Key Dates:

Call for Papers
Summer 2008

Abstract Submittal Deadline
3 October 2008

Authors Notified,
Student Travel Grant Recipients Notified
December 2008 

Schedule Posted
January 2009

25-30 January 2009

ASLO Award Recipients

ASLO awards provide opportunities to recognize outstanding individual performance and to highlight accomplishments among the aquatic science research community. The following individuals will be honored at this year’s Aquatic Sciences Meeting. ASLO President Carlos Duarte will present the awards with introduction by members of the ASLO Award Committees, chaired by Dr. John Downing. The award talks will be held in the Apollon Theater preceding the plenary lectures. On Monday and Tuesday, the talks will begin at 0800 and Wednesday through Friday they will begin at 0830. A break will not take place between the award talks and the plenary lectures. ASLO award talks will be taped and available on the ASLO website following the meeting.

Monday, 26 January

Distinguished Service Award To Paul Kemp And Sue Feng

Paul Kemp and Sue Feng

School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI USA

The Distinguished Service Award was initiated in 1993 to recognize members who have displayed exceptional efforts that support the professional goals and enhance the stature of ASLO.

Perhaps few other readers are left who recall when ASLO was proud of its traditions of first-rate meetings, scholarly publication (singular) in the only true (cellulosic) medium and devotion to King Ned Ludd. In late 1994, Sue Weiler, Executive Director of ASLO, planted the seeds of revolution by issuing a request in the paper version of the Bulletin to develop an ASLO home page in Mosaic, the first “browser” software, itself introduced only a year earlier. In response to her call, in rode three other revolutionaries. ASLO’s first website was a collaboration among David M. Anderson of NOAA, Boulder (website host), Alan Schussman, student at Whitman College, and Paul Kemp, Research Oceanographer at Brookhaven National Laboratory (authors of the web pages). Paul Kemp became webmaster in 1995, assisted initially by Alan Schussman. Since that beginning, ASLO has been near the cutting edge of web functionality and web publishing. It was the second scientific society in the world, for example, to implement an author-pays system for free access publication (FAP in ASLO’s terminology). Issue 1 of Volume 1 of L&O (with all subsequent volumes) has been available electronically for a long time, first as part of a CD-ROM set and more recently online. ASLO’s electronic dissemination of its publications was so advanced that bundling consortia such as BioOne and GeoScienceWorld, and even JSTOR found that they had relatively little to offer to ASLO. The website’s fourth major makeover was completed in 2007 to allow multiple levels of personalized access.

Although we all saw these major milestones, I did not realize how much else Paul did until I rejoined the ASLO board as President Elect in 2000. Part of that realization stemmed from comparing ASLO web services with those of the 65 or so other members of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP). I honestly could not identify another society in our size category that had a more effective web presence. It is especially surprising how few societies have a functional, offsite backup of their web resources. The other service that I came to appreciate was Paul’s contribution of long-term memory and calming stability to the ASLO board, where he has served ex-officio as Web Editor since 1995 and as Editor-in-Chief of L&O: Methods since 2002. Paul could not have contributed more had he been an elected member. No current staff or elected member has served ASLO longer. Because routine matters whose board consideration was mandated by ASLO bylaws were occupying much of valuable board meeting time, I asked Paul to devise a threaded electronic discussion and voting medium that followed Robert’s Rules of Order, dubbed “e-Motion.” It was functional in no time. Not until 2002 did I recognize how they did so much, i.e., that the workload was shared with Susana Feng, who became Managing Editor of L&O: Methods in 2002. Paul and Susana have engineered, intentionally or not, a complete ASLO makeover. No student member of ASLO in the current century can regard ASLO as retro or Luddite. Paul and Susana first envision, then patiently explain to the board and then effectively implement ASLO’s web identity. For their substantial, sustained and forward-looking contributions to every corner of the ASLO mission, Paul Kemp and Susana Feng are the recipients of the ASLO Distinguished Service Award.

