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

Plenary Lectures

Plenary lectures will be held Monday through Friday at 0900 immediately following the ASLO award talks in the Apollon Theater. Plenary lectures will be followed by sessions devoted to the topic of the lectures.

There will be two plenary speakers each day who will be introduced by that morning’s session moderator. Both speakers will address the same topic with either opposing or complementary views and then will engage in discussion with the other speaker. This discussion will be led by a moderator. We would like to thank the following for serving as moderators:

Monday, 26 January:
Will the open ocean become more or less stratified? Implications for organisms and biogeochemical cycles

Joellen L. Russell (US) and Véronique Garçon (France):

Joellen L. Russell

University of Arizona
Tucson,  AZ. USA

Title: The Ocean in a Warming World: Circulation, Carbon and Calcification

Abstract: There is an old truism in climate circles that the cold climate at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which occurred 21,000 years ago, had stronger winds.  If the LGM climate really did have stronger winds, it would be expected that the circulation in the ocean was more vigorous.  The oceans seem to tell a different story, however.  The overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean seems to have been weaker at the LGM and the water in the deep ocean was also very “old” in relation to the atmosphere – in terms of having a low radiocarbon content – indicating that the ocean’s interior was poorly mixed and poorly ventilated.  The overturning circulation then seems to have strengthened as Earth began to warm about 18,000 years ago.  The increased overturning vented the radiocarbon-depleted carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, as seen in a pair of big dips in the radiocarbon activity of the atmosphere and upper ocean.  This addition of CO2 to the atmosphere helped to warm the climate and bring the last ice age to an end.  We contend that the old truism about the strength of the winds during the cold glacial period is flawed.  The circulation in the ocean’s interior is now increasingly seen as being driven by turbulent mixing from the winds and tides and directly by the winds themselves.  The westerly winds in both hemispheres have been shifting polewards and getting stronger over the past 40 years, partly in response to the warming from higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations.  We will explore the implications of these changes in the winds and stratification for global and regional ecosystems.

Biography: Joellen Russell is the leader of the Biogeochemical Dynamics Laboratory (BGDL) and Assistant Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.  Her main area of research is biogeochemical dynamics – the interface between climate and the physical, chemical, biological, and the geological processes that affect it.  She uses the latest coupled climate models and is building a global and regional climate modeling center using the UA’s new supercomputer.  Dr. Russell’s papers include co-authorship of “Ocean circulation in a warming climate” published in Nature this year, and her work has been cited in the latest IPCC assessment of climate.  Dr. Russell is one of the 14 scientists behind an amicus curiae brief supporting the plaintiff in the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision on carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Véronique Garçon

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique- LEGOS
Toulouse Cedex France

Title: Biogeochemical Cycles and Marine Ecosytems in a Changing Oceanic Stratification

Abstract: Global change encompasses natural and anthropogenically induced climate change impacts upon the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems via a number of drivers. In particular, global change will lead to large scale changes in climate patterns, ocean circulation and stratification and climate while increased atmospheric CO2 levels will lead to acidification of the oceans with significant impacts on oceanic biogeochemical cycles, calcareous organisms and eventually the reproductive success of higher trophic levels. Anthropogenic drivers such as overfishing, pollution and eutrophication impact at both the individual and population levels  thereby influencing the competitive ability and dominance of key species and thus the structure of marine ecosystems. Invasive species act also as driver of the human-induced biodiversity crisis. We will pay particular attention to consequences of changes in ocean circulation and stratification, namely expansion of oxygen minimum zones, coastal and open ocean hypoxia and ocean acidification onto ecosystem composition, size structure and succession yielding changes in ecological structure, energy flow, and biogeochemical pathways.

Biography: Véronique Garçon is leading the physical dynamics/marine biogeochemistry group at LEGOS (Laboratory of Space Geophysics and Oceanography) in Toulouse, France. Her expertise includes coupled physical/biogeochemical modeling, and marine biogeochemistry. Dr. Garçon graduated with a Ph.D. in 1981 in Environmental Sciences (Energy and Pollutions) from University Paris VII.  She defended an Habilitation á Diriger des Recherches in Oceanography in 1995 at University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse.  She integrated CNRS in 1985 at the Institute of Physics of the Globe after a post-doctoral experience at MIT and has been a Senior Scientist since 1998 in LEGOS.  Her research interests include marine biogeochemistry and ecosystem dynamics, large scale ocean circulation and tracers, global carbon and nitrogen cycles, physical-biological interactions, eastern boundary upwelling systems and biogeochemical climatic monitoring.  She is an author of more than 55 papers in peer international reviews, supervised 16 Ph.D. theses and supervised a dozen post-doc fellows.  She acted in many international IGBP Scientific Steering Committees (JGOFS, SOLAS).

