists 350.00 € 400.00 € 
Students 250.00 € 300.00 €

Abstract preparation and submission

Abstracts are required for both oral and poster presentations. All abstracts are to be submitted via the Registration link. Refer to the important dates for details on the opening and closing dates of abstract submissions.

Once submitted, all abstracts will be assessed for their suitability and theme sessions considered. Refer to the theme sessions for details on their content. Once assessed, authors will be contacted individually to notify them of their acceptance.

An author may be the first author on only one abstract submission.


Abstract formatting

General instructions

Abstracts must be clearly and concisely written in good English. Authors whose native language is not English should consult someone fluent in English. Good writing improves the speed and effectiveness of review. The abstract should be typewritten in Times Roman, size 11 font with single spaced lines throughout the whole abstract. The only text that can be in italics are scientific names. Use capital letters only when the letters or words should appear in capitals. Please remove hyperlinks from email addresses and webpages included in the text. Please check symbols, abbreviations and technical terms for accuracy, consistency and readability. This will assist in the layout and formatting for the Program Handbook.


Abstract content should be in the following order.

  • Title: Use capital letters only when the letters or words should appear in capitals – do not capitalise the entire title. The title should clearly and concisely describe the abstract content and should be kept as short as possible.
  • Authors: Authors should be listed in the order in which they are to appear at the head of presentation/poster. List each author, last name first followed by initials, using superscripts to identify multiple author addresses/affiliations. The lead author should be identified by an asterisk.
  • Author addresses: each address should be listed on a separate line and superscripted to match to author´s names.
  • Lead author contact email: list the lead author´s contact email. Remove any hyperlinks associated with the address.
  • Abstract: The abstract should be a maximum of 300 words. Do not indent the first line of each paragraph of the abstract. Do not add graphics, tables, keywords or references.
  • Presentation type: Poster/Oral/No preference.

An example abstract is shown here


Oral presentations 

Plenary sessions will be held on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday morning, Thursday and Friday of the symposium. Oral presentations should be delivered on a CD or a clean USB memory stick to symposium staff coordinating presentations well in advance of assigned presentation times. Presenters scheduled in morning sessions must submit their presentations by 17:00 on the day before their presentation and those scheduled in afternoon sessions must submit their presentations by morning tea on the day of their presentation. The exceptions to this will be presenters on the Monday morning of the symposium. Presentations for the Monday morning must be submitted during registration between 08:00-08:30 on Monday 14 September.

Please ensure that your presentation does not exceed the allocated 15 minutes – you will be asked to leave the podium after 15 minutes regardless of whether you have finished your presentation or not.

The conference auditorium contains data and video projection capabilities linked to a PC laptop computer. Special audio-visual requests that are not supported by the listed equipment should be directed to the conference organisers.

The preferred format for oral presentations will be Microsoft PowerPoint for either PC or Mac platforms. Please bring your presentation and associated files in a self-contained folder. The folder and files must be clearly labelled in the following convention:

Author surname_Presentation Date_Presentation Time.

Files containing video or audio clips must be located in the same folder as the Powerpoint presentation itself otherwise they will not be uploaded to the Conference computer and therefore will not work. Do not use online hyperlinks in your presentation as there will be no external internet connectivity.


Poster presentations

Posters are recommended to be designed and printed out in A0 portrait format (1.189m x 0.841m). The maximum size posters may be is 1.2m (H) x 0.9m (W). Posters larger than this or produced in a landscape format will not be displayed.

Posters will be on display for Tuesday and Wednesday in Salón Blanco on the ground floor of the Palacio. Posters may be hung on the morning of Tuesday 15 September from 08:30 until morning tea. All poster presenters should bring all equipment required for hanging their posters. All posters must be hung in their allocated positions by the start of morning tea on Tuesday 15 September. A cocktail function will be held on Tuesday evening between 18:00 and 20:00 during which all symposium delegates presenting posters should attend their posters. All posters must be removed from Salón Blanco on Wednesday afternoon (16 September) prior to 17:00. The symposium organisers cannot take responsibility for any posters remaining in the poster room after Wednesday afternoon.


Symposium Proceedings

We would like to encourage delegates to consider papers arising from the 3rd symposium for publication in a CLIOTOP Special Issue to be published in an appropriate peer-review journal. The proceedings from the 2nd symposium were published by Deep Sea Research II, with 26 papers included, and we are currently in communication with the journal in regards to publication of the proceedings for the 3rd symposium. This journal publishes papers online as they are accepted, so there is no waiting for the last paper to be completed in the special issue for papers to be released for publication. We will confirm the journal for the proceedings in the next few weeks. 

Timelines for the special issue are:

30 September 2015: nomination of intention to submit, providing co-authors and abstract

30 November 2015: submission of papers due



Block bookings have been made at several hotels in walking distance to Palacio Miramar. Please note the deadline for reservations in order to secure these reduced rates



In a quiet area close to Ondarreta beach
20-minute walk to the symposium venue (Palacio Miramar), or there is a public bus every 15 minutes.

Superior double room / night: 69,00 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)
Double room, double occupancy / night: 63,64 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)
Double room single occupancy / night: 58,00 € +10% VAT (breakfast included)
Single room / night: 50,00 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact Javier Marin javiermarin@olarain.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 003300
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 1 July 2015



Only 250m from Ondarreta Beach and the Palacio Miramar

Double room / night: 113,13 € (10% VAT and breakfast included)
Single room / night: 98,64 € (10% VAT and breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact info@hotelcodina.es
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 212 200
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 15 July 2015

Credit card number required for reservations



Located in upmarket Ondarreta, close to the beach
15-minutes walk to Palacio Miramar

Double room / night: 152,00 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)
Single room / night: 164,00 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact nharanzazu@nh-hotels.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 94 3219077
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 5 June 2015



Located right on the beach, the Hotel Niza is a 12-minute walk to Palacio Miramar

Double room / night: 191,00 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)
Single room / night: 180,00 € +10% VAT (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact recepcion@hotelniza.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 42 66 63
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP
                               Deadline for reservations: 1 June 2015



Located in Gros, the trendy San Sebastian.
25-minute walk to the venue, or a public bus leaves every 15 minutes

Double room/night:     107,10 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)
Single room/night:       98,10 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact info@hotelarrizulgros.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 32 70 26
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 1 June 2015



Located close to the Old Town on the beachfront.
25-minute walk to the venue, or a public bus leaves every 15 minutes

Double room/night:     125,10 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)
Single room/night:       116,10 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact info@arrizulhotel.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 32 28 04
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 1 June 2015



Luxury apartments located in the city center.
25-minute walk to the venue, or a public bus leaves every 15 minutes

1 bedroom Apartment (1-2 people)/night:     170,10 € + 10% VAT  (breakfast included)
2 bedroom Apartment (1-2 people)/ night:    188,10 € + 10% VAT (breakfast included)

FOR RESERVATIONS: Contact info@hotelarrizulgros.com
                               Telephone: (+34) 943 32 70 26
                               Reservation code: CLIOTOP SYMPOSIUM
                               Deadline for reservations: 1 June 2015



For information about things to do and where to eat in San Sebastian, please see: http://www.sansebastianturismo.com/en/ 



Mentoring program

There will be a mentoring program as part of the CLIOTOP 3rd Symposium, where we will match more established scientists with students and early-career researchers working in a similar field. Mentors can give advice on research ideas, assist with fine-tuning conference presentations, and can help with networking within this community.

There will be a "lunch with the scientists", where two or three established scientists will be asked to have lunch at a table with some of the mentees to allow them to broaden their network a little more. You can sign up as a mentor or to be mentored at registration.