Research in a multiple-stressor world: ten early-career scientists trained on experimental design in Monaco

Ten early-career scientists from as many countries (Argentina, Chile, China, Cuba, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Peru, Portugal and Qatar) gathered at the Marine Environment Laboratories of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Monaco from 24 October to 4 November for a 2-week training course on ocean acidification in a multiple-stressor context.

The course included both lectures and practical exercises and was organized by the IAEA’s Ocean Acidification international Coordination Centre (Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) | IAEA) in partnership with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. The OA-ICC and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation teamed up with scientists of the Institut de la mer de Villefranche-sur-Mer (Imev) in the framework of the OACIS initiative to offer this training opportunity for a broad range of countries.

After lectures on key theoretical concepts on how to design multi-stressor experiments, the students had the opportunity to go to the Imev laboratories in Villefranche-sur-mer for training on lab and field sampling techniques in the bay of Villefranche, and lectures on the software R, used to calculate carbonate chemistry in the ocean.

The students then set up a 5-day long laboratory experiment at the IAEA labs, involving three stressors: ocean acidification, temperature rise, and lithium pollution, and the impacts of these stressors on sea urchin growth. While the three stressors had a negative effect on the sea urchins, the results showed that temperature was the most important stressor and that it interacted in a complex way with lithium pollution. Students are now finalizing the analyses with the goal to publish the results in a scientific journal. Students also had the opportunity to present their research and get tailored advice and guidance on specific questions and challenges they encountered in their work.  Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso, President of the OACIS initiative, closed the event with a lecture on potential ocean-based measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change and ocean acidification.

Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco, 7 November 2022. Full article.

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