Tuesday, 27 January:
Is there a link between biodiversity and ecosystem function in aquatic systems?

Peter Morin (US) and Helmut Hillebrand (Germany):

Peter Morin, Ph.D.

Ecology Evolution and Natural Resources
Rutgers State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ USA  

Title: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Aquatic Microbial Systems: Results, Predictions, and Challenges

Abstract: Much of what we know about biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in aquatic microbial systems comes from laboratory studies of relatively simple systems. Dr. Morin will summarize some of the key findings from a number of studies to provide an overview of patterns that might be important in natural systems. Although these studies show that biodiversity has some consistent effects on various aspects functioning, including processes like decomposition and productivity, the extent to which these findings generalize to natural systems of much higher diversity remains little known. One important unresolved controversy concerns the extent to which findings from low diversity laboratory systems can be extended to much more complex natural systems. Because natural patterns of microbial diversity in most systems remain poorly known, the major obstacles to resolving this conflict involve the current state of techniques used to monitor and manipulate microbial diversity in natural settings. Finally, he will emphasize that description of the true nature and extent of microbial diversity gradients in natural aquatic systems remains one of the grand challenges facing aquatic ecologists.

Biography: Peter Morin is Professor II in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Morin earned his B.S. in biology at Trinity College (CT) and Ph.D. in zoology at Duke University. His research interests reside at the interface of population dynamics, community ecology, and ecosystem processes. He primarily uses experimental approaches coupled with statistical analyses to address fundamental questions about predator-prey interactions, energetics, and the dynamics and structure of food webs, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and community assembly. These studies focus on a variety of aquatic organisms, including amphibians, insects, fish, and most recently, microbes.

Dr. Morin’s awards and honors include the Mercer Award of The Ecological Society of America, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is an elected member of Sigma Xi.

Helmut Hillebrand, Ph.D.

Botanical Institute, University of Cologne
Köln, Germany

Title: Biodiversity Effects in Natural Ecosystems – Maturation of a Paradigm Shift

Abstract: Experimental evidence suggests that the human-induced alterations of biodiversity affect important processes in ecosystems and the ability of ecosystems to respond to global change. This represents a major paradigm shift as diversity is no longer seen as a descriptive trait of communities caused by abiotic and biotic factors but as an important driver for emergent properties of ecosystems. Despite the rapid theoretical and empirical advancement in this field, there is remaining uncertainty about the role of diversity in natural ecosystems compared to the defined settings of laboratory experiments and mathematical models. In this talk, Hillebrand will summarize recent conceptual ideas about the importance of diversity for the functioning of natural ecosystems, focusing on multiple concurrent ecosystems functions and the importance of spatial scale and connectivity between habitats. He will address the question of whether diversity is mainly the response to external factors or the cause of internal processes in ecosystems. Finally, Hillebrand will show recent data on cases were diversity increased due to the spread of exotic species.

Biography: Helmut Hillebrand has been Professor of Aquatic Ecology at the Botanical Institute of the University Cologne (D), but has just accepted a position as Professor in Plankton Ecology at the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) at the Carl-Von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg (D).  He finished his dissertation 1999 with a thesis on the “Effect of biotic interactions on the structure of microphytobenthos.”  He spent four years as a postdoc at the Erken Laboratory of the Department of Limnology, Uppsala University (Sweden). His main research topics are the regulation of diversity in aquatic communities as well as the consequences of diversity loss for ecosystem processes.  Additionally, he uses an ecological stoichiometry framework to analyze trophic interactions in aquatic ecosystems.


Wednesday, 28 January:

Future water shortage and sustainable water management: their implications for (aquatic) ecosystems, agriculture and human society

Patricia Romero-Lankao (US) and Robert Varady (US)

Patricia Romero-Lankao Ph.D.