Cited by Peter Jumars, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5706;

John Martin Award To Koehl & Strickler 1981

Dr. Mimi Koehl

Department of Integrative Biology
University of California
Berkeley, CA USA

KOEHL, M. A. R., and J. R. STRICKLER. 1981. Copepod feeding currents: food capture at low Reynolds number. Limnol. Oceanogr. 26: 1062-1073.

Copepod feeding was controversial in the late 1970s. Papers appeared with subtitles like “A plea for reason” and “A plea to end the black box approach” (Boyd 1976; Roman and Rublee 1980). The prevailing opinion was that copepods used their feeding appendages to create swirling currents that brought food particles close enough for capture and that the spacing of small setae on the second maxilla gave it the properties of a sieve, thus determining the sizes of particles that could be strained efficiently from the water (O’Connors et al. 1980). Koehl and Strickler falsified that view, using a combination of observation and modeling, and set copepod feeding studies off in a completely new direction.

The landmark paper demonstrated convincingly that the best way to understand copepod feeding was by combining careful observations using high-speed movies (500 frames/sec) and the application of basic physical scaling using the Reynolds number. In contrast to the prevailing views of copepod feeding, Koehl and Strickler showed that complex movements of a suite of appendages were required to move whole parcels of water, with embedded particles, around and through the second maxilla. A reader of the paper is left with the impression that copepods are capable of relatively sophisticated behaviors for concentrating food from the dilute pelagic environment, and that simple physical principles can help explain these behaviors. By showing that active behavior was involved in copepod feeding, this paper opened the door to subsequent studies of chemo- and mechanosensation by copepods and a deeper understanding of how interactions between grazer and grazed can structure pelagic food webs.

This paper’s straightforward explanation of the role of viscosity in governing particle motion at very small spatial scales is very readable and has been incorporated into many introductory-level textbooks. Consider this summary, from the abstract: “In the viscous world of a feeding copepod, water flow is laminar, bristled appendages behave as solid paddles rather [than] open rakes, particles can neither be scooped up nor left behind because appendages have thick layers of water adhering to them, and water and particle movement stops immediately when an animal stops beating its appendages.”

References: BOYD, C. 1976. Selection of particle sizes by filter-feeding copepods: A plea for reason. Limnol. Oceanogr. 21: 175-180.; O’CONNORS, H. B., D. C. BIGGS, and D. V. NINIVAGGI. 1980. Particle-size-dependent maximum grazing rates for Temora longicornis fed natural particle assemblages. Mar. Biol. 56: 65-70.; ROMAN, M., and P. RUBLEE. 1980. Containment effects in copepod grazing experiments: a plea to end the black box approach. Limnol. Oceanogr. 25: 982-990.

Tuesday, 27 January

Excellence In Education Award To Benjamin Cuker

Benjamin Cuker

Department of Marine & Environmental Sciences
Hampton University
Hampton, VA USA

In 2008, ASLO initiated this new award for Excellence in Education to recognize excellence in teaching and mentoring in the fields of limnology and oceanography. Dr. Cuker is the first recipient of this annual award.

Although there are many educators who have demonstrated “excellence in teaching and mentoring,” there is one, Dr. Benjamin Cuker, who has set an extraordinarily high standard for ASLO’s first award for Excellence in Education. Teaching and mentoring are critical components to the future of the limnology and oceanography disciplines, and thereby ASLO, by helping to train a group of knowledgeable, driven, and diverse scientists. Ben has been a leader in this effort, in both formal and informal capacities.

Ben learned the value of dedicated teachers during his high school years in Detroit, MI, and has continued to apply that lesson throughout his career. Since 1988, Ben has served on the faculty in the Department of Marine and Environmental Science at Hampton University (Hampton, VA). He also previously taught at Shaw University (Raleigh, NC) for seven years. He conducts aquatic research, coordinates the graduate program in Environmental Studies and teaches ecology and marine biology courses at Hampton. His research interests are in estuarine ecology, limnology of turbid systems, benthic ecology and evolutionary ecology of aquatic communities. Beyond his duties as a professor and researcher, he has dedicated much of his career to promoting diversity in the aquatic sciences. Notably, he has created such student-based programs as the ASLO Multicultural Program (ASLOMP), Multicultural Students at Sea Together (MAST), and the Hall-Bonner Program for Minority Doctoral Scholars in the Oceans Sciences.

