Ocean Global Change Biology – Gordon Research Conference 2014

Subtitle:  “Interactive effects of multiple global change variables”

July 6-11, 2014, Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire, USA

David Hutchins (Chair), Philip Boyd (Vice Chair)

The first Gordon Research Conference on “Ocean global change biology” was created due to a growing awareness that our ability to predict biological responses to anthropogenic alteration of the oceanic environment demands that we address the interactive effects between distinct changing environmental factors. In the last decade our research community has primarily focused on the biological effects of changes to individual ocean properties, such as pH (ocean acidification) or temperature (sea surface warming). This GRC will bring these distinct but related research threads together by adopting a holistic approach to two pressing research questions – “How will ocean biota respond to multiple concurrent alterations of their environment?“, and “How will their cumulative responses affect ocean productivity, biodiversity and biogeochemistry?“.

The geographical distributions, biodiversity, physiological performance, and evolutionary success of marine organisms are determined by a complex matrix of environmental conditions, most of which are in rapid flux in today’s oceans. Assemblages of marine organisms ranging from bacteria and phytoplankton to coral reefs, kelp forests, and pelagic top predators can be directly or indirectly influenced by feedbacks between changing pH, carbon dioxide concentrations, temperature, irradiance, nutrient and trace element supply, turbulence, and biotic factors such as novel competitive and trophic interactions. Thus, anthropogenic alteration of this matrix of conditions at a rate unprecedented in the last 300 million years strongly influences both the input of energy into ocean ecosystems, and the resulting structure and function of marine food webs. This new GRC will bring together for the first time a sufficiently wide range of perspectives and skills to tackle the complex and pressing issue of how concurrent changes in ocean chemistry and climate will impact marine organisms in the coming decades. We aim to bring together all of the interdisciplinary research communities studying aspects of biological responses to a broadly changing ocean environment, from experimentalists to modelers and from new students to senior investigators.


Professor Philip Boyd  FRSNZ
NIWA Centre of Chemical & Physical Oceanography
Department of Chemistry
University of Otago
New Zealand

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