Social Scientist, Deputy Director
Institute for the Study of Society and Environment National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, Colorado USA

Title: Societal and Environmental Challenges to Water Management and Use, Lessons and Insights from Mexico City

Abstract: Romero-Lankao will briefly describe the main socio-environmental features and consequences of water management and use in Mexico City.  She will reflect on the challenges they pose to both a more sustainable use of water and to more resilient schemes of water management (e.g. schemes which allow water users to cope with climate change and other stresses). She will make the case that many water systems of many urban areas share similar socio-environmental features. Those systems have similar socio-ecological impacts on the hydrological cycle, on water uses, and on ecosystems. Furthermore, those schemes of water management and use are faced with similar challenges.

Biography: Patricia Romero-Lankao is Social Scientist II and Deputy Director at the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. She was a tenured professor at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Xochimilco, in Mexico City, Mexico, where she taught graduate and postgraduate students for 14 years. In addition, she has led a range of outreach activities on environmental issues (e.g., inter-faculty and inter-university short courses on environment and development for medium- and senior-level public servants and managers in private enterprises). Alongside her work in academic institutions in Mexico, Germany, and the U.S., she has contributed to a number of international networks of interdisciplinary research projects. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Global Carbon Project; she was convening author of “Chapter 7: Industry, Settlement and Society,” as well as lead author of the Summary for Policy Makers and Technical Summary of the IPCC Working Group II Fourth Assessment Report; she is a Fellow of the 8th Cohort of the International Program Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD International); and she has served on several committees of the National Academies that function as the independent science advisor to the U.S. Dr. Romero-Lankao has published 10 books, 25 book chapters and almost 20 peer-reviewed articles on the interface of the human dimensions of global environmental change (e.g., urban development pathways and public policies as drivers of and responses to climate change). She is a sociologist by training and holds two Ph.D. degrees, one in Regional Development, from the Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico, the other in Agricultural Sciences and Environmental Policy from the University of Bonn, in Germany.

Robert G. Varady

Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona USA

Title: Global Water Initiatives and World Water Governance

Co-authors: Katharine Meehan, John Rodda, and Emily McGovern

Abstract: Over the last century, the aperture of water governance has widened beyond local and regional schemes to include a growing number of dynamic organizations and events with a “global” scope. Until recently, little had been written about the historical development of global water governance, institutional connectivity within the field, or key organizational successes and failures as perceived by water experts. This presentation provides water scientists, managers, policymakers, and those with an interest in international water issues with an overview of global initiatives. The authors chart the emergence of a set of institutions and events, referred to as “global water initiatives,” or GWIs, using a survey of water experts and other research. Institutional diversity among GWIs is described by defining four distinct types of initiatives and specific differences in scope and programmatic orientation. This overview also entails the changing use of paradigms of water management, an evaluation of the results of the growth and proliferation of numerous new GWIs in recent decades, and some recommendations for supporting and sustaining GWI efforts in order to foster and improve multilevel water management in the future.

Biography: Robert Varady is Deputy Director and Director of Environmental Programs at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He is also a research professor of environmental policy at the Udall Center, research professor of arid lands studies, and an adjunct professor of hydrology and water resources. Varady obtained his Ph.D. in 1981 in modern history from the University of Arizona and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from the City College of New York and the Polytechnic University, respectively. At the Udall Center since 1989, Dr. Varady’s work mostly has addressed environmental and water-management policy in arid regions, with an emphasis on transboundary issues, especially along the U.S.-Mexico border. He spent the 2003-2004 academic year on sabbatical in Paris at UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, studying the history, evolution, and significance of global water initiatives, a subject on which he is continuing to write. Dr. Varady is President of the International Water History Association (IWHA), having served as Vice President, and before that, Secretary of the association.

Thursday, 29 January:
Should the freshwater carbon cycle remain hidden in the global C cycle?

Yves Prairie (Canada) and Martin Heimann (Germany)

Yves Prairie

Université du Québec à Montréal
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Title: The Role of Inland Waters in the Global and Regional Carbon Balance:  Do inland waters matter?