ASLOMP has been running since 1990, and has helped change the reach of the society and has greatly increased the diversity of limnology and oceanography at large. Due, in part, to the network of support in the program, many participants have gone on to accomplished careers, acting as mentors to other students, and a few have even created programs of their own inspired, no doubt, by the success of Ben’s efforts. The second program, MAST, is a hands-on experience in which participants learn to sail and live aboard a vessel, while studying marine science, policy, and the heritage of African Americans and Native Americans on the Chesapeake Bay. Since its inception in 2000, the program has given many students a deeper appreciation for their connection to maritime history, providing a valuable context for their academic pursuits. Finally, the Hall-Bonner Program, which began in 2003, is a more targeted effort to support minority doctoral scholars in the ocean sciences at Old Dominion University and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Those students who are selected for the program receive full funding and participate in career enriching activities to supplement their degree. The three initiatives, combined, have resulted in minority students—African American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native and Pacific Islander—graduating or expected to graduate with more than 400 bachelor’s degrees, 140 master’s degrees, and 30 doctorates in marine science or related fields.

Due to his many educational efforts, Ben was given the ASLO Distinguished Service Award in 1993 and named a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation in 1999 (funded launch of MAST). He has served on many advisory committees (e.g., the Mid-Atlantic Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence/COSEE), has been active on several government and agency panels (e.g., for the National Science Foundation), and has been featured in various articles (e.g., in The Scientist). For ASLO, he has been a Member-At-Large on the executive board and chaired the Committee on Under-Represented Minorities in Limnology and Oceanography (CURMLO).

Through the courses he has taught, the students he has advised, and the educational programs he has created and directed, Ben has influenced hundreds of students across the nation. Even beyond the students, there are many other scientists and educators who have become colleagues, partners, and avid supporters of Ben’s visionary programs and teaching methods. There is no doubt that they would all attest to his worthiness to receive the ASLO Excellence in Education Award, especially in its inaugural year. Ben is an accomplished scientist, a model mentor, and even more, a good person to get to know.

Cited by Letise (Houser) LaFeir, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910 USA;

Raymond L. Lindeman Award To Alexandre Poulain

Alexandre Poulain

Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA

Poulain, Alexandre J. et al. Potential for Mercury Reduction by Microbes in the High Arctic, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 73(7):2230-2238

The winner of the Lindeman award this year (2009) is Alexandre Poulain. Dr. Poulain is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The work discussed in his paper was completed as part of his Ph.D. at the Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada. Alex Poulain’s article has had a particularly strong impact on our understanding of the impact of pollutants in the supposedly pristine High Arctic. His paper deals with the expression of aquatic bacterial mercury resistance in aquatic polar ecosystems. In a remote polar region of the Canadian High Arctic, Poulain found, for the first time, that microbes endemic to coastal and marine environments have the potential to affect the toxicity and environmental mobility of heavy metals such as mercury through the expression of mercury resistance genes. Indeed, the discovery that merA genes, coding for the mercuric reductase, were both present and expressed further suggests that microbes may use a broader range of resistance strategies allowing them to breakdown the neurotoxic MeHg. Microbes therefore would not only affect the pool of methylable inorganic Hg by controlling its evasion but also potentially degrade MeHg and thereby directly affect its levels in Arctic environments. Using a simple ecosystem model, Poulain and his co-authors suggested that microbes are likely to be key players in Hg recycling, producing up to 90% of the pool of elemental Hg in coastal waters; especially under sea-ice where light is absent most of the year.

From the perspective of Hg risks to marine mammals, fish and humans in the Arctic, this paper clearly demonstrates that microbial communities – which operate in the cold and dark – may offer a key, if not the key, to understanding puzzling Hg trends in mammals like belugas. Along with light-driven processes (which operate seasonally), the microbial reduction process is shown to be an important control on Hg speciation, thus setting the stage for the entry of mercury into the foodweb. Mercury trends in the atmosphere and Hg depletion events have not been convincingly connected to levels in aquatic animals – something that these microbial processes may in the end explain. Microbial reduction provides a direct, climate-related control on biological Hg.

Poulain’s paper presents a very complete story that makes a convincing case for a new and unexpected mechanism of microbially-mediated mercury reduction in polar regions. The combination of molecular work, fieldwork, and modeling represent a dedicated effort to get a complete story in one, very readable paper. The comments from the nominator make it clear that, despite the long author list, the student was the driving force on the work, which is important in a Lindeman award. Because of climate change and warming in the arctic, and the serious issues of trace metal contamination across the Arctic Sea, this paper is an important one. Comments from the Faculty of 1000, for which this paper was selected, suggests that this paper is already changing our ideas about how mercury gets into the food chain.

Cited by Beatrix Beisner, Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), CP 8888, Succ. Centre Ville, Montréal, QC, Canada H3C 3P8;

Wednesday, 28 January

Ruth Patrick Award To Richard W. Battarbee

Richard W. Battarbee

University College London
Environmental Change Research Center
London, United Kingdom

The Ruth Patrick Award honors outstanding research by a scientist in the application of basic aquatic science principles to the identification, analysis and/or solution of important environmental problems.

Professor Richard Battarbee has made outstanding contributions to the reconstruction of environmental changes from biological and chemical records in dated lake sediments. He has played a pivotal role in the development of diatom microfossils as a principal paleolimnological tool, and pioneered the application of several techniques (e.g. transfer functions, dating by 210Pb), now in common use in assessing the environmental status of lakes. These approaches have become critical tools for lake managers and policy makers. Rick has built up a research group (the Environmental Change Research Centre at University College London) of world renown, dedicated to the analysis of long-term limnological trends associated with atmospheric acid deposition, nutrient enrichment, climate change, and other environmental stressors. Its success stems from the imaginative use of multiple approaches at geographically widespread sites, and Battarbee’s exceptional ability to synthesize the evidence obtained from these data.

Rick’s research prowess in applying paleolimnological approaches to study environmental change has previously been recognized by several awards. For example, in 1989 he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society Back Award for his acid rain research. Reflecting his international influence, he was elected as a Foreign Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1991), presented with the Rector’s Guest and Research Medal of the University of Helsinki (1994), Medal of Moscow State University (1995), and was made an honorary professor of geography at the University of Nanjing (China) in 2002. Queen Elizabeth II recognized him as a Pioneer of the Nation for his work on helping solve aquatic problems using paleolimnological approaches. In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London). Battarbee was the Chairman of the ESF Programme “Holocene Climate Variability (HOLIVAR)” and the leader of the PAGES-IGBP Programme “Human Impact on Lake Ecosystems (LIMPACS).” He was also a member of the PAGES-IGBP International Steering and Executive Committees and the Royal Society UK IGBP committee, and was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology. Not surprisingly, Battarbee was elected (by acclamation) the first Chair of the International Paleolimnology Association (IPA).

Battarbee has published over 200 scientific papers and reports. His contributions have been wide-ranging, but generally can be categorized as the development and application of paleolimnological approaches to address issues of major societal concern related to the status of aquatic ecosystems, especially problems of acidification, eutrophication, salinisation and, more recently, climate change.

Rick’s single most important contribution has been to surface water acidification research. In the 1980s surface water acidification was the most controversial environmental issues facing Europe and North America. His pioneering work using diatom-pH transfer functions and related techniques led to the definitive evidence that lake acidification was a problem not only in Sweden and Norway but also in the UK. For Battarbee’s role in this work he was honored by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 1991. His work in this area has continued unabated with the development of methods to set critical loads for air pollutants as well as the development and application of techniques to track recovery in freshwater ecosystems that is now occurring. Rick’s recent work is concerned with the extent to which projected climate change might deflect the recovery process. Throughout the last 20 years Battarbee has acted as an adviser to the UK government on acid rain policy.

Battarbee has also used these novel approaches to address other water quality issues. He and his team have also used paleolimnological methods to evaluate pollution trends in Lake Baikal, in European mountain lakes, and in Chinese lakes in the Yangtze region and on the Tibetan Plateau, to name just a few projects.

Rick Battarbee is an international leader in the field of environmental science and has spearheaded many of the paleolimnological approaches currently used around the world to provide many critical perspectives for understanding the effects of human impacts on aquatic ecosystems. As Dr. Ruth Patrick was a pioneer in the use of diatoms as biomonitors of water quality, it seems especially appropriate for Rick to receive this award.

Cited by John P. Smol, Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), Dept. Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada;

Thursday, 29 January

G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award To Michael Pace

Michael Pace

University of Virginia
Department of Environmental Sciences
Charlottesville, VA USA

This award is intended to symbolize the quality and innovations toward which the society strives and to remind its members of these goals. In lending his name to the award, Hutchinson asked that recipients be scientists who had made considerable contributions to knowledge, and whose future work promised a continuing legacy of scientific excellence. The G.E. Hutchinson Award is made each year to a scientist whose work has inspired us and promises future outstanding accomplishments. In view of his excellent contributions to scientific understanding of freshwaters and oceans, and the ongoing impact of his insights, Michael Pace is the premier choice for this award.

After undergraduate training in Biology and English at the University of Virginia, Mike obtained graduate degrees at the University of Georgia with Karen Porter, herself a student of G.E. Hutchinson. Pace’s early work compared the trophic ecology and feeding relationships of protozoa, rotifers and crustacean zooplankton. He also worked with Larry Pomeroy on a modeling analysis of coastal marine food webs. The papers from Georgia foreshadow Mike’s future work. He writes with clarity and precision (perhaps a legacy of his early training in English). He addresses the role of animal body size in ecosystem phenomena. The papers integrate field observations with complex concepts, and reveal interests that span freshwaters and oceans.

By the early 1980s, limnologists were comparing the roles of external drivers and internal processes in lake characteristics. Mike addressed this issue by analyzing a diverse set of lakes during a postdoc at McGill University with Jacob Kalff. In a prescient paper in CJFAS in 1984, Pace showed that zooplankton body size, but not biomass, could explain deviations of lakes from phosphorus-chlorophyll regressions. His findings helped explain how primary producers could be regulated jointly by nutrients and grazing.

At the University of Hawaii (1983-1985), Mike continued his pioneering work on the role of protozoa in aquatic food webs – a topic that became one of the key insights for understanding how the microbial loop influences biogeochemical cycles. Pace also developed an empirical model to describe one of the first relationships between primary production and particle export. This relationship, published in Nature (1987), is widely cited and still used today for lake and ocean models of vertical flux of particles.

In 1986, Mike moved to the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. There he continued his work on biogeochemical consequences of microbial processes, and the effects of metazoan food webs on microbes. He collaborated on comparative studies of microbial production in freshwater and marine environments, relationships of primary producers and consumers in aquatic and terrestrial environments, and trophic cascades across a wide variety of ecosystems. Mike added more ecosystems to his life list, with projects on the Hudson River and experimental lakes near the Wisconsin-Michigan border. Whole-lake experiments became an important tool for his research on microbial dynamics and trophic cascades.

By the late 1990s Pace was looking well beyond the shoreline to understand ecosystem processes in lakes. He expanded the scope of his work to include terrestrial controls of organic carbon dynamics in Adirondack lakes. Mike was a leader of whole-lake stable-isotope enrichment experiments to evaluate the uses of terrestrial and lake-derived organic carbon by lake food webs. Pace circled back to the University of Virginia as a Professor in 2007. He continues to work on land-water interactions and the role of food webs in ecosystems, while expanding his horizons as an educator.

By all conventional measures of citation, publication and leadership, Mike Pace has made outstanding and sustained contributions to science. Yet his colleagues praise him most for attributes that are not measurable by statistics. In a field that is frequently contentious, Mike is open-minded and never dogmatic. Although he is a brilliant conceptual thinker, Mike grounds his papers carefully in observed patterns of nature. He is a generous collaborator. One correspondent noted that “Adding Mike to a team always makes it better”. And he is a fine teacher. Each spring as we prepare for another field season in northern Wisconsin, we look forward to the next big question that Mike will pose on the porch of the cabin as dusk falls over the lake. Whatever it is, it will evoke intriguing discussion and debate. Such conversations do more than just facilitate science; they are the heart of science itself. For his ability to raise the level of scientific conversation, and his many more tangible accomplishments, Mike Pace is an exemplary winner of the Hutchinson award.

Cited by Stephen Carpenter, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 USA;

Friday, 30 January

A.C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award To Peter J. Williams

Dr. Peter J. le B. Williams

University of Bangor, Wales
School of Ocean Science
Gwynedd, United Kingdom

The Lifetime Achievement Award was first presented in 1994 to recognize and honor major, long-term achievements in the fields of limnology and oceanography, including research, education and service to the community and society. In 2004, the ASLO board renamed the Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of Alfred C. Redfield.

Since publishing his first paper in oceanography (1968) and throughout his extensive career spanning over 40 years, Peter Williams has carried out research in the interface between oceanography, biogeochemistry and ecology, focusing on the role of dissolved organic matter and microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems. The starting point of his scientific interests was rather unusual, in that he carried out his Ph.D. research on the microbiology of brewing, which probably triggered his interest on the interactions between microbes and dissolved organic matter. His passion for aquatic microbes and organic matter only grew stronger thereafter, spilling over to the oceans, and has continued ever since. His interest in beer and other high-DOC liquids has never gone away either.

His background in industrial microbiology provided him with new tools, techniques and concepts that eventually resulted in a major advance in our understanding of the nature, use and role of dissolved organic matter in aquatic ecosystems, its utilization by bacteria, and the role of microbes in oceanic carbon cycles. His interest in aquatic carbon cycling led him to focus his research on planktonic primary production and to an early realization of the importance of respiration measurements, and thus for the need of improved methods to quantify these processes in marine systems. Peter’s research yielded major contributions, such as the development of high-precision techniques for the measurement of dissolved oxygen concentrations, resolving the nature and dynamics of dissolved organic matter in ecosystems, evaluating and understanding primary production as derived from both bulk O2 and tracer (14C) techniques, evaluating the importance of respiration rates in aquatic ecosystems, and the examination of patterns in the metabolic balance of oceanic communities. This research has generated a body of knowledge that laid the cornerstone for the investigation of metabolic processes and oxygen dynamics in aquatic ecosystems, with emphasis on those in the ocean, and that provided a basis from which to investigate the role of aquatic ecosystems in the fluxes of oxygen and carbon in the biosphere. These achievements represent the foundations upon which many current major international programs on the ocean’s carbon budget were built.

The impact of Peter’s achievements is augmented by his dedication to serve the scientific community, as reflected in his service in multiple panels and international committees, including the ASLO board, ASLO Awards Committee, Planning Committees for ASLO conferences and third party conferences. His editorial work is also outstanding having co-edited three major books and been editor of a number of journal volumes. In addition, Peter has mentored and supervised a large number graduate students and postdocs, who have themselves become successful members of the scientific community.

Peter has had vigorous scientific debates and discussions on a variety of topics throughout his career, and while he is passionate about his views, he is able to maintain a constructive, balanced and open-minded attitude and to encourage, rather than suppress, discussion and even help direct our arguments. He has demonstrated a remarkable balance between the passion in the pursuit of his ideas, the perspective necessary to evaluate the conflicting views of other scientists, and the need to re-assess his own positions. This, together with his inexhaustible energy, curiosity, self-deprecation and wit, makes him an excellent role model for young and older scientists alike.

As a celebration of his rich and fruitful academic and scientific career, ASLO has honored Peter leB Williams with this year’s Alfred C. Redfield Lifetime Achievement Award, for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of oceanic productivity, carbon cycling and metabolic balance, for his role in shaping current views on the importance of microbial processes in the oceans, and for his relentless dedication to the advancement of aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry. Congratulations, Peter!

Cited by Paul del Giorgio, Microbial Ecology and Ecosystem Function, GRIL-UQAM,