Abstract: Inland waters cover a very small fraction of the Earth’s surface area.  Thus, these continental aquatic ecosystems (particularly lakes, rivers, and reservoirs) have rarely been considered as potentially important quantitative components of the carbon cycle at either global or regional scales.  These systems, in fact, control the fate of a large fraction of total terrestrial net ecosystem production (NEP).  At the millennium time scale, the global C budget cannot be balanced without considering inland waters.  Conservatively estimates suggest that inland waters annually receive, from a combination of background and anthropogenically altered sources, on the order of 1.9 Pg C per year from the terrestrial landscape (more than half of terrestrial NEP), of which about 0.2 is buried in aquatic sediments, at least 0.8 (possibly much more) is returned to the atmosphere as gas evasion exchange while the remaining 0.9 is delivered to the oceans, roughly equally as inorganic and organic carbon.  Thus, roughly twice as much C enters inland aquatic systems from land as in exported from land to the sea.  Over prolonged time net carbon fluxes in aquatic systems tend to be greater per unit area than in much of the surrounding land.  Although their area is small, these freshwater aquatic systems whether composed mostly of streams, rivers or lakes can affect regional C balances.  Further, the inclusion of inland, freshwater ecosystems provides useful insight about the storage, oxidation and transport of terrestrial C, and may warrant a revision of how the modern net C sink on land is described.

Biography: Dr. Yves Prairie is Professor of Biology at the Université du Québec à Montréal where he has worked for the past 20 years following postdoctoral work at the Institute of Limnology (Konstanz, Germany).  Prairie received his Ph.D. from McGill University in the Department of Biology in 1987.  Prairie was awarded the F.H. Rigler prize of the Society of Canadian Limnologists in 2005. He had previously served as its President and was Chair of the organizing committee of the SIL 2007 Congress recently held in Montreal. Prairie’s current research focuses on the biogeochemistry of C in inland waters, particularly the connections between terrestrial and aquatic systems. 

Martin Heimann, Ph.D.

Max-Planck-Institut fur Biogeochemie
Jena, Germany

Title: Freshwaters and Rivers: An Underestimated Link in the Global and Regional Carbon Cycle

Abstract:  Globally, rivers transport on the order of one PG carbon per year in organic and inorganic forms from land to the sea.  In size, this is almost 50% of the current global net CO2 uptake by the open ocean.  Traditionally, the river carbon flux is considered to be part of the natural carbon cycle and is assumed to be at steady state in global carbon cycle models, at least on time scales of up to a few thousand years.  But is this assumption justified?  The magnitude of the river flux is highly uncertain, and little is known about trends and temporal variability in many areas of the world. However, an improved knowledge is needed for two main reasons: (1) the carbon flows via rivers from terrestrial ecosystems to the ocean are indispensable for any regional carbon budget assessment by means of the popular multiple constraint approach.  Thereby the regional surface atmosphere CO2 fluxes are derived by the top-down atmospheric inversion method from concentration observations, and are also estimated with the bottom-up method by up scaling of local terrestrial flux measurements.  The reconciliation of the inferred fluxes by the two approaches needs to take into account lateral carbon fluxes, among which the river transport can be crucial, e.g. for Europe amounting to up to 50% of the net carbon uptake ecosystems.  Evidently, any regional carbon monitoring strategy must include the freshwater-river-coastal carbon transports. (2) From an Earth system modeling perspective, the largely unknown anthropogenic contributions to the sources of river carbon, its transformation processes and its fate either in reservoirs, coastal sediments, open ocean or recycled back to the atmosphere by outgassing also constitutes an important unknown.  Changes in these processes induced by anthropogenic impacts or climate change clearly impact the global carbon balance and need to be assessed and included in the next generation of earth system models.

Biography: Martin Heimann has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bern under Prof. Hans Oeschger and PD Ulrich Siegenthaler. From 1982 to 1985 he was a research assistant at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, in the work group of Prof. Charles David Keeling. Following that, Dr. Heimann was the senior research scientist and work group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. In 1998, he became the research group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany. Since 2003, he has been the scientific member of the Max-Planck-Society and Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry. Dr. Heimann is head of the institute department of biogeochemical systems. He also is honorary professor at the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and has over 150 refereed publications to his credit. His key areas of research include global cycles of carbon and oxygen, biogeochemical cycles and their interactions with the global climate system, forward and inverse modeling of atmospheric trace gas transport. Dr. Heimann’s selected research projects include an EU project CarboEuropeIP (Co-coordinator): for the determination of the carbon balance of Europe; Zotino Tall Tower Observatory (ZOTTO), the establishment of a 300m tall tower in central Siberia for long-term biogeochemical trace gas measurements; and ENIGMA, the German initiative for the development and application of a comprehensive Earth System model (jointly with the MPI for Meteorology in Hamburg, the MPI for Chemistry in Mainz and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research). Dr. Heimann works as Editor, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Editor, Carbon Balance and Management, Associate Editor, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Review Editor for Science, and was a co-author on assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2007. Dr. Heimann served on the scientific advisory board of the Alfred Wegener Institut für Polar und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven and was chair of the Lenkungsausschuss Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, Hamburg; He is a member of the Academia Europaea and a member of the European and the American Geophysical Union.

Friday, 30 January:
Can geo(bio)engineering of aquatic systems (iron addition and deep-water pumping) alleviate future climate change?

Ken Caldeira (US) and John Cullen (Canada):

Ken Caldeira, Ph.D.

Department of Global Ecology
Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA

Title: Engineered Ocean Carbon Storage: Benefits and Costs

Abstract: Various schemes have been proposed to engineer an increase in ocean carbon storage with the intent of either diminishing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations or allowing use of additional fossil fuel carbon. These proposals include direct injection of purified and compressed CO2 into the ocean, fertilization of the ocean with iron or other nutrients, acceleration of carbonate weathering processes, and engineered confinement of carbon dioxide on the sea floor. Benefits claimed usually relate to diminished economic costs of carbon storage, diminished effects of climate or chemistry changes on marine ecosystems, and/or enhancement of fisheries. Costs claimed usually relate to economic costs, potential environmental damage, and costs associated with the interaction of ocean storage options and broader socio-political systems. Decisions are made difficult because of competing claims on a global commons, with different parties having different perceptions and stressing different interests. Decision-making difficulties are compounded by the high degree of uncertainty involved, which in turn is in part dependent upon our limited understanding of marine biogeochemical systems and the potential impact of various human activities on those systems. Science can help us to understand the facts; facts, when combined with values, can help us to determine what might be wise.

John Cullen, Ph.D.

Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia,Canada

Title: Science, Policy, and Fertilization of the Ocean for Carbon Offsets: Reflections on twenty years of debate

Abstract: The debate over fertilization of the ocean for carbon sequestration began about 20 years ago, and many of the central arguments are the same as they were at the first “Iron Symposium” organized by ASLO in 1991. As Dr. Cullen reviews positions that have been taken over the years, he argues that it is critically important to decide exactly what questions must be resolved. Then it will be possible to determine if science has, or can obtain, the answers that policy makers need.

Biography: John Cullen is the Killam Chair in Ocean Studies at Dalhousie University. His research interests include the physiology and ecology of marine phytoplankton, biological interpretations of optical measurements in surface waters, real-time ocean observation and prediction systems, and the culture of marine microalgae for fuels and protein. A graduate of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Dr. Cullen began his professional career in 1980 as a Visiting Fellow in the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia. In 1982, he moved to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas. Four years later, he joined the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine. He returned to Nova Scotia in 1990, first as a Visiting Scientist at Dalhousie University (1990 – 1991), then as an Adjunct Professor, still working for Bigelow. In 1995, he assumed two positions that continue, Professor of Oceanography and NSERC/Satlantic Chair of Environmental Observation Technology. He was Killam Professor of Oceanography for five years prior to becoming Killam Chair in 2006. As Director of the Centre for Marine Environmental Prediction at Dalhousie, he was co-project leader of the Marine Environmental Prediction System real-time coastal observatory in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. This project involved numerous applications of his research on the use of a wide variety of optical measurements to describe the dynamics of marine phytoplankton. Much of his research has focused on the influence of environmental conditions (for example, nutrient supply or ultraviolet radiation) on marine phytoplankton. This led to his selection as Fellow of The Oceanography Society in 2005. With Dr. Penny Chisholm, he co-chaired the first “Iron Symposium” convened by ASLO in 1991 to address the issue of ocean fertilization, and he has since co-convened international meetings on ocean fertilization, harmful algal blooms and real-time ocean observing